Go ahead and interpret that as a scream or a sigh, as you will.

I just got back from the gym! I had a great workout! I REALLY USED MY LEGS.

First of all, Planet Fitness is a pretty sweet establishment. I know it's not a little local guy, and that's too bad, but they are super accommodating and friendly, and their whole philosophy is that the physical space is a "no judgement zone". Which is great. Plus I am a fan of their color scheme.

Anyway the point is I really loved the feeling I got tonight looking down at my glowing skin, working my body and listening to my muscles as I attempt to prepare for this multi-faceted journey ahead. YES.


We've been Cartoonized!

Thank you to Alex Gordon for creating wonderful sketches of the three Inventure riders!


For more of his beautiful and creative work, please visit:      http://bandygrass.com/


Hoist The Sails!

To give you a glimpse into this morning's bike ride, aside from a few trips to the Ocean, I had never felt wind ANYTHING like what I did this morning.
What would usually be a 15 minute segment of my weekly ride, ended up doubling in time. All you dog owners remember the feeling of putting your puppy on a leash for the first time? How you end up going for a drag more than a walk? Similarly, I went for a push rather than a ride.

And yet....it was EXHILARATING! Waking up this morning and seeing the white pines bending and folding under the southerly wind's gale, I knew the ride was going to be interesting. In embarking on this trip, I know that we will be experiencing a slew of weather concoctions and that we can prepare ourselves for anything we may encounter: strong wind, cold rain, blowing snow and beyond.

 I had a suspicion that the gentleman who drove up to his mailbox, ran out of the car, and back in with the newspaper flapping fiercely in his arms thought I was insane. As I cycled past, I imagined him heading into work saying: "Man, there was some crazy girl on her bike this morning getting blown around all over the place. Those insane bikers." And that thought fueled me all the more to keep going. As I turned East the wind calmed down and you can imagine how fast going North ended up being! Smooth sailing all the way.

Shifting gears slightly, (pun definitely intended!!) I ask myself: what does it mean to engage in meaningful adventure? Not adventure for the sake of coming back to be able to tell the tale, not for the sake of being able to say "I did it", and not for the sake of checking it off one's list....but truly engaging it and being present with it for its own sake. I suppose one could ask the very same thing about life: how to engage it, not for the envy, interest, intrigue of others, and not as a to-do list, but simply in and of itself.

Recently I spoke with a friend of mine from Kenya. He has been doing volunteer work with children diagnosed with cancer for more years than I've been alive. I wanted to hear from him, someone who still chooses to see beauty despite witnessing so much suffering, what he would have me do or watch for as I bike across my own country. He asked me to gather written wishes for children with cancer in Kenya. And so it got me thinking. Thinking about broadening that idea and perhaps creating a peace journal as we ride. Kind of like those check-in books at hotels and touristy spots where folks write their name, home town, and comments but with this, having those comments be their wish for the world, their wish for those suffering, their wish for peace. I'm still brainstorming, but I can feel something is about to surface soon.
What would you have us observe or do as we bike across this continent?

The support Inventure has been receiving lately continues to make our journey feel more and more a reality. Things often seem to increasingly come to life as more people become involved and excited. I can safely say that the three of us become further inspired by this journey the more we share it with you. And to my family, you help make me more present with my best self. Thank you.

And lastly for this post, I want to express my gratitude for having met my two empowering and beautiful fellow riders. I want them to know how thankful I am: Lily and Joey, you two are helping me achieve my dream- to keep getting "out there".
"Over and out!"


Joey Bikes Vegan

I've been vegan for almost a year and half now (with the exception of the time living and working at Journey's End Farm last summer) and fully intend to continue my lifestyle/diet through this bike trip.
It sounds like it might be a challenge, BUT actually the internet tells me that a lot of people have done this or are doing it, and it sounds great! People actually say eating vegan contributes to their endurance, and eating meat and dairy slows you down and increases recovery time.
Here are just a few of the blogs I've come across:

Bats N Bikes
The Peddlers Blog
Operation Wake Up World

The fact that it's a healthy athletic choice makes it a little easier to explain to potential hosts, but there is of course the possibility of the awkward meal decline. The thing is, a big reason I'm a vegan is because I'm not comfortable supporting factory farms everyday (or ever!). Agriculture contributes an insane amount of greenhouse gas emissions in an unnecessary way. It's true, I could only eat animals and animal products from small, local, sustainable farms, but this is a form of protest to something bigger. I would love if this country depended on a smaller amount of meat and animal products for our diets, from small, sustainable farms. But we don't (yet) so I can't support the meat industry.

For now, I'm grateful that I'm already used to being a vegan and aware of where to get protein, but also excited to find out more about how to do it on the road. Any tips are appreciated!



OFORO - are you there?


It's Saturday morning and I am at home with Joey. We are preparing for our PASTA DINNER tonight at the Quaker Meeting House in PA. Last night Ma made a huge pot of sauce - thanks, Ma! We both cannot wait to spend time with loved ones and feel the overflowing support. Come for yummy pasta, salad, and conversation!

Bekah and I want to thank everyone for their energy and support at Petra Cliffs last Thursday. We had a great time talking about our trip and making connections. Joey's postcards were a HIT! Here is a picture of our table:

Okay, so this is all supper GREAT, but you might be asking yourself... why can Lily not stop smilin'? WELL, I just purchased my bike! This happened approximately 22 minutes ago. I bought a 46cm Surly Long Haul Trucker. Here's the link - admire the spiffy-ness!  http://surlybikes.com/bikes/long_haul_trucker

I want to thank two people for their very enthusiastic support. First, thank you to Luis Vivanco, my Environmental Anthropology professor at UVM. He supplied me with good resources for looking at, trying out, and thinking about all sorts of touring bike options. He helped me get the ball rolling! [[Note that there will be more to come on Luis' dedication to the world of cycling. I will be writing a post about his newly published book, "Reconsidering the Bicycle: An Anthropological Perspective on a New (Old) Thing. I have been reading it and it's awesome.]] And next, Kevin Rose down at Local Motion in Burlington, VT, for his help and guidance in my purchase, his enthusiasm for our trip, and for his pure love for adventure and cycling!

This bike, this future home of mine, is due to arrive next week. I have already chosen his name - Oforo. Oforo was the name of one of my head guides/porters up Mt. Kilimanjaro last spring season after I was studying abroad in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Oforo is in his mid-fifties, only a few years away from Tanzanian life expectancy for males. He has hiked Kilimanjaro nearly 100 times. He is a light-spirited, attentive, humble, and giggly old man. We got along, Oforo and I. He would do things like poke me with his umbrella and chuckle or hide behind my backpack and tap me on the shoulder then shuffle around so I couldn't find him. He brought something to that adventure that was spiritually relaxing. He had a compassion for humanity that was gentle and alive. I admired him, looked up to him, and now, miss him. I cannot wait for a new Oforo presence to arrive in the mail.

Here is the picture of the real Oforo - the sweet man who would, about now, be saying, "safari njema!" (translation: "have a good/rich/safe trip"). He's the man on the right.


Pasta Dinner Tomorrow!

I wish I could have been at the Petra Cliffs Fundraiser last night-- it sounds like it was awesome!

BUT-- I am in Pennsylvania, where Lily is coming home to this weekend (YES) and we are having a delicious pasta dinner fundraiser tomorrow night, 6 - 8 PM at the Lehigh Valley Friends Meetinghouse in Bethlehem. Please come-- bring your appetite and your friends!! Oh, and your wallet. :D

We will also have the postcards and posters for sale.

Thanks for your support!