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.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Balancing Act - On and Off the Bike

I just got finished meditating and now I'm getting ready to do yoga, after that, I will take a shower and dress in something other than pajamas! : )

However, in my head the wheels are turning, and my mind is Pulling me to figure out a new route from Jax Beach to Orange Park because the one I attempted to drive yesterday was not acceptable (Google Bike directions >:p ). I also want to complete a very precise quantity/budget analysis for food and toiletries I'll be "consuming" during my trip. I'm also thinking about how much more I can lighten the load, and if I'm going to be able to raise enough money for the new trailer ($100.00 more), and other immediate expenses. I want to continue the "Food Basics" series I started here a while back with another entry on what I'll be taking with me on this trip and why. And then there are other sorting and sewing projects...the list just goes on and on.

My point here is that there is a certain necessary discipline in still meditating, doing my yoga, taking a shower, etc. and it is a challenge to not let these other concerns prevent me from maintaining those "sharpening the saw" types of routines. Furthermore, this has been one of the more important challenges for me in terms of keeping everything in balance during the whole time that I have been planning and preparing for this trip.

I am very grateful, especially now, as my actual "launch date" draws closer, to be living in a space that is allowing me to meditate and do yoga comfortably. It is something that I have really appreciated about being here in Orange Park ever since I arrived. Of course, if someone has never tried to incorporate meditation and yoga into their lives on a regular basis, then they would not understand that such "suitable spaces" are not always easy to come by. For instance, finding a place to do yoga regularly while I was on the aircraft carrier USS George Washington was virtually impossible! If you don't have a bare floor space of at least six feet square (more if you are taller), then the "Leg Over" exercise becomes very difficult to do!

So, again, I am grateful for the "space and time" I have had here to continue to prepare myself for this journey both mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and practically, keeping everything in balance!


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