I’m in Medford, Oregon, about to embark on a mountain bike tour with the good folks from Western Spirit. What I know of my schedule for the next five days you could fit in the coin holder of a subcompact, after a freight train has been parked on top. I know we leave tomorrow morning. I know I’ll be riding the epic singletrack of the Umpqua Trail. I also know that I will get back on Friday afternoon.
Oh yeah, and I’ll be sleeping in a tent.
There you have it. I know more about my son’s preschool schedule.
Not that I mind, mind you.
I drove up here and made a couple of stops for brief rides on my way, taking in a pretty killer descent off Mt. Pinos in Kern County and then some stunning singletrack in the shadow of Mount Shasta, captured above.
The real point of this post is to say that while I have a cellular modem, I’m not sure if/when/whether I’ll ever be able to post updates while we’re out. This will be the most literally off-grid I’ve been since we started calling it the grid.
I’m hoping that when I’m not on the bike or setting up a tent I’m unfamiliar with, I will be able to get some serious reading and writing done. And if I can’t get posts uploaded while I’m gone, then they’ll go up once I’m plugged back into the Matrix, er, grid.
The last day’s ride was from Mesquite, Nevada, to Boulder City to the Outdoor Demo. That is, for roughly 10 of the riders from our group, that was the plan. There were plenty of us who opted for something a bit shorter. By a bit shorter I mean an estimated 50 miles rather than an estimated 110 miles. In reality, we rode 58 miles while Chris D’Alusio’s entrourage rode more like 120 miles.
Western Spirit Cycling Adventures provided our food for the entire trip. I’ve traveled with a lot of tour companies and I’ve never traveled with one that provided all the food. Western Spirit not only made everything run on time, the food was stellar. Dinner was never less than exactly what a hungry cyclist needed. Their level of organization combined with their laid-back ease gave them the air of Zen masters running FedEx. It’s hard to be that chill and yet that on top of things.
Our transfer to the start of the final day’s ride kept us in the van for a bit and feeling some relief for not having to ride on I-15. That’s Rebecca Rusch at left and media guru Nic Sims in the center.