All that separates us now from the California’s Central Valley and its rugged northern coast is the summit of Carson Pass. At 8,573′ it represents the last significant climb of our bike trip, a final challenge of the many we have faced. We will have to earn our few days our leisure with friends and we are happy to embrace this truth.
With Colorado, Utah and Nevada (nearly) behind us we’re feeling strong and motivated. These past two weeks we have moved our bodies and our bikes over 1,000 miles and tens of thousands of vertical feet through the beautiful and treacherous desert southwest. Our path intersected in this time with supported riders from Bike the US for MS. For several days we traveled alongside these wonderful folks and accepted their generosity with a sense of humility that can only be learned through spending nearly 100 days on the road. Relying on the compassion and giving nature of people has been a hallmark of this journey and it has vaulted my perspective of the goodness of my fellow Americans in a way that is best described as pleasantly surprised. It’s easy to see now why so many take such pride in this country, it’s vast natural beauty is unparalleled anywhere on this earth-we have been privy to this fact each day over the course of the last 3 months. Yet I wonder how many Americans have formulated this opinion, of America’s “superiority,” from an experience as personal, introspective and painstakingly meticulous as what we have encountered. I maintain my belief that those who claim the most pride for this country and understanding of what makes it unique and great actually know the least about it.
They should get out of their cars, turn off their tv’s and go for a bike ride.