Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Great Bike Adventure

So let me tell you about my friend Sheila, we met last year at surf/yoga camp in Bali and you may recall that we traveled a bit through Bali after. Sheila returned to her home in San Francisco and once I got back we spoke on the phone a few times.

I have to say, Sheila is one of my heroes, there is so much she has done with her life you can't help but be inspired by her. Well one day in January I get this really funny email from her, which with her permission, I am posting below.

"Tuesday, January 15, 2008

As fate or whatever would have it, the electricity to our home is out. We went in a little celebration walk to celebration sushi and when we came back, PG&E celebration trucks were in the street, street lights mysteriously out, we making jokes about celebratory electricity until we opened our celebrating door & the switch didn't work—we'd been had. I shall celebrate in the darkness.

Any wondering about whether I would allow myself to get distracted by other matters in lieu of writing my invitation/celebratory missive/declaration of freedom and first day of the rest of my next few months is over. No wondering. It's 9pm, dark & I have time on this battery operated information-catcher. I write.

Today was the last day of my current job in real estate. Some of you know that I went on a trip to Bali in October & was inspired to quit. I've really wrestled with the notion of staying in this job for some time—it's not what I would call inspiring work. It has at times been interesting & I've certainly learned a lot, but inspiring…no.

My endorphins have been libidinously giddy since I came to this conclusion—the conclusion that my soul was withering and sucked dry by the demands of said job. My goals for my trip to Bali were refreshment & inspiration—I got what I wanted.

The past two months I've spent helping hire & train my replacement & prepare the way for her to assume my duties as seamlessly as possible. The past two days were pleasantly LIGHT in workload—I've planned well & it was an easy baton to pass on.

I've also been trying to think expansively & open up to all possibilities in life—what can I do now that obligation and money aren't arm wrestling?

I was going to go to Bali in March and surf some more. I was going to go hither & yon, visiting friends. Somehow, with or without segues, I was reminded of my dream to travel around the world by all means other than the two-winged hollow metal bird: boat, foot, bike. I love bike touring—I love the compactness, the self-sufficiency, the direct sense-engagement that I get from wind and smells and sounds that I just don't get from enclosed vehicles.

Flowing with the idea of the bike, I have decided to bike from San Diego, California to Sarasota, Florida this Spring. This is where the invitation comes in—YOU'RE INVITED to participate on this tour.

If it strikes you as cosmically necessary and good and life aligns for you to take this mythic quest with me, please come. I plan to leave on March 15th. I MAY start biking from San Francisco, but it's likely I'll start from San Diego. I have two months to train & get my bearings & stuff together for the tour.

Lodgings: a mix of camping, hotel/motel and some couch surfing if possible

Pace: I'll have a better sense after a few more weeks of training, but my initial realistic desire is to bike about 300-350 miles/week. I think I'll be doing a 60-70 miles per day 5 days/week. A lot depends on hills, wind & weather conditions.

Rest: I want to stop where inspired for a few extra days. At this point Melton has agreed to fly to Austin, Texas to meet me there.

How long will I be gone: At this pace and with a few days rest (from what I've read so far), I think I'll be on the trip for 12 weeks.

Where will I be biking: Through the Southwest & South. Across Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and down the peninsula of Florida.

What is this invitation exactly?
Well, if you have enough freedom, interest & gumption, I can give you more details about approximate arrival times of where & when. You can drop in on the ride (you'll need a bike or a skate board & one really strong leg and some camping stuff) and ride with me for a few days, a week, whatever.

I'm also interested in crashing @ your friends homes if you have friends along the way. I want to camp as much as possible & do the hotel thing when I need a proper bath & privacy. I'm open to the hospitality of anyone who enjoys visitors as well.

Though some see this as a very isolated, off the grid experience, that's not my intention for this trip. I want to meet people, connect, indulge my passion for travel & biking, enjoy the beauty that this geographic mass has to offer my eyes, nose, skin & heart. I'll be getting a small laptop & blogging my way across the country.

Music playlist donations for my biking soundtrack are also welcome.

I'm STOKED about this very RAD adventure I'm about to embark on. Melton has been super supportive, which I appreciate tremendously.

I'm very excited for the next few months! Let me know if you want to join me. Thanks to everyone I corresponded with about the job stuff and all your support!!"

So I'm not joining Sheila but I figured I would share her email with you all. How cool is this adventure! You can keep up with Sheila and her adventures on her blog

Let's support the people out there who are bucking the system and doing their own things in life!

1 comment:

Morna said...

Good for people to know.