32-mile trek with a side of sushi 

Photo by Sarah M. Vasquez / Last Friday, around 25 cyclists, mostly locals, made their way down Pinto Canyon Road to where the pavement gives way to rock and dust. There, rather than just turning around, they shared a meal of sushi, seaweed salad and shortcake as July’s full moon graced the group with its bright glow.

MARFA –– Last Friday, 25 riders set out from Marfa on their bikes to make the 32-mile trek down Pinto Canyon Road (FM2810) to where the pavement gives way to rough rock and gravel. But rather than just turning around, the bikers stayed put and dined al fresco, sharing a meal rarely enjoyed in remote West Texas: 11 pounds of sushi.

“The sushi was flown in the night before. It came from the Catalina coast off of L.A.,” said Zeke Raney, who organized this bike trip with a fine-dining twist alongside Elizabeth Farrell. “The joke is that you still can’t get sushi in Marfa, you have to ride out 30 miles to get it.”

The Mead Moon Sushi Ride, as the event was titled this year, kicked off at around 7 p.m., and it took the riders, who were mostly local, about two hours to reach the end of the paved road. There, Raney and others had set up tables for the bikers, featuring napkins and electronic candles.

“It was great. There was tuna, seaweed salad, strawberry shortcake,” Raney said.

Once everyone got their fill, some of the riders were taken back to town in a vehicle, while others rode back on their bikes with only the Mead Moon, aka July’s full moon, lighting their way.

“Out here, it’s hard to train in the summer; it’s just too hot,” Raney said. “If you can wait for a full moon, you can ride all night if you want to.”

In many ways, the Sushi Ride –– which Cactus Liquors helped sponsor –– is a trial run for the Marfa 100 bike race in October that traces the same route down Pinto Canyon Road. “It gives some people the feel of that road,” said Raney who also organizes that race with Farrell.

Raney hopes to keep organizing these events in the future. He said they might switch up the route and possibly even the cuisine.