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    Outride The Storm

    The Free Radicals

    Perhaps Valle de las Arenas is an unlikely spot to catch up with two brainy, hard-riding Canadians, but as we got to know Mark Taylor and Will Cadham, we began to notice striking similarities between them and our dynamic surroundings.

    The valley is situated in the Andes but in full view of Chile’s bustling capital of Santiago. It feels both accessible and remote. The two riders are unplugged from society—yet they’re deeply connected to their trail riding community. Amidst the natural hot springs, arresting glacial views, and white-knuckle downhills seemed like a perfect place to talk about how tension and contradiction hold things together.

    We took a break for a bit. Drops of rain beaded on Mark’s waterproof cycling jacket from an earlier drizzle. We sat, hydrated, and talked about riding—and life.

    As Mark and Will geared up to ride more, a gust ripped through the pass. I was thankfully reminded that my cycling jacket was windproof. Above us, a single condor was banking off the updrafts, seeming to embody the freedom these guys are tapped into. Honestly, anyone who visits El Valle de las Arenas—and sees the way the mountains placidly share the horizon with the open sky—can’t help but tap into it too.