Bike Love

Dear Bike,
You bring out the best in us.
Thank you,
Pam and Nate

Vahana, our current bike+train+bus adventure. India–>Nepal–>Bhutan
Vāhana (वाहन, skt. that which carries, that which pulls). In Hindu iconography, positive aspects of the vehicle are often emblematic of the deity that it carries. We liked this name for obvious reasons. ~1,300+ miles from New Delhi, East to West over 35 days. These will be what we call adventure miles. Those that can not be predetermined until we get there. To see updates, presuming they get posted from the road, please visit

Microadventure (service mark Alastair Humphreys)
Not So Average Saturday Night. We were getting a little stir crazy and burned out on the daily grind followed by weekends of wedding planning. We needed some quiet time away from… Well, everything.

We rode our bikes 250 miles to Belize from Cancun in December 2011. It was Nateon’s 1st time bike touring in Mexico since Spinning Southward, and he got to share his love of the culture.  This is also the most challenging ride we’ve had together, 50 miles through a jungle that was apparently the home to jaguars, some parts in pitch black with only our puny headlamps to guide us. Snakes, scorpions and lots of mosquitoes. Of course, this was also our most rewarding ride so far, getting through the jungle, crossing the border and rivers with bikes in tow. Nateon showed me a lot of patience, we experienced much kindness and enjoyed learning about another culture together.

In August 2011 we each visited Europe for the very first time. It was a brief visit, but we managed to enjoy some of the countryside, seeing many fishermen and piazzas as we rode our bikes from Milan to Genova. This is the same trip where we experienced extreme kindness from an older woman, Anna, who brought us espresso as we cooked breakfast on the side of the road!  The crowning achievement of this trip was cycling west over Aveto Natural Regional Park, we rode uphill for a full day, climbing from sea level to over 4500 feet through some very beautiful Italian countryside. We loved Italy and their cycling culture, kind people and, of course, the food. Next, to Sicily, to see where those Ajellos come from…

Mount St. Helena
elevation 4,432 feet
This might be where we really fell in love.  Mount St. Helena was our first bike tour together the day after Thanksgiving 2008. Nateon set up Pam’s carbon fiber Specialized bike with a trailer (to not put too much weight on the rear axel) to haul some gear and we pedaled for ~12 hours the first day through some serious mountains that separate Sonoma and Lake county.  When we (finally) reached the top of Helena, we were wiped out, it was nearing dark, and almost out of water–and we learned, the downhill portion of the path was gravel. I jack-knifed for hours getting down from the mountain, but couldn’t stop laughing — I was really just so happy to be out there. This trip taught us we could keep our sense of humor in tact even in stressful situations.

The first tour after my knee surgery was from Massachusetts to Vermont. This was an opportunity for Nateon to see my home in some very New England conditions . . . it was nearing the end of October.  We set out into the chilly air, feeling alive and enjoying the beauty of New England in Fall.  Finding places to sleep was a little challenging, but we managed, as we passed old industrial towns, quaint churches, beautiful streams and dense forests. We wound down the ride in Vermont and a Nor Easter (Nateon had never heard of one of these = BIG snowstorm) set in.  A few days later we returned to the comfort of our cozy San Francisco apartment with a new appreciation for the temperate climate in which we live.

Park City
Park City is where we first met in January 2007. Pam was working in an Ice Lounge for The North Face at the Sundance Film Festival and Nateon visited only a few months after returning from Spinning Southward –his 10,000 mile bike tour.  Along with our friends Allison, Paul and Ben, we enjoyed skiing and snowboarding, music and film–realizing our similar interests and close kinship.

Santa Cruz
The Summer of 2008 was when we got to know each other.  We spent many weekends camping in Santa Cruz and enjoying meals at Charlie Hong Kong, Nateon’s Aunt and Uncle’s delicious restaurant along with cousin Zach, friends Paul, Ben and Miguel.  One visit we decided to ride down from San Francisco for the adventure, which made arriving even better and solidified our bike-bond.  These wonderful summer days were pretty magical..the days felt especially long with some mornings jumping into the Pacific, evenings of music by the campfire and imaginative, wonderful friends.

Santa Rosa
I remember my first visit to Santa Rosa as Nateon and drove back from a weekend in Tahoe and I dropped him home. We chatted for an hour and he kindly made tea to keep me caffeinated for the drive back to San Francisco.  I was mesmerized by his father Don’s whimsical art throughout the house and happy to meet their 18-year old cat Marcelus. Months later, when Nateon had borrowed my car, I rode my bike from San Francisco towards Santa Rosa hoping to impress him. While I left late in the day and only made it about 38 miles to Petaluma…he intercepted me in the dark while I waited by the cows and took me to a local party where he explained I had ridden in by bike (and appeared impressed).

Point Bonita
Point Bonita is located at the entrance to the San Francisco Bay next to the Golden Gate Bridge, and was the last manned lighthouse on the California coast.  When I first moved to San Francisco I rode across the bridge, over Hawk hill, and over to Point Bonita, and thought it was one of the hardest things I’d ever done.  Nowadays we can do the loop in a couple hours and enjoy seeing the pristine natural landscape so close to our front door.  (And of course the views of the iconic bridge and the city is always inspiring)

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