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{ Tag Archives } california

mono lake

Doris, John and I set off in the morning in their car for a day trip that will encompass the area around June Lake, Mono Lake and Brodie. We start by driving past the series of lakes on the scenic route into June Lake which I skipped the previous evening in the very uncharacteristic, for […]

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the other side

On the other side of the pass I am presented with a landscape that I could have never imagined. I drop effortlessly 3000 feet down into the valley on the west of the Sierras feeling like I am suddenly on another planet. People had talked to me of the high desert and I realise now […]

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tioga pass

The crowds and the idea that the Tioga Road might irrevocably close for the season before I get over it make it impossible for me to relax and so I flee Yosemite Valley without exploring it thoroughly. I haul myself back up the hill to the turn off to the pass. The climb out of […]

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the valley

Yosemite Valley is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been but I spend my whole time there wishing I could visit it again after the Apocalypse.* The hoards of people (of which I must remind myself I am one) just ruin it for me. I feel deeply stressed the whole time I […]

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on the road again

It occurs to me, as I ride out of the Bay Area, that I am always leaving – and that it suits me. Which is not to say that it doesn’t also pain me somewhat, at times even considerably; but the melancholy that leaving produces in me is so familiar that I wear it like […]

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city treats and american life

On arriving in the metropolis, I discover that San Francisco is, in fact, a number of cities separated by water and linked by bridges, only some of which can be traversed by bicycle. By some chance, everybody I know lives in East Bay, on the other side of Bay Bridge, which is one of the […]

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the golden gate

After days of cycling on zig-zag coastal cliff highway, the Golden Gate flickers through the fog like a phantom mirage.

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more off-road adventures

I set off from Jedediah Smith and turn not west towards the coast but east to find a gravel road that will take me back to the coast, through the forest, popping out on Highway 101 slightly south of Crescent City. The road meanders through ancient redwoods and I ride with awe in my heart. […]

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fishy tales

I cross the state line from Oregon into California with only an ancient map of California at my disposal. Each time I unfold it the paper tears and crumbles some more. The coastal cycle route is clearly signposted on the highway but, for no particular reason, I cut-off Highway 101 inland onto Route 197 towards […]

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fed-ex to the rescue (or, an unlikely guardian angel)

I am riding along a rural back-road, a scene of green fields and barbed wire fences, blackberry brambles and grazing cows. Golden sun warms the afternoon air. I hear persistent barking ahead. I look up and see a black and white dog running apace with a car travelling towards me, lunging and snapping at the […]

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