A Renewed Appreciation for the Solo Ride & Social Distancing by Bike

February 27, 2021

What a year 2020 was! But despite all the bad things it brought us, there are also some great things. Like, the increase of people finding mountain biking as their new outdoor hobby. I sold my two old bikes; one long travel bike and one long travel steel hardtail bike within hours of posting them for sale last May.

When the pandemic hit during the spring season and the government issuing the social distancing rules, I found myself riding solo a lot more than what I was used to these last few years. I began to spend long days on the saddle more and more – painfully – and have slowly improved my fitness level. Long ride after long ride every other weekend was kind of my new normal just before the torching hot Las Vegas summer. Riding solo isn’t new to me but I found my old love of doing long rides solo again.

There’s no better feeling than being on your own, alone on the trails. The solitariness. The peacefulness. The tires pounding the ground is great music without the background noise. The self-challenge of voluntarily putting yourself in pain for pedaling for hours, and then asking yourself “can I make it back home?” after “what the heck did I get myself into?” For me, I need that. I need that challenge to constantly push myself without needing to rely on anything or anyone.

I have a mid-travel Santa Cruz Hightower. It’s a great bike but I wanted something a little lighter and better overall for an all-dayer, hence why I sold my two old bikes. When I saw the geometry on the new Revel Ranger, I thought “this is it.” What this bike means to me is all-day adventures, the long climbs and fun descents and do it all over. But most of all, a really good day on the saddle.

Randy riding his new bike in the Nevada desert.
New Bike Day is always a good day.

Randy having a beer at the end of a long day of riding.
Cheers to big adventures..

I want to give thanks to Revel Bikes, MRP, Shimano, e*thirteen, and Spank Industries for making rad components. To Side Lot Brewery for the beer – I never work on my bikes without beer! Safely, don’t you worry. To my friend Bernard for building the wheels, and to my friend Gian for letting me borrow his tools. Here’s how the bike all came together:

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