By Laura Killingbeck

Instagram: @laurakillingbeck 

On the last day of 2021, I stuffed my panniers with camping gear and pedaled down the road to the beach. The sun set as I rode, and I flipped on my bike lights. When I got to the edge of the ocean, it was fully dark, and I stood on the shore, listening to the waves crash. Water is peaceful and also ferocious, and the sound of the waves reminds me of both.

I wheeled my bike along the shore in the dark until the shape of a big rock appeared to my left. This was my spot. I turned onto a small footpath and found my campsite–a flat, sandy nook just above the tide line.

I set up my tent and faced the water. Cool air pushed against my cheeks. I popped open a small bottle of champagne and toasted the waves through the darkness. My body relaxed, calibrating to the landscape, and I smiled. These moments are timeless. I am grateful to have a relationship with nature.

Read more reflections on cycling and nature in my essay Regenerative Cycles at the Adventure Cycling Association.