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CAMBRIA - A VYNL STORY by Gus Engelhardt

Photography by Nate Cahoon (@natecahoon)

"Why am I doing this? What am I riding for? Am I fast enough for this bike?"

I believe these thoughts invade even the most passionate cyclists minds occasionally. Although they are just as much apart of cycling as shaving our legs, I think the best way to repress them and re-energize your riding is by exploring somewhere completely new. After all, what is a bike for if not for taking you places?

Enter Cambria, CA

Right when this negative narration started creeping in, I was given the opportunity to visit and ride the Central Coast of California. The weekend was refreshing - full of riding, incredible food, and a private winery tour. We stayed in Cambria, a small, coastal town situated roughly halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Due to its location, Cambria is a perfect gateway to riding Big Sur and the surrounding areas. It's also full of character, uncrowded, and home to incredible beaches (such as Moonstone beach)

On Saturday we rode a portion of the Highway 1 Adventure Route 2.0 from Cycle Central Coast. The out-and-back route was approximately 60 miles round-trip and finished at Salmon Creek. The majority of the ride was mellow as we headed north up the coast, but once we hit the hills, challenging climbs greeted us as the road traversed up the coastline.

The shadows of the pines, the smell of the salty air, and the seemingly endless, rugged coastline was cathartic. I was overwhelmed with an intense rush of joy and gratitude. I believe these fleeting moments bring us together as cyclists and answer the ambiguous question of, “What are we riding for?”

Although cycling is as liberating as it is isolating, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. Perhaps it was the beauty of Big Sur or simply riding somewhere new but this trip helped me fall in love again with this difficult but ultimately rewarding Lycra-clad sport. Between the pedal strokes, the countless insides jokes, and the sore legs we repeated this mantra: ‘Life has been so good to us.’

It's a reminder of how fortunate we are - how lucky we are that of all the things we could be doing with our days, we get to ride bikes.

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