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.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Farewell and Thank You - Santa Barbara and Company!

I have so much to be grateful for.

I want to say "Thank You!" to the people who helped me in so many different ways during my most recent "tour" in Santa Barbara as well as my preparations for Stage III of my cross-country cycling adventure:

Thanks to Johnny and Kelly for allowing me to stay with them when I first got to town. I had met Johnny at the 2012 SOL Food Festival while he was promoting the Santa Barbara Time Bank. When I was looking for hosts upon my return, he and Kelly were the first to step up. I am grateful for their ongoing friendship and support, for their introducing me to more of their friends in the community including the Fishbon Artists Collective and especially for Kelly's great food during my stay with them as well as in preparation for my going away party.

Thanks to Karen for allowing me to stay with her and to commute to work with her while I was on my temporary assignment at the City of Goleta. In addition, she passed down a couple of pairs of pants that I really needed, both of which have become important parts of clothing I am carrying with me on this trip.

Thanks to Andrea and Mercio for helping me move my things for my temporary stay with my "host" Christie in Goleta, and Thanks to Christie for offering to let me stay with him and for being a sensitive and communicative companion for my last couple of weeks in Santa Barbara.

Thanks to all of the folks at Bici Centro and the Santa Barbara Bike Coalition - for all the hard work they are doing to increase bicycle infrastructure and optimal bicycle use for the South Coast region, and for letting me use the front room for my going away party, as well as helping me with last-minute bicycle maintenance and repair, and financial support. (Thanks especially to Matt Dobberteen for his generous donation to both the building purchase and my travel fund!)

Thanks to all of my friends - and "representatives" of the various circles of which I have become a part in Santa Barbara - Jay from the Conscious Creators (and other) Meet-up group(s); Dave, Veselina, and Marge from the Love Grid; Mike from Community-Planet Savvy Investors of Santa Barbara; Bob and Jacky (and her husband Michael) from Woodland Toastmasters, Winston, Ernie and Tamarah from my days "working the streets" as an "Intellectual Busker", Bob from The Santa Barbara Time Bank for his support and photo contributions, and Alicia and Rob from Fishbon and the Fishbon Storyteller's Cell. Thanks to all of you for your friendship and support and for coming to see me off, and for your contributions to my travel fund!

And to my other friends who have offered their support in various ways: Dr. Joe (Migliore) and Jackie for keeping my neck straight and for emotional/moral support, to Kenji and Martin of Santa Barbara Japan Photography Group for letting me hang-out with them while they take (really great) pictures (!), Eleanor for letting me store some of my stuff in her storage unit, Ed for the honey (a long time ago :) ) and for the bag of home-dried fruit to take on my journey, John for hooking me up with a new pair of sturdy tires for a very reasonable price as well as connecting me with Channing at Old Man Mountain Racks to get my rear rack repaired, to Lori and Kent at Traffic Solutions for the REI Discount Coupon so I could save a little on my replacement micro-fiber towel, and for many of the folks at the City of Goleta and FCP, Inc. who became more like friends while I was working temporary assignments at their offices.

(I'll also add a "Thank You..." to the recent employer who hired me and then let me go with my first week and another week's severance pay, as that was all the money and incentive I needed to get myself back on the road!!...More on that in a post to follow.)

And Thanks to Anders Johnson for his ongoing friendship and support, the frequent pleasure of his company and intellectual discussions, and for the beauty of his art-work that is graciously installed all over Santa Barbara and beyond!

And finally, I want to say "Thank You!" to everyone at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation including their Peace Leadership Director and author Paul K. Chappell for the many, many years of hard work they have invested in making the world a safer and more peaceful place for All Living Beings - and for All of Our individual and collective efforts to build better relationships and better communities. I appreciate being able to Do What I CAN Do to help them in their efforts, and, in my case, that means riding my bicycle cross-country spreading their message of hope backed up with clear, persevering, and strategic action (such as the recent lawsuits filed by the Marshall Islands).

As I have explained to people over and over again, I have felt a special, Dynamic Quality and "resonance" with the place and the people of Santa Barbara, and it has not been easy saying "Farewell" again, especially without knowing how long it might be before I will be able to return. But, in the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger: "I'll be back!"

...And in the mean time, I will keep you all posted as best I can while my ongoing journey unfolds!