Again and again, one particular question has been directed toward me countless times during recent months.
“What big races are you doing this summer?”
For the first time in many years, my answer has been a bit surprising.
“Well, none,” I’ve replied.
“Really? How come?” the inquirer predictably asks.
“I think I just want to spend a few weeks exploring.”
Explore. Tour mode. Sleep through the night. Slow down. Go where I please. Avoid too much sand. These are all goals of mine for the month of June.
I’m heading up to the Kaibab Plateau first, then the high plateaus of central Utah. Beyond that, I’m not sure where I’ll aim. I think I might head toward Moab, and then into Colorado. Or I could head north into the Wasatch. Or I could head toward Wyoming. But the destination doesn't really matter to me this time around. It's what happens in between here and there that I'm going to relish.
Lately I’ve drawn inspiration from the likes my friend Yvo who just rode from the Netherlands to Delhi, from a kind fellow named Steve who put us up for a night in Ottawa last summer and shared tales of touring through western China, from fellow Salsa rider Glenn Charles, from Cass Gilbert, from the legend of Frank Lenz, and from countless other bike tourers who likely experience more enviable adventures than nearly any racer ever could.
We’ll see where I end up. It may not be Asia, or even Mexico, but I’ve got a loaded bike and a stack of maps that cover most of the Colorado Plateau.
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After growing up in Minnesota, I’ve been lured away by the rugged charm of the mountainous west. I relish every opportunity I find to spend a day (or days) on the bike, linking together unknown trails and forgotten routes through deserted country, enjoying the simplicity and unpredictability. When driven to race, I am growing ever fonder of pushing the limits of endurance and sanity. www.krefs.blogspot.com