We crossed paths with him on the 4th of July as he biked west. Sporting a cotton shirt with “America: the best things in life are free” emblazoned across the chest with an eagle patterned in stars and stripes, Ray was astride an old, well-worn bike with thousands upon thousands of miles on it. He had been all over the place on tour – Mexico, Canada, the US, and elsewhere.
Ray doesn’t travel with a computer, GPS or a specific route in mind. He camps along the way and is simply out exploring the world while enjoying the heck out of it. When we asked if he was all good on water, he gestured behind us and said, “There is lots of water in the mountains.” Hell. Yes. A true adventurer!
I love the common ground that bike touring brings to life. Chelsea and I with our shiny bikes and glossy panniers, helmet lights blinking and reflective jerseys on, were doing the same thing as Ray with his rig: pedaling across the country trying to find food, water and shelter while taking in whatever scenery, people and adventures present themselves. Every day is a fresh landscape and challenge to surmount, and we can point our tires wherever we please. And that seems like true freedom to me!
Happy (belated) Independence Day,