Faces from the Road: Steve from New York Dishes Out Some Inspiration

SONY DSC

“I always ride my bike to the trail head. Couple hundred miles on the bike, sleep in the bush on the way,” Steve told me as we pedaled next to him in the Adirondacks. He wore jean shorts and a beat-up hat and carried a huge backpack loaded with camping gear. “I just rest my pack on the gear on the rear rack and it works great.” My padded-shorts butt felt for him, but he seemed happy and in high spirits.

Steve rode an old-school mountain bike and was headed into the mountains to finish hiking the last six peaks of the Adirondack 46. Thirty years after laying sights on hiking the tallest 46 mountains in the Adirondack Mountains, this was the final push.

Here was a guy in his late 50’s flipping conventional bike touring wisdom on its head. With no training and the “wrong” gear, he was doing a 400 mile bike tour through steep mountains and sandwiching three days of backpacking in the middle! And he had nailed the peak seasons for fall foliage and was going to have an amazing time. Good for him!

Chatting with Steve as we climb through fall colors near Blue Mountain Lake.

Chatting with Steve as we climb through fall colors near Blue Mountain Lake.

Meeting him also got me thinking. With Portland, Maine beckoning from a scant 130 miles away 0ver the White Mountains, all the meditating in the world can’t stop me from pondering the next big adventure. A quest like Steve’s inspires me to consider challenges that are woven into the fabric of life for years to come rather than an all-consuming one like this bike tour.

Don’t get me wrong, there will be more adventures that require practically all our time and energy. Meeting Steve simply ignited a desire to frame out and pursue a big, audacious goal to tantalize and motivate us over a long period of time. A big writing project? Mountain biking all the IMBA Epics? Start a for-purpose company to build schools? Bike touring every country in Europe? Or maybe something completely out of left field like kayaking the Inside Passage (Kipp, let’s do it)? In the words of Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, exxxcellent.

But first things first. After a fantastic stay in Burlington that we extended after making some great new friends, today finds us pedaling into the White Mountains on a perfect fall day. Big climbs and remote mountain territory points toward a great finale enroute to Maine! Talk to you on the other side.

Dakota

P.S. A few shots from the last couple days are below.

Sunset over Lake Champlain from the lakeside path in Burlington.

Sunset over Lake Champlain from the lakeside path in Burlington.

We don't always ride on roads! Exploring some singletrack on a foggy day in Vermont.

We don’t always ride on roads! Exploring some singletrack on a foggy day in Vermont.

A thick mane of leaves frames a mountain vista in Vermont.

A thick mane of leaves frames a mountain vista in Vermont.

Gorgeous fall morning in Vermont near Montpelier. Some of the fallen leaves still have color and there are plenty remaining on the trees.

Gorgeous fall morning in Vermont near Montpelier. Some of the fallen leaves still have color and there are plenty remaining on the trees.

Montpelier, the cutest capitol city I've seen. They have a great co-op too!

Montpelier, the cutest capitol city I’ve seen. They have a great co-op too!

New Hampshire! Sunset on the foliage and a church.

New Hampshire! Sunset on the foliage and a church. We must really be in New England now.

7 replies
  1. Hilary Bourassa
    Hilary Bourassa says:

    I love the idea of having a long-term goal on top of the day-to-day tasks that we tackle. Your adventure is inspiring, even in padded bike shorts! Photos are wonderful, as always – love those colors!

    Reply
    • Dakota Gale
      Dakota Gale says:

      Someday we’re taking you on a LONG bike ride where you have to wear padded bike shorts. You’re going to love it. Really. You can thank me know if you’d like. 🙂

      As for long-term goals, I suppose it’s similar to a bucket list, but with bigger vision. Haven’t quite figured out how it’ll play out but I suspect it will be fun.

      Reply
  2. Sam Kitcey
    Sam Kitcey says:

    the weather has just been great! you couldn’t have timed it any better finishing your ride through the new york and new england states.I’m glad i had a chance to meet you and Chelsea on that saturday in geneva ohio and you giving me your web site card so i could follow your journey.its inspired me to take a small fall foliage ride on lake Erie leaving sunday (just do it) from toledo ohio( via grayhound bus to get there) to erie pa and maybe a buffalo ny finish if all goes well .i’ve enjoyed the pictures and comments you have posted and i’m sure you have really enjoyed your summer journey of crating life long memories.

    Reply
    • Dakota Gale
      Dakota Gale says:

      Hey there Sam! Glad you’ve been following along. Fun to have you on the trip with us. And don’t worry, there are more adventures to come. We aren’t giving up that easily.

      Have an awesome trip along Erie! And I hope you get out for that cross-country ride you’ve been dreaming about sooner than later too. Definitely let us know if/when you do!

      Reply
  3. Nely
    Nely says:

    Hey guys! Beautiful pictures, as always. I have a question. Have you two run into any major weather problems? We hear of major storms happening around the country, and I was wondering if you’ve had any scary storms come your way too fast? Thanks. 🙂

    Reply
    • Dakota Gale
      Dakota Gale says:

      Good question! Yep, we’ve run (biked) fast as we could a number of time dodging big thunderstorms packing a lightning punch. Camped very little through the Midwest because there were nightly thunderstorms that just RAGED. Getting an early start (up at 5-6 am) usually meant we missed them.

      Luckily, we haven’t been caught too badly in many of them. Knock on wood, rain forecast for tomorrow in the White Mountains and the storms out here can get pretty nasty. Hoping for the best.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply to Sam Kitcey Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge