I love seeing new parts of the world. On Monday last, I flew to San Diego with several VeloNews crew members and my wife, the lovely Kristen Legan, for eight days of bike testing. We're staying in a vacation rental home in the hills above Murietta. The riding is exceptional, peppered with steep climbs, a preserve with dirt trails nearby and good weather in January.
While riding, I've spotted eagles, hummingbirds, a coyote the size of a German shepherd, a bobcat and a roadrunner. It's really cool to come to a new setting. Nature spotting is part of why I love long bike rides and seeing new wildlife is a thrill for me.
The bikes have been fantastic too. With very few exceptions I've found something to like about every one of the 60-plus road, gravel and mountain bikes the VeloNews crew has here to test. For hopefully obvious reasons, the gravel bikes piqued my interest and two of them really stood out. Both the Norco Search and Pivot Vault surprised me with their trail manners, handling and spec. We're lucky to be riding bikes in this day and age as they are so versatile and capable.