Every summer, cycle travelers from all walks of life come through Salida. Lots of them... each with their own style and story, each with their own reasons for loading up and setting out to see the world in a peaceful perhaps dangerous, challenging but rewarding fashion. Most folk find riding a bicycle over great distances dreadful, ridiculous, impossible or plain crazy. Some people look down on them, some envy them, others live vicariously through their ride. In the peak of the season, we at Subculture Cyclery belong to the latter category; while we're up to our eyebrows with shop work, cycling travelers come and go, share a tale, a joke, show off battle scars... We geek out about their bike setups and pick their brains about equipment choice and such, yearning to soon take their place atop a big ol' bicycle saddle for days on end.
Bike travelers know how gas station coffee, half-stale potato chips, moldy cheese or a rock-hard cookie they all taste just amazing and rewarding when you've earned them through hard work and determination, perhaps obsession and stubbornness. Most people may have never experienced this but there is magic in it, magic that cannot be explained or even understood unless you partake in such endeavors yourself.
Some do it to turn the switch on, maybe to turn it off, perhaps just to push the reset button. Some do it to bond and grow, to reach, to connect. It's the ultimate way to experience the kindness of strangers.
No mirrors are made for our spirits, for our souls, but one thing is true; out there where the horizon, the road and the sky meet, as they reel you into that blanket of daydreams and wander, sometimes you can see yourself.
This is a salute to them, the self-propelled travelers.