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  • Writer's pictureAlana

12. Fontana to Barstow, CA

Updated: May 5

April 25, 2024

Today was a particularly epic day on the bike, replete with a summit climb, cat visions, monster tailwinds, magic-hour desert light, and lovely shoutouts from strangers.

I spent the first part of the day climbing on empty country roads, including a spot where it looked like the good street-stripers of San Bernardino County clean their brushes. Alone in my head, I noticed that the eletrical towers look like cats with heart-faces, which made me both miss Julia La Gata Fantastica and feel at home in this biome.

Then the route put me squarely on a massive and noisy freeway to climb Cajon Pass. Eighteen-wheelers put on their hazards and moved to the right lane, right next to me trundling in the shoulder. Kids in a muscle car honked their horn and threw me some shaka signs, which lifted my spirits immensely.

Halfway through this long, steep slog, the wind put her hands on my back, giving me a great push. The tailwind only grew as the day wore on, so that by the time I hit Hesperia (where I e-met my therapist over an In-N-Out grilled cheese and milkshake), I was flying without pedaling and getting chilled.

I put on a layer and pretty much cruised the remaining 45 miles to Barstow, stopping only at Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch, an art installation on Route 66. The sun took its time going down, bathing the desert in the most beautiful light. As I glided into Barstow, a fella in work clothes at a bus stop saluted me. A motorcycle gang greeted me at the Route 66 Motel, and all felt well in the world.

Distance: 79.1 miles

Climbing: 4 K feet

Totals: 643 miles, 24.9 K feet

Song: "Free Falling" by Tom Petty


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