Last night a father Ad (born in Holland) and his two shy kids Hannah and Willem invited me over to their campfire for marshmallows. Ad is a cow farmer in a town just past Chico and grows corn and alfalfa. We talked and ate marshmallows until it got too cold to sit out anymore.
Today’s riding goes down in my “Top Ten Bike Rides List”. I got out of the campground (elevation 6700ft) at about 7am and rode up a wonderful cliff-hugging road to the summit at 8512 feet. On the way up, I spotted a squirrel sitting on the side of the road looking as though it too, was admiring the spectacular views. A guy got out of his car ahead of me and took a few photos as I was climbing. He smiled and thanked me as I passed and said he admired me for what I was doing.
Near the top I spoke with Luke, a young park ranger, who recommended Washington’s Olympic National Park to me. He’d done some touring himself, had no girlfriend, house or commitments and lived out of the back of his pickup. Being a park ranger was the perfect life for him.
At the summit there were still banks of snow beside the road that towered over my head. After the summit it was a wonderful downhill (all downhills are wonderful, except the Auburn ones) that left me woohooing all the way down.
I believe that regardless of your age, the exhilarating feeling of flying down a hill on a bicycle is the same as it felt when you were 5 years old and on your first bike flying down a hill. I hope when I’m eighty years old I’m still woohooing down hills on a bicycle.