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.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

NAPF Workshop 2013? "Straw into Gold" for the Next Year?

To follow-up on my last post...I received a reply from Paul Chappell concerning my being a "walk-in" (or rather "ride-in") for the workshop scheduled in July 2012 and he said that because the NAPF is a non-profit organization with limited funds, they were relying on workshop attendees to pay for the initial retreat center reservations. Since I do not have the resources at present to pay the down-payment, and because there are too many "unknowns" right now with regards to future resources or what my circumstances will be over the next several months, I am not prepared to seek sponsorship - i.e. to get financial commitments from others when I am not sure if I can keep-up my end of the "exchange". Nevertheless, I am trying to find out if it will be reasonable to plan for a similar work-shop in July 2013. I am waiting for Paul to respond on that question.

In addition, having relocated all of my remaining belongings from Maryland to Florida, I once again have access to all of my "stuff". A lot of that "stuff" includes craft materials, fabric, etc. that I have had intentions for a long time now to convert into marketable items and/or sell out-right. Given the relatively unique or peculiar nature of some of the materials, I feel I'll have better luck Adding Value with my own creative efforts rather than trying to just sell the raw materials. But, of course, Adding Value takes energy and time, and selling, at least for some items in particular, takes Timing. Unfortunately, I just missed the Holiday Season for this year, but...hopefully...if my living situation remains stable...I can have a bunch of stuff ready to sell by this time next year.

In the mean time, I am putting together a new plan, looking for local opportunities, flea markets, etc. to sell off and/or find homes for everything else I have that does not fall into the "Holiday" category. Having lived more or less with only those clothes, toilettries, etc. that I could carry on my bicycle - on the one hand it is nice to have access to all of my "stuff" again - and, on the other, I am feeling a little overwhelmed and confronted by just how much work lies ahead to convert all of my "straw" into "gold". Nevertheless, that is what I am intent on doing.

I will continue to post notices here of my progress.

Thanks to all of you who are continuing to follow my story. A part of me wishes, for your sakes, that it could all have been a little more straight forward, but, at least in my case, you really are getting to see that things in life seldom are (straight forward), and that intentions do not always manifest immediately in the way we might first imagine. At this point, I am just as curious as some of the rest of you might be to see how the rest of my life turns out!

Peace and Love to All in what remains of the Holiday Season and Throughout the Coming Year!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Evolving Plans - NAPF Conference in July 2012?

From the beginning of my quest to ride my bicycle across the country, I have had people ask me "Why do you want to do this?". As I discussed somewhat in my previous blog, there were a lot of reasons, but probably the deepest motivation is that as much as humanly possible, I would rather live freely and peacefully from my bicycle then be a slave to an economic system, society, and government that is founded in violence.

So that's the "Big Picture" goal of my quest to ride my bicycle across and/or around the country. Unfortunately, it is not something that is easy for other people to really understand and I respect that without that understanding it makes it harder for them to feel comfortable "supporting" my efforts.

As a consequence, I have been kind of "spinning my wheels" figuratively rather than actually over the last several months. However, I think I may have found something that will help bring more focus to my efforts...

In July 2012, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) is holding a Peace Leadership conference in Santa Barbara, CA. (Follow this link for details: At first I was thinking..."There's no way I could do this." However, if I am able to accomplish some of my other goals while I am living here in Florida - mainly, moving my stuff that I left in storage in Maryland, and finishing the process of sorting through and selling off all of that, then I just might have enough time left to ride my bike across the country and make it to the conference. Furthermore, once I have received the training, I will be in a better position to teach others about "Waging Peace", which is really want I am intent on doing anyway, I just didn't have a name for it when I first started this journey! : ))

In addition, this will help to answer one of the other questions that has come up frequently: "What are you going to do 'for a living' once you are finished with your bike trip?" Well, maybe the NAPF will consider hiring me as a full-time employee? : ) Or maybe I can just become a freelance public speaker and trainer? Who knows? Either way, I appreciate what the organization is offering, and I especially appreciate the Wisdom and Self-Discipline embodied in the Leadership Director, Paul Chappell.

From the onset of this adventure I have known that it would be a mixture of very focused planning as well as an openness to respond to whatever the "Universe" had to offer in terms of "direction". I feel I am staying true to the core of my Heart Intention which is most important, otherwise, leaving room for the "details" to, in effect, work themselves out. Coming across the NAPF via Facebook and having the conference date set and posted recently seems to be the right kind of "Universal Direction" I'm referring to.

So...we'll see how this goes... : ))

In the mean time - May All of You Have a Very Peace-Full Holiday Season! : ))