Sea Otter 2018: A Night Out With Surly Bikes

Snaking our way through the sand dunes under the darkness of night, the ocean heaves its cold salty breath upon us. The open air feels right pushing against our bodies. The day was filled with claustrophobia and forced conversation, just the collective hum of tires on sandy pavement and the whip of the wind remains and erases any and all tension.

We’re ready to ride!

As a group, we followed one another; the final destination was unknown and for the most part, I don’t think any of us cared. We had strayed far enough of away from the lights of Monterey, and there was the ever so slightest feeling of isolation, and it felt good. Empty lanes lead to empty lots, which lead to the carefreeness of adolescence, for a moment we were the Earth’s only inhabitants. The insulation of the night and the ocean gifted us refuge from the sun and crowds of the afternoon.

California Glow

A man known only as Reverend Robin led us to an oasis of fire and inebriants, and whatever isolation we had felt earlier had doubled. The fire and whiskey took the chill out of the air; what remained of the day dissolved with the hot coals. The daytime may have been filled with handshakes and promises, but the night was filled with laughs and plans.

Magic Hour

I looked around the fire and what I saw were misfits, pirates, poets, drifters and wide-eyed adventurers. I don’t think any one of us would look in the mirror and see a businessperson, a number cruncher, a wheeler and dealer, but all of our two-wheeled pursuits have brought us here. Somehow we have found a way to manifest our love of riding into a life, a job and careers. Thankfully, on nights like these, we remember why we began the pursuit in the first place.

A carefree cathedral

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