Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sampling the Sierras with Adventure Cycling

As I wrote in my post Sometimes Good Things Fall Apart, I anticipated that my "failure" earlier this summer would lead to better places. At the time I wrote the post, I wasn't sure what those "better places" would be. But the passage of time has started to reveal some of the better places. And those better places have been opening doors to even better'n'better places. Excitement abounds, friends!

One of the "better places" was the opportunity to staff another trip with Adventure Cycling Association this summer. And so it was that I participated in last month's Sierra Sampler, an eight-day, fully-supported ride that started in Lake Tahoe and ended 350 miles to the south. There were 54 awesome riders and 8 awesome staff on the trip, which meant many opportunities for creating infinitely awesome networks and friendships. Plus, as the majority of the ride overlapped the same route that I biked during last year's 2,300 mile tour through the Sierra-Cascade mountains, I had great fun reliving memories from the prior summer. Suffice it to say that I had an absolute blast!

Here are a few photos from the trip:

Me, not too terribly excited to be at Luther Pass. (JK)
(Photo: Brian)

The "lady staff": Marianne, Kelly (our amazing event director),
Yvonne, and me.
(Photo: Yvonne Gsteiger)

The "man staff": Gary, Brian, Jerry, and Doug (sitting).
(Photo: Yvonne Gsteiger)

Jack, one of the caterers.
Jack has the best wardrobe of cycling t-shirts.

Pumpkin, the catering puppy.
Pumpkin's only responsibility was to look cute.

One of the daily map meetings.

Two of the riders (Carol & Kris), waiting patiently for a post-lunch sag.
These two were adorbs!

Three of the staff (Gary, Kelly, & Jerry) at Monitor Pass.
(Photo: Kelly DuBay)

Yvonne entertained riders with her tin whistle
at one of her rest stops.

Yvonne's table decoration. Long live clever rocks!
(Photo: Yvonne Gsteiger)

In addition to working on bikes, Mechanic Brian
spent a good deal of the trip being sandwich-kissed.
Here, Brian enjoys the admiration of Marianne and me.
(Photo: Marianne Nelson)

There was plenty of this type of beautifulness along the route.
(Photo: Brian)

And cool places such as Devil's Postpile National Monument,
a massive display of basalt columns.

We had a fair share of bear encounters, too. Look amongst the trees to see
a bear boldly walking through our group campsite at Zephyr Cove.
(Photo: Marianne Nelson)

I tell you, friends, I love being a part of the Adventure Cycling team. The trips and peeps are beyond fantastic. I can't get enough Adventure Cycling! Fortunately, another of the aforementioned "better places" is the opportunity to co-lead Adventure Cycling's Pacific Coast trip next year. I'm super-duper pumped! This van-supported epic ride is 41 days in length, running from mid-September thru the end of October 2016. Extending from the Canadian border to the Mexican border, the 1,875-mile-long ride is one of the premier cycling routes in North America. (To learn more about the trip, click here.) I anticipate that I will lead other trips with Adventure Cycling as well next summer. I should have my full trip line-up within the next few weeks.

Stay tuned for other better places.


  1. You know, if I knew back in the day that being a bike mechanic could get me kissed by gorgeous lady cyclist......

    That looks like a blast! Those riders are very lucky to have you guide and I can just feel the better energy when you are with these guys than the others who shall not be named!

    Great puppy, love the caterer, and WOW bears!!!!

    1. While I can't speak for other gorgeous ladies, I can confirm that this gorgeous lady sure does appreciate a good bike mechanic. ;)

      Yeah for better energy, eh? Thanks for noticing. :)

      We woke up two nights to bears riffling through the camp garbage. I figured the campgrounds would have had better trash systems given their locations in the midst of bear country. Crazy!

    2. Wow! Most places in bear country I've been two have great bear proof trash methods. It's a good way to have a bad bear people interaction if they are used to rifling food :(. Glad it all worked out ok!


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