The highways begin to congest as the locals descend from their suburbs in the hills onto the city. The long commute to work. The eight-hour day. The long commute home. Entire days spent indoors, breathing in recycled, conditioned air to keep them comfortable. Their early morning departures leave a stillness in their wake. The security and familiarity of their daily lives leave a vacant path for our adventures.
We traverse the explicitly American landscape, tracing the ridges of the extensive network of interconnected freeways and 19th-century railways that scar the American West. Human influence begins to dissolve behind us as we cut our way across the valley. Civilisation evaporates entirely once we cross paths with the sun, greeting each other as we head our separate ways along our latitudinal journeys.
Tires crackle under the heat as the sticky rubber picks up the loose gravel and marbles that litter the deserted roads and toss them against our hollow frames. Chipping. Slowly chipping away at the paint - the layers of protection warding off damage. But we crack under the heat.
On the high hill of death,
On the dark place of the skull.
Ending with this final breath,
A campaign for a civil cull.
As the sun wanes, relinquishing her power over the day, we continue east to rest at the foothills of the mountains.
The cicadas begin to stir as their tortured symphonies reverberate throughout the valley. To our tortured bodies, their songs announce our arrival like a ceremonial fanfare, welcoming us into the wilderness. Swarms of bugs take flight, enticing us to dance with them in the first rays of sunlight that spill over the crest of El Capitan. We take up the invitation and join in their celebrations as we sweep through the giant Sequoia groves, dancing on our pedals beneath the granite giants.