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.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Quick Update from Houston, Texas

I had a tough day, yesterday. It wasn't from the riding I've been doing, more from "everything else" - a lot of little things adding up.

Let me just give you some examples:

I've been using "Map My Ride" as my main tool for figuring out my routes from one place to another. Although I started out using the PC version, eventually I downloaded the iPad application and, not that it was all that easy to work with in the first place, now it is even more difficult. Furthermore, if I am on the site for too long (not ever sure how long "too long" is), then my screen simply Blanks Out and any mapping I have done to that point is lost...which means, I have to Start All Over Again.

Because I do not have internet service with my iPad, I have to get all of my mapping done Before I leave a particular host, where I do have service, making notes and mile markers on slips of paper that I can fit into the clear-plastic pocket of my handlebar bag. I've found it is really important to have those mile markers just to keep me assured that I am on the right path and to give me a better idea of how fast I am traveling. However, should I go "off course" - I do not have a map to work from, so it is that much more important that I have all of that figured out pretty explicitly, which means, I have to continue to use the tool I have even with its limitations.

In addition, and this is something I am still trying to learn to do efficiently - I have to coordinate my Map My Ride program, with hosts and location information available through Couch Surfing and Warm Showers (see links to the right). However, Couch Surfing profiles generally do not include street address information, so I have to actually make contact with hosts, get that information from them, then go back and map it and see if it is going to work for me. It is a little different with Warm Showers, but they do not have as many people signed up, and although most of them include their street addresses, not all of them do, so the same e-mail/text communication applies...and all of that takes time.

The other thing that has been "getting me down" is the time and energy I am having to invest in fundraising. I have to say, I've really been disappointed so far with what has come of my posts on Reddit. I'm thinking...maybe I just haven't posted to the right community yet, where I might find more support. I spent a good part of my day yesterday preparing a post for the "Anti-War" subReddit, only to find out it was over the character limit, but not sure by how much. So now I've got to edit that, again, and hopefully get it posted before I leave my host today.

Also with regards to fundraising, I'm beginning to suspect that my last round of e-mails may not have reached all (most) of their intended recipients because a) I was sending them in groups, and b) I had photo attachments, and c) Most of the people I e-mailed did not have My e-mail address in Their contact list. All of that effort took A Lot of time and energy, and yet, now I'm feeling like I am going to have to go through all of that again.

The truth is, I am having to accept - and not that this was "unknown" to me on some level - when it comes to fundraising, I'm not very good at it. Furthermore, I'm still not as efficient as I would like to be when it comes to using the computer tools that are available to me. It has been a real drawback, for instance, not to be able to upload pictures to this blog easily from my iPad. It is also a drawback that I am so easily distracted!!! I have realized that because of the frustrations I've been experiencing lately, I am more inclined to let myself get distracted, which, of course, doesn't really help.

However, as I mentioned in that not-yet-published Reddit post - although I may not be that capable, or well equipped, to do everything that I am having to do right now, especially when it comes to using all of the computer and internet tools, efficiently, I do know how to keep myself safe on the road while I am riding my bicycle! The "wheel spinning" I'm doing administratively may not be all that effective at "moving me forward" - but once I get back on my bike...I'm Good! : ))

Otherwise, I'm doing the best I can here, working with what I've got, no matter how frustrating it is at times, or how much I suffer my own personal limitations or patterning. I still have faith that things will work out, as long as I do not give up - that in my mind is still not an "option" - and I kind of knew that from the beginning of this whole endeavor.

So...I will persevere...As hard as things are right now, I continue to learn and to consider how things could be better, how I might do things differently in the future...meaning, I can imagine continuing to do this in the future, in some form or another, but for now...even if the roads are relatively flat, I am still having to push up a steep learning curve when it comes to "all the rest"...! :p

No comments:

Post a Comment