Deux North - Hunt 4 Trailer
It all started after a call from Specialized and something about a new bike that we would be into.
After a few months of planning and putting together a great group, Deux North took 8 riders on a 300mi trip up the coast of California, from Morgan Hill to Santa Rosa. We tried to hit every kind of road, and get off our road whenever we could. Safe to say the bikes and riders were tested to the limit over those three days.
For me it was one of the most visually stunning experiences I’ve ever had. California has so much to throw at you. We’d start the day climbing out of fog and look out from what felt like the edge of the world, then descend into a damp, almost prehistoric forest, before bombing down alongside breaking waves, and finally dry off in the heat of grasslands. Each environment looked and felt different; that combined with an ever-changing road surface and great company made for on hell of an unforgettable experience. And that is what stuff like this is about. You don’t have to fly across the country, or even drive 8 hours north to have a great experience. You might not have to camp out in a barn, or push yourself harder than ever before, but whatever you have to do to make an experience worth remembering it is probably worth trying.
So far, I’ve ridden about 5,000 miles this year, but 5 years from now, those 5,000 will probably become more like 500. 300 in California alongside my brother and 7 great guys.
I’ll remember riding over the Golden Gate bridge and seeing Aaron, our filmmaker, come up from behind crouched in the back of a pick up truck grinning from ear to ear. Ten years from now, I’ll remember staring at the stones all the way up Mt. Tam’s railroad grade, then reaching the summit to notice a sea of fog separating us from the world. Even when I’ve forgotten about the effort on that final day while racing in the Grasshopper Adventure Series, I’ll remember coming around the bend near Pacifica and seeing the ocean—how it felt like I had never seen it before. I might forget how many times I crashed that bike, I’m already trying to, but I won’t forget the damp black asphalt of that sequoia forest. I’ll still be able to picture how rich that pavement looked against the deep red bark, with the smell of peat moss hanging in the humidity. I hope I can still remember how the gnats there floated in the beams of cathedral light making the whole forest fantasy. I hope the personalities present distill over time, certain traits becoming more potent, even as the memory of whole characters fade. I’ll remember the times it was just me, how after 3 days and 24 hours riding, I sat down inside my mind where I could see my legs rise and fall, the pedals turning, and my arms bouncing slightly to the rhythm of my cadence without feeling a thing. In those final hours of riding, I sat with my back resting against the inside of my head watching without a blink as the road stretch out in front of me through my eyes—which had become just paneless windows. I’ll never forget that.
Flew out to San Jose, meet up with the Deux North crew, headed to Specialized HQ and did a quick hour ride around Morgan Hill.
We’ll be doing 300 miles and +30k ft. over the next 3 days on some new Specialized bikes we can’t say too much about. Except they are wild.
Good times to come.
Mary Pat takes to the pool. This little girl is packed with personality.
More from a weekend in the Financial District NYC
I remember someone once described the experience of crashing a bike to a non-cyclist as something like, “imagine stripping down to your underwear, getting in your car, accelerating, then opening the door and jumping out.”
This Tuesday, during our morning workout, I dropped my chain mid-sprint at about 28mph. I lost my balance, went over the bars, landed on my back, felt my head swing back into the ground, then slid and rolled over. I ended up on my back. My helmet was cracked—they’re a one-time use kind of thing and awesome (thanks Lazer!). My front wheel was off my bike (weird), and I could feel my pulse through my entire body.
After the initial shock wore off, I took inventory. I didn’t lose time (good!) I can feel and move my arms and legs (good!) and my collarbone doesn’t feel broken (awesome!) So, I started cursing softly, thinking about how I should have fixed my front derailleur a few days ago.
My brother, James, and a few members of my team were there to help me up and over. With good people around to make jokes and take photos the whole thing was pretty chill. I ended up taking an ambulance to Roosevelt hospital after thirty minutes and a few failed attempts at walking. I ended up with road rash on my ass, hip, arms, leg, shoulder and back. None of which was near as painful as the soreness in my chest, shoulders, and neck. And none of the soreness or the road rash compared to the stoke of coming away without a single broken bone or frame.
I’ve crashed a decent amount—into cars , cab doors, other riders, on slick roads, and now because of dropped chains. I remember someone once saying, “it’s not if you crash, but when and how bad.”
This crumpled piece of yarn was once a blue necklace made by a little boy and sold on a street corner . This hung on my rear view mirror for 20 years. Faded and torn it bears little resemblance to what it once was,but it means the world to me and the memory and love for that boy will never fade or be torn by anything. I count this thread as one of my life’s greatest treasures. Like it’s creator @dylannord