Madroad Biking Men Ahead

 So what runs through your head in the homestretch of a long ride?  Last weekend I spent 3 days bikepacking an incredible loop in the Eastern Sierra, spinning the pedals through some amazing fat-biking territory (more on that later).  But during the final hours I just wanted this section in the Owens Valley to be done with.  The heat was building in the valley and the hard effort at altitudes over 11000ft on the previous day was still burning in my legs and lungs.  Luckily for me this area is haunted by the ghost (and words) of Jack Kerouac so I filled the emptiness with my favorite passage from Visions of Cody:

“The Mad Road, lonely, leading around the bend into the openings of space towards the horizon. Wasatch snows promised us in the vision of the West…

Spine heights at the world’s end, coast of blue Pacific starry night – nobone half-banana moon sloping in the tangled night sky, the torments of great formations in mist, the huddled invisible insect in the car racing onwards… Illuminate.

The raw cut, the drag, the butte, the star, the draw, the sunflower in the grass…

Orange-butted west lands of Arcadia, forlorn sands of the isolate earth, dewy exposures to infinity in black space, home of the rattlesnake and the gopher – the level of the world, low and flat… the charging restless mute unvoiced road keening in a seizure of tarpaulin power into the route, fabulous plots of landowners in green unexpecteds, ditches by the side of the road… as I look from here to Elko along the level of this pin parallel to telephone poles I can see a bug playing in the hot sun…

Hitch yourself a ride beyond the fastest freight train:
Beat the Smoke…
Find the Thighs…
Spend the Shiny…
Throw the Shroud…
Kiss the morning star in the morning glass…

Mad Road Driving Men Ahead.

Pencil traceries of our faintest wish in the travel of the horizon merged, nosey cloud obfusks in a drabble of speechless distance, the black sheep clouds cling a parallel above the streams of C B Q – serried Little Missouri rocks haunt the badlands, harsh dry brown fields roll in the moonlight with a shiny cow’s ass – dotting immensity.

The crazed voyageur of the lone automobile presses forth his eager insignificance in noseplates and licenses into the vast promise of life – the choice of tragic wives.

Drain your basins in old Ohio and the Indian and the lllini plains…

Bring your big muddy rivers through Kansas and the mudlands, Yellowstone in the frozen North…

Punch lake holes in Florida and L A…

Raise your cities in the white plain…

Cast your mountains up… bedawze the west… bedight the west with brave hedgerow cliffs rising to Promethean heights and fame…

Plant your prisons in the basin of the Utah moon…

Nudge Canadian groping lands that end in arctic bays…

Purl your Mexican ribneck, America… Cody’s going home”

That’s what I think about in the final hours of a big ride like this: going home… and what a big, beautiful world it is out there.

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4 Responses to Madroad Biking Men Ahead

  1. Pingback: Weekly Dose of Fat 6-29-12 | FAT-BIKE.COM

  2. ss29er says:

    i live in Mammoth, and am currently planning a bikepacking trip around the eastern sierras- stoked on your adventure!! what was your route? if you wouldn’t mind sharing your gps tracks, i’d be obliged… either way, would love to pick your brain about route planning- Alan (snaps0027@gmail.com)

    • Tom says:

      crap, how did I miss this comment? sorry for not replying sooner but no I don’t have a gps track for this ride – I accidentally deleted it! If you want a description of it take a look at the “Dear Lover” post from a few months back. It’s basically up through Buttermilk Country from Bishop to Aspendell, up and over Coyote Flat to Big Pine Creek, then the ultimate goal is to head over to the Whites via Black Canyon and summit White Mt Peak. the dream route would include a loop up through Rock Creek too, but I’ve never been able to finish the first part haha.

      I’ll be headed back up next month for this loop and make sure I save the damn gps data!

  3. Hunter says:

    Hey Alan meet you up on tamarack the other day trying to get this going http://www.bikepacking.net/forum/index.php/topic,5089.0.html

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