Pedaling for Peace

On April 15, 2012 I started riding my bicycle cross-country from Jacksonville, Florida in voluntary support of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) and the work of author and Peace Leadership Director for the NAPF, Paul K. Chappell. By July 4th, I had covered over 1300 miles to just west of Luling, Texas where a major mechanical failure brought this first stage of my cross-country journey to an end. After storing my bicycle and trailer with my aunt and uncle in Weatherford, Texas, I flew from Dallas to Santa Barbara, California to attend the NAPF First Annual Peace Leadership Summer Workshop. I then lived and worked in Santa Barbara for several more months before I returned to Jacksonville and sold off the rest of my possessions that I could to help fund a continuation of my journey. Starting June 8, 2013 and ending August 9, 2013, I rode from Weatherford, through 400 miles of the central Texas hill country, including Austin, Texas, back to Luling. It was at this point that a friend of mine invited me to work for a brief period in Pennsylvania before flying me back to Santa Barbara where I continued volunteering for the NAPF as well as for the Santa Barbara Bike Coalition. As of August 9th, 2014 I began"Stage III" of my cross-country adventure, this time heading south from Santa Barbara to San Diego and then east to El Paso, TX. It was there that illness, winter weather, and diminishing resources brought that leg of my journey to an end. After staying with another friend in Columbus, GA for several months, I moved "back home" to Kentucky to stay with my dad for a while and build a better "resource base" for future endeavors including review and further tracking and primitive survival skills training at Tom Brown, Jr's Tracker School , and a possible longer tour of the east coast, northern tier, and north west coast back down to Santa Barbara, CA.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Progress Update

It is pretty amazing to me that almost three weeks now have gone by..."just like that"! But, I have managed to get a lot done, most recently I made several pairs of "Bell's Baggy Bottoms" out of light weight cotton fabric which I think will be the most practical for me to wear when I am not on my bicycle. I've even been able to share the pattern and sewing method with my host...I just have to clear myself out of her living room so she can have the space to sew some for herself! :)

And that clearing should take place this next week. I only have some minor adjustments left on all of my gear and storage bags. I hope I can take pictures to share, but I've had trouble uploading pictures to this blog so far (at least with my iPad).

Otherwise, I am almost fully recuperated from being sick myself while I have also been able to help my host in caring for a five-week-old kitten - the only survivor of a litter of six that were rejected by their mother. He's had an eye infection that may have cost him the eye, but with the TLC and medication we've been able to provide, it is almost completely healed now. It's been nice to be around furry animals again as I have had only my turtles the last couple of years.

I have also had the opportunity to share some of the diet info I started to share here (and hope to continue as soon as I get the picture upload problems solved) by actually making green smoothies, sprouting mung beans and lentils, etc. and cooking up my special "Egg Friend Rice" recipe to share with my host. This is kind of something I've always imagined doing, i.e. living with someone or a family for a while and actually doing these things for/with them until they were comfortable enough to continue on their own.

As a side note: While sewing I have been watching Boston Legal since my host had the complete series on DVDs. I've always been a William Shatner fan since the early Star Trek days, so it was good to see him again. What I have come to appreciate however is how David E. Kelley use the medium of the show to debate politics, etc. in a public forum. Since I have never watched television that much, I forget that sometimes...there are good programs out there that allow for some really serious consideration of important issues.

In addition, I have been listening to Free Audio Books available from Stefan Molyneux at So far I have listened to Universally Acceptable Behaviors, Every Day Anarchy, and I am currently listening to The Origins of War in Child Abuse which is a Reading by Molyneux of the book by Lloyd Demause.

A major thrust of Molyneux's work is Understanding Violence (or the "initiation of force") as a major underlying "evil" of human behavior. I will still add the caveat that some "primitive" cultures may have evolved a better understanding of this than "modern cultures" - per Daniel Quinn's writing especially in The Story of B; i.e. that what we know of "human cultures" in the modern world does not necessarily represent our knowledge of ALL OF MANKIND. Nevertheless, I feel the ongoing acceptance of violence, especially that exercised by modern governments as a part of our everyday lives is one of the most important issues we are going to have to deal with more effectively if our modern cultures are to EVOLVE beyond where we are right now. I would offer that our clinging to violence as a "solution" to so many "problems" is what is holding us back and that we will continue to spin our wheels in this rut, until we are willing to give up violence as a solution - altogether.

I hope you will take the time to listen to more of what Stefan Molyneux has to say yourself. He has definitely opened my eyes and heart to a deeper understanding of violence and all the forms in which it exists in society today. I feel it is time that we Move Beyond this rather un-evolved way of being, as there is so much more to be gained by doing so.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Re: Staying "On Schedule"

Just a brief post here to mention that as I have been resting, recuperating, and finishing the work of organizing what I will be taking with me on the road, it has poured down rain almost every day (except today, which is not over yet). And when I say poured, I mean, torrential, bucket loads.

If I had been "on schedule" as I had initially "thought" or planned myself, I would have been riding in all of that, or camping in it, and I'm sure it would have made for a much more difficult start to my journey.

However, for now at least, I am dry and secure, as is all of my electronic gear, food and clothing. Furthermore, "Mother Nature" has made very clear my need to be more certain about weather protection for myself and my gear, which is where all of my sewing skills are going to once again be called into action.

Now that I am not on a work schedule, or a move-out schedule, or any other particular "deadline" as far as my travel plans are concerned, I am going to trust that I will know when I am ready, and when it is actually time for me to go. I think one of the real spiritual lessons for me now is to be even more guided by "Universal Impulses" rather than just my mentally thought out plans.

For some of you that may seem impractical, and you may even grow impatient with my "wandering"... but, this is my journey and part of the whole point is to be able to engage it Freely, Spontaneously, and Happily.

There is so much in our culture now that does not allow for that, and I think it is a great loss for each of us as human and spiritual beings.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Recovering from My Move-Out

My move out of my basement apartment in Maryland ended up taking A Lot longer than I anticipated.  I think it was worse because I was not just moving to another place, but was having to sell things and put the rest in storage.  The time it took on e-mails and phone calls to potential takers of my furniture, etc., really cut into my time packing. And, then, at the end, I had to find a place to re-locate my left-over food stuffs, both perishable and not-so-perishable.  Add to that a live-in landlady who had motives of her own for slowing my progress (so that I ultimately missed my move-out deadline of June 30th), and then it becomes clearer as to why I did not actually get out of the house until July 2nd.

And now, I've come down with my usual, gunky, upper respiratory response to way too many days and nights of over exertion and not enough sleep. I am currently staying with a friend in Williamsburg, VA and I hope to be able to finish figuring out what I can pack onto my rig and how, while I am recovering from being sick.

In general, I have understood all of the challenges I have faced so far as mere "training" for the additional challenges I know I will face in the weeks and months ahead.  So I have been trying to just "Keep On Keepin' On" and assuming that I will get on the road eventually, and I will make this journey as I have planned, if not necessarily within the exact time-frame I planned.

For now, I am still in the transition phase of my journey, from living in a stable situation to living and traveling on my bicycle. I really wish I had time to pack my rig before moving out of my apartment, but that's just not the way it worked out.

As I anticipate will be the case throughout this experience, I am just going to have to adapt and overcome. :)

I appreciate everyone who has helped me thus far, by buying my stuff at Harper's Ferry Flea Market, and from Craig's list, and E-bay, etc. and for Radu who helped me move my larger furniture pieces into storage, and for others who accepted "food gifts" from my pantry, as I hate to see anything go to waste, and to those of you who have made direct contributions via this blog and PayPal.

I also appreciate all of the words of encouragement. I think some of you sense the enormity of what I am trying to undertake even moreso than I do.  But then, if I really understood how difficult this was going to be from the beginning, it might keep me from actually attempting it! Better just to take one day at a time and see how things go. :)

Thanks again, Everyone! I will be in touch.