“Shut up, Legs!”

Day 9: Van Damme to Anchor Bay, 45 miles

Actually the destination is Kirk’s place, high above Anchor Bay, on Old Stage Road. A grueling climb. But well worth it. On top of lots of climbs today. I am remembering David’s story last night, of a particular German racer who painted “Shut up, Legs!” on his bicycle frame. Then locals painted it on the roadway of a steep climb.

My legs complain a lot today. Silence! This is why we are here, doing this, isn’t it? Climbing more, and more. I get off and walk a few stretches on Iverson Road, which Kirk told me was the best way up. 10% grade at places. Ok to walk!

His property is stunning, forested with pine and redwoods, cob buildings which inspire. A hot passive solar shower, washing away the grime and sweat of the ride. Dinner is simple: polenta, sausage with caramelized onions, kale salad. It’s good to catch up, reconnect with a friend I first met at a cob building workshop in 2000.

We talk lifestyle, politics, natural building, raising teenagers. Then Kirk asks me, “So what do you want to do when you grow up?”

I mumble on about writing, but actually the answer is simpler. I don’t want to grow up. That is what cycling is really about. When I get on my bike, I am 10 years old again. But this time with more freedom than ever. The open road. A clear sky. What awaits tomorrow?

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