America by Saddle

Nick Lindsey, May 2012

The road on a bicycle is a different thing: we go fast enough to see it all.

From the saddle of my bicycle I see the grass and the patterns in the gravel. I see flowers crack concrete.

From the saddle of my bicycle I see burned forest and the early clouds of pollen. I see dead deer. Dead cats. Dead possums. I see the spontaneous Northwest spring waterfalls.

From the saddle of my bicycle I see the sun turn asphalt to glass. I see torn apart bumpers and discarded cracked windshields. Peeling paint and rusty dumpsters. I see early morning mists and warm evening lightning bugs. From the saddle of my bicycle I see kudzu monsters march toward blue-hazed horizons. I see miles of corn, rows of soy, and infinite roads. I see lovers and anger. I am rescued by some, cussed by others.

I see America. And exactly what that may be I hope to discover from the saddle of my bicycle.

The hills and valleys of central Oregon

A scenic overlook in the Umatilla National Forest of eastern Oregon

Farmland near the Oregon-Idaho border

Cruising down Idaho Highway 13 on the Nez Perce Reservation

Some cycling love in Kooskia, Idaho

Lunch break in an old mining town of southwest Montana

A cyclist hangout at the end of a long day of pedaling, in Twin Bridges, Montana

With the Grand Tetons as a backdrop, cycling becomes more magical than ever

Trying to outrun a rainstorm in the badlands of southern Wyoming

A long dirt road outside of Pueblo, Colorado

The flattened landscape of eastern Colorado seems simultaneously worn out and strangely energetic

A long stretch of highway in eastern Kansas

Pedaling across the mighty Mississippi

The rich farmlands of Missouri and southern Illinois extend for miles

A misty morning in central Kentucky

More humidity in eastern Kentucky

A different sort of majesty from that of the Tetons of the West, the Blue Ridge Mountains give cyclists a sense of two-wheeled flight

Pedaling beneath a bridge in coastal Virginia

Text & photos by Nick Lindsey