Route: City Riding Till I Rejoined The Coastline, Then Mostly Bike Paths [Follow the Route Signs]
Weather: Mid-to-High 20s, Mostly Sunny, Slight Winds
Total Climbing: ~485m/1600ft
Breakfast: Granola & Nectarine
Lunch: Nada Dinner: Pizza & Garlic Bread [Feeling The Finish-Line Appetite]
Snacks: Clif Bar & Banana Beverages: Water, Coffee, Sprite
Previous Night’s Sleep: 11:00pm to 7:00am [8 hours]
Feels Right To Finish This Ride
This small, solo adventure of riding along the Pacific coast was rooted long before I completed my first pedal on August 1st. The starting point was Vancouver only in the physical sense. From every other perspective – mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – this challenge had already started months prior.
I wasn’t keen to simply ride; I’d already sought and completed a physical challenge five years ago, when I cycled from Victoria to St. John’s with no prior cycling experience. No, this time around, I didn’t envision a start-to-finish type of vibe. Instead, I trusted that I would settle on the endpoint as I pedalled, and I would not know when or where I would finish until it felt right. Admittedly, I didn’t know how right would feel or arise. I simply trusted that I would remain open to a wide range of possibilities until I decided to stop. Within, I was prepared to finish anywhere between Seattle and Panama.
With the understanding that I felt no certainty in when or where I would finish physically from the outset, I created for myself a sturdy sense of direction within the rest of my whole self. I thought deeply and carefully to feel through a set of intentions that felt both challenging and meaningful: live more simply, embrace the grind, explore my inner world, find resonance, and be open to all of my connections. My thinking long before August 1st was, If adventures are all about the journey and not the destination, then I’ll try forgetting about the destination altogether. So, I purposefully neglected my finish line, and I tried to live solely for the moments all along the way. Definitely easier said than done. Until San Francisco, I believe I did all right.
Till the Bay Area, I felt an awesome clarity in living for my intentions nearly every day. Tracking my consumption and waste. Challenging my physical limits. Feeling through my thoughts, emotions, epiphanies, fears, and anxieties. Finding resonance with the wilderness, strangers, Mother Nature, and within. Exploring my connections to all else. All the while, I wrote and wrote and wrote, sharing a small selection of my thoughts in these posts every day. Till San Francisco, I felt propelled, a strong sense of momentum in living for these intentions.
Then, I began to feel a change. Around San Francisco, I felt my first desire to mark a finish line. Not to escape the self-imposed challenges of this adventure. Not to admit a form of failure or defeat.
I wasn’t feeling for a finish line to pull away from this chapter. No, I felt nearly the opposite. I felt my first desires to stop because I was becoming drawn to venture into my next chapter. A burgeoning excitement and anticipation for my post-coast life was rising quickly within.
Rather than seek an escape away from my intentions, I became enamoured with the idea of challenging myself to continue living for these intentions as a contributing member of a community and society.
On a solo cycling trip, I am constantly passing through the lives and communities of others. Often unnoticed. With an intentional focus on how I connect to this world, I gained a greater appreciation of my personal need to feel connected meaningfully to others, to feel a part of a community more in real life than virtually. I realized every intention of mine feels less whole, less rooted, while travelling alone. Though I’ve learned and grown considerably along the coast, my learning and growth will stagnate in constant motion. Inevitably, I must continue living for my intentions while also nourishing my roots in communities and society. Around San Francisco, I began to embrace this feeling.
And, so, I felt for a physical finish line. First, I looked far, far away.
Panama. Nope. Too far, too long.
Mexico City. Nope.
Baja Peninsula. Still too far. I’d like to return to my roots sooner than that.
Then, finally, I discovered my finish line.
San Diego feels right. Long and far enough to keep feeling challenged till the end. Not too long and far to feel burdened. Not too long and far to feel too separated or stagnant. Yup, feels just right.
As I approach my finish line for this small adventure, I feel lifted by my desires to continue living for the intentions I’ve so deeply and carefully crafted for my whole self to explore. Unlike the start of this trip, I can sense a strong clarity in my next steps.
Just keep living for my intentions. All of them are rooted in love, openness, and trust. All of them are both exceedingly simple and incredibly challenging to follow. All of them feel meaningful and fulfilling.
With San Diego nearly in sight, I am nearly finished with this particular ride. I have tried to cherish these last days. In truth, though, I am already brimming with excitement and anticipation for all that awaits beyond.