“In every moment, we have a choice: Embrace life or run from it. It’s all too easy to watch the news and get convinced the world is an unfriendly place, and make decisions out of fear, effectively running from life. One of the greatest gifts bicycle touring has given me over the years is continually restoring my faith in humanity through the kindness of strangers.” –Heather Anderson, in Adventure Cycling free trial issue, bicyclingheather.com
I’m not as courageous as Heather Anderson, who has bike toured solo in Africa and all over the world. But I did get more adventurous than usual this weekend and turned down some new roads. I would love to go long distance bike touring but you don’t have to take some big trip to have an adventure. Try taking some of the dirt roads in the East Mountains just outside of Albuquerque. There’s so much to explore by bike here. Or read a story in a magazine or a book. Adventure is one step away with determination and imagination.
I rode Route 66 from Albuquerque all the way to Edgewood. There is an elementary school called Route 66 Elementary. Past, future, and especially present, bicycling works great.
I had planned to explore some dirt roads heading south off 66 from Edgewood, and find my way to Chilili. But the roads were rough and the country seemed fierce–it was so wide open it scared me–so I mostly kept to the paved roads. One of the rules I abide by is when my instinct says no, I don’t go. I still had a great time rambling. I found a new favorite road, County Line Rd., which straddles Bernalillo and Santa Fe County. And got a better feel for place.
It’s so open in Edgewood you can see all the way to the Sangre de Cristo mountains up north. They are topped white now. I rode past a Wal Mart Super Center north of Edgewood. I was pretty surprised in such a rural area there was this behemoth store. Churches were letting out and the Fall day was gorgeous. After five hours out I returned home and felt I had lived a lot, really done something. And the people in the East Mountain communities are very kind. Today I took an easier ride on the Bosque Trail and got my first close up of the returning Sandhill Cranes. Looking forward to going down to the Bosque del Apache Wildlife refuge with Mai. Maybe she’ll let me ride my bike there. She always teases me, maybe she won’t pick me up and I’ll have to ride home. I guess that wouldn’t be so bad with all these roads to explore.