I FANCY MYSELF a somewhat progressive mountain biker, leaning into corners just beyond the reach of pine branches, or careening between massive boulders just wide enough for my handlebars.
But what if those trees and boulders moved into my path, randomly, on their own?
And what if the trail wasn’t flowing, but a series of sharp corners?
And what if my bike weighed 80 pounds and handled like a 1966 GMC farm truck?
Well, then, I’d know what it’s like to maneuver a loaded touring bike through Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, with its narrow streets, drainage grates, delivery vans, and people wandering from one place to another.
A perfect example: minute 1:03, when Morrigan ducks under some metal pipes carried by a man walking out of a shop, unable to see her. Check those bike-handling skills.
I may never look at mere trail-riding as extreme again.
Follow Alan and Morrigan’s adventures cycling around the world, documenting the lives of young people at Geography of Youth.