On April 1st I will be riding from Oskar Blue's Brewery, the Tasty Weasel in Longmont, CO to Oskar Blue's other brewery in Brevard, NC. I will be biking solo, unassisted, primarily following the Trans American Bike trail, as fast as I can! The route is roughly 1600 miles, touching 6 states.
I could wrack my face against the keyboard trying come up with something that could sound like a good, tangible explanation as to why I want to ride 1600 miles, but truth be told, there isn't a solid thing to point to. I wish I could say there's a charity I'm donating miles to, or that I'm raising awareness for some greater cause, but what really happened was that I woke up one morning and just got the feeling that I would like to bike from my new home in Colorado to my old home in Asheville, and that I thought I could probably do it. Why not? Of course I'd like to do that!
There is a reason though, there's always some reason, its just a little, "squishier."
I'm doing it for the same reason I sneak a few laps in at Hall Ranch before going into work, the same reason I hiked El Camino this past summer in Spain, and the same reason I like to have my coffee outside with the first morning sun, and that reason is "connection." Its more than slowly, yet satisfyingly defining calf muscles, or adrenaline bumps from gnarly rollers at Fruita, (those things are awesome, but there's more!) its that there is so much Wonder out there to be had and that I am fortunate enough to recognize that I am a part of it.
I have never felt "outside" of nature, as though I were looking in on something and foreign, but rather that I was a little piece of it in manifested, animate, human form. Whether its rock climbing, or mountain biking, or a simple trail run through Pisgah, the simple act of being out in the Wonder is like playing with your best friend. The games you play might change, but its still that joy from connecting with something or someone very special beyond yourself that makes this existence so rich. Novelty and grandeur have always been the fuel, the while vehicles and paths may vary; this time it just happens to be a bike, three bags and a lot of pavement.
If this ride could have a cause, it would be to remind people the importance of play; its how we learn, grow and expand, how we engage and connect with what's around us, how we love, and how we can come to appreciate all that we have around us, we just have to show up.