Hey, Just Ride 40

All I need is a road.

The more remote, the better.

Gravel? Yes, please.

A closed gate? The best.

The true beauty of bikes lies in the freedom.

Hi, I’m Raz. I’m a wanderer.

Considering that my resume looks longer than a Best Buy receipt, I suppose I’m a career wanderer. Chasing jobs has resulted in living in seven states, to date.

Primarily through those jobs I’ve visited 44 of the 50 states.

TCI and Hey, Just Ride are brought to you by our subscribers, and by Shimano North America.

We landed in Oregon by design, at least as far as the design was to wander the American West until we found a place we wanted to live and raise our daughters, rather than allowing a job to determine our home.

That was our epic summer adventure of 2005, living in a pop-up tent camper for 85 days, traveling 8,000 miles — chronicled in my memoir You Can’t Cook a Dead Crab and Eat It.

We’ve been here 18 years at the end of this month, nearly double the length of our previous long-term living stint: 10 years in SoCal. If there’s a reason for this stay, well, it’s probably the endless opportunity to wander — in Oregon and throughout the Northwest.

Without question there are legendary bike routes and trails throughout the US. I’ve already written about some of the best in Oregon.

While they offer unforgettable experiences, for me nothing compares to rolling off into the unknown. I love to go a wandering …

I’ve stumbled on red sandstone ridges in Utah, not as stunning as hoodoos of Bryce or arcs of Arches, yet shimmering in their own way.

Surviving sizzling sun-drenched deserts in New Mexico surrounded by waves of wildflowers watching a giant tarantula gingerly dancing across the asphalt toward the remains of a ghost town.

Surprising a herd of elk grazing roadside in Colorado, bugling bulls eventually locking horns while the cows appear disinterested in any outcome.

Rolling deep in the Wyoming woods and stumbling on a huge billboard signaling your entrance into Grizzly Territory, complete with Brown Bear Instructions — only to see a Blonde Bear stalking us across a vast meadow.

A scenic overview of a dramatic river bend or three chairs in a field overlooking the famous Big Sky of Montana, the list goes on and on.

Each memory preceded by long, hard, quiet miles of never-changing scenery that seem to quench my thirst for adventure as much as an eventual spectacular surprise.

Another climb, another turn, another fork in the road — all investments for the payoff. Sometimes it’s grand, sometimes just bland, but always fresh and new.

You won’t find any of these rides in a guide book or website.

You only find them on your own, on your bike, on a road.

Time to ride.

Join the conversation
  1. jlaudolff says

    I challenge anyone to beat the sheer quantity of remote roads compared to Oregon. Quality too. You are in the right place, IMO.

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