It is a rare moment in life when an opportunity presents itself in conjunction with perfect timing. For much of my life, the Fates have enjoyed tormenting me with possibilities that felt more like predicaments, presenting thrilling chances only to have them conflict with other important life events.
Until my friend Gavin asked me to bike across the country with him, that tortuous trend showed no signs of letting up. I'd recently left my job in pursuit of happiness when I heard from him out of the blue, on LinkedIn of all places. It went a little something like this:
Gavin: Hey Michelle, how are ya? Can you hook me up with an introduction to someone? Also, any chance you'd like to bike across the US with me this summer?
Me: Gavin! Long time no hear! Intro: yes. Biking: Sure, why not?
At the time, my apartment had recently been burgled. I had no bikes and no gear, which didn't stop it from seeming as good a time as any to decide to embark on a transcontinental bike trip that I'd been dreaming of for years. I'd like to tell you that I make major life decisions in a manner that is less cavalier and more responsible, but the truth is that my outlook on life is more in keeping with Dick van Dyke's famous line from Mary Poppins:
"Winds in the east, mist coming in
Like somethin' is brewin' and 'bout to begin"
Those winds have blown me from Calgary, Alberta, Canada to Hong Kong and back. They swept me to Sacramento, then back to Canada and Hong Kong again before finally landing me on the left coast/best coast in the streets of San Francisco, which I have called home for the last 7.5 years. In that time, I have discovered the beauty of the written word, the incomparable quality of experiencing and witnessing nature first-hand, the exquisite joy of cooking and baking, the deep satisfaction of helping others, and the freedom that you discover the first time you dare to venture into the world on two wheels.
Now, with a bit of help from my bicycle and my legs, the winds will blow me first down the coast of California, and then from San Francisco to Charleston, SC. I will be sharing my journey on these pages over these coming months as I prepare for my trips and embark upon them.
Follow me down this rabbit hole. There will be pictures and videos, and plenty of fodder to tempt you out of your house and into the hills, on the days when the wind is at my back as well as when it blows in my face.
Our first stop is the story of my bicycle because, as you’ll recall from the beginning of this post, my bike (actually, make that bikes, plural) and gear were burgled. If ever an adventure had an auspicious beginning, I imagine it would begin as mine has, with a small miracle. Meet me back here next week and I'll tell you all about it.
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