Finding Your Own Private Shangri-La

28 09 2011

It’s out there, located in a hole on the map where it looks like there’s nothing there. But there has to be something there, and that piques my curiosity. So after some research on the geology, history, and inhabitants of said hole on the map, a long, but not too long exploratory ride is in order to check it out.

Taking the risk to go somewhere off the map pays off with waking up in paradise.

Map 'n' Nap.

I love maps, but sometimes the best things aren’t on them. Often, my favorite  places are my faves because no one else can find them or easily get to them and stink them up. And being a cyclist in a place designed for cars is like riding a tool that detects cracks in the matrix. Combined with a healthy sense of geekery, anything’s possible, including a private white sand beach with clean, deep water, biking distance from a land locked city.

A perfect day for fording rivers on touring bikes, though I didn't make it across and had to push. Gravel bottomed streams are really hard to ride through on narrow, high pressure tires.

After a couple of fords and thinking we’d seen all there was to see, we were getting ready to head back home when my knowledge of water erosion and deposition patterns and insatiable curiosity intersected, and I found Tremendous Beach.

Soft sand, clean water, no douchebags. This place is a miracle.

Warm, natural, perfect white sand.

All plans for the rest of the day were now off, and we swam and relaxed and frolicked on the beach on an absolutely perfect day. But this was more than just a day at the beach. We were in a state of disbelief and shock. How could this place possibly be here and no one know about it? Would it only be a matter of time before it was flooded racist good old boys in pickups with truck balls, leaving trails of beer cans and fast food garbage in their wake?

Good bike - got me to the wild beach, though the beach isn't the best for my bike.

So I’m not going to tell you where to go, but to just go. Ride, explore, discover, learn, take the path less traveled, push yourself and your bike to the limit and leave no trace. There is no better excuse to ride than to see what’s there, and no better reward than finding a hidden jewel.

Summer may be over, but here's wishing you more perfect riding days.