How To Ride 100 Miles

I 've been mostly off the bike for the last six months, because my shoulder is still unstable, filled with angry bees, and stiff as a church pew. I watched my riding buddies depart for a hundred mile gravel event last weekend, and now I'm nostalgic for the days when I could subject myself to... Continue Reading →


This post appeared, in altered form, at Red Kite Prayer, a long time ago. Sometimes I like to imagine the broom wagon creeping along behind me, ready to sweep me up and end my pain. The red lantern that once hung from the caboose of a train to show the conductor that none of his... Continue Reading →

In Juria

The English word injury comes from the Latin in juria, or "not right.' This isn't just a state of being not right, broken. It's more. There are connotations of unfairness, of having been wronged. a violation of a legally protected interest (as the physical or mental well-being, property, reputation, or rights of another) for which... Continue Reading →


If you don't love bikes, really love them, stop reading now. The things I'm about to say will sound nuts. Know that, in addition to spending 10,000 hours riding bikes, I've also spent decades studying them. You don't have to believe what I'm about to say, but you should know that I believe it. Terroir... Continue Reading →

In the Driveway, Talking

I could hear them in the driveway, talking. Loading bikes onto the rack. Laughing softly. Rolling out. I didn't open the curtain, because I didn't want to intrude. Chap and Koop, the guys I ride with, off with gravel bikes for a serpentine adventure in some western woods. It's cool and crisp this morning, the... Continue Reading →

Back to the Dirt

It's all going that way. The animating idea in cycling, after the mountain bike boom of the '90s, was a swing back to road riding, road racing, everything on pavement. A certain bike company sold us on skinny tires with the help of the cyclist who must not be named, riders in their droves suddenly... Continue Reading →

Joy as an Act of Resistance

This piece appeared originally at The Cycling Independent. Sometimes the simple act of riding a bike for fun will hold back an ocean of hurt, of conflict, of responsibility, of baggage, of politics both interpersonal and international. Just pedaling, just rolling, just daring to smile inwardly and let the Earth rotate under your wheels, letting... Continue Reading →

The Cycling Independent

Dirt Soul Search is a personal project, a place to write about my own running and riding and hiking and general outdoor life. I spent a decade working on Red Kite Prayer, once named Outside magazine's #1 cycling blog. What is interesting about that is that, although RKP had a much larger audience than this... Continue Reading →

The Choir Sings

The pastor doesn't, strictly speaking, charge admission at the door or earn commissions as the choir grows in size. When the pandemic was in its first days, before the wave had crested, I assumed it would destroy the bike business, reasoning that people would be shut out of local bike shops to an extent that... Continue Reading →

The Worst Bike

The worst bike is still a pretty great bike. The rental house had a shed full, and we pulled them out and gave them a once over. All old, no real winners, but all in good-rolling-order. So, I strapped the kids' fishing poles to the rear rack of mine, and we bumped our way down... Continue Reading →

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