Thursday, January 19, 2023

Being on the Dark Side

"Come on over to the dark side!" this strange, unknown, tattooed man said to me, wearing a sleeveless shirt and jorts. There was probably an adult beverage in his hands.

It was the after-party at Keystone Gravel in 2019, a grassroots event in central Pennsylvania. I had planned to spend the day riding with my road cycling teammates, but I somehow got caught up in the riff-raff of the singlespeeders and spent a couple hours riding with them. 

I, of course, was on gears, and the thought of owning a singlespeed had never crossed by mind. I remember battling up a long gravel climb that day with Simon, who I didn't know at the time. About halfway up the climb, I heard some grunting, and Dahn Pahrs, who I also didn't know yet, passed both me and Simon. At the top, Dahn was waiting and taking a shot of fireball.

Ironic that a post about Pittsburgh has a photo from Colorado. But, this is the most inclusive photo I could find, and even this only has a fraction of the people I call friends.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Texas actually has some really neat places

I guess it's sort of becoming a tradition of mine to spend the New Years holiday in the desert. Last year, it was Arizbrona bikepacking with Will, and this year, I drove down to Big Bend Texas with my brother to explore some new terrain. 

I'll start off by saying that the Big Bend area of southwest Texas is awesome. When I was in Texas back in May, it wasn't exactly my favorite state. Eastern Texas is pretty flat and there really isn't much public land. Plus, driving around Dallas to pick Will up from the airport sort of left a sour taste in my mouth because of all the sprawling suburbs and traffic.

Looking through an old truck in the desert

Friday, January 6, 2023

Looking Back and Looking Forward

In the words of a trucker I heard at a rural Arkansas restaurant back in May, "I woke up to a day I've never seen before, and I'm feeling peachy".

Every year, and every day, brings something new. I can safely say that 2022 was probably the most fun I've ever had in a year, and yet, I don't want to replicate it in 2023. Who knows, maybe I will end up doing similar things. Or maybe not. But I think you limit yourself if you try to place yourself into a framework of what you expect to do for an entire year. 

Like I said earlier, 2022 was probably the most I've ever packed into one year. I was fortunate enough to travel out west six different times, probably totaling up to over two months spent west of the Mississippi. That was pretty rad, if I don't say so myself.