Here I am, at the Burlington waterfront overlooking Lake Champlain with Pegasus (my bike) propped up beside me. And you know something? I feel SO READY to Inventure…

Peg and I just left Skirack, a local outdoor store that has been absolutely wonderful in supporting me as I prepare to ride in less than 2 weeks. Similar to Joey’s experience with Cycle Funattic, Skirack is a locally owned store with incredible people inside. Having become a frequent customer, going in to purchase, peruse, and daydream about nearly any bike-related SOMETHING you can imagine, when I step inside it feels like I’m visiting with old friends: “Hey Bekah! Back again?” or “How’s the trip planning going?”
Now perhaps they’re thinking, “Not you again?!”  But I would never know it. The smiles, curiosity, and help I get every single time I enter never fails to impress me.

Peg spent the weekend with the Skirack family, becoming outfitted with his front rack, rear rack, fenders, handlebar mirror, water bottle holder, and panniers. Needless to say, he’s put on a few extra pounds. A few hours ago, I eagerly went to the store to pick him up. I swear there was a moment when at least half of the Skirack staff was huddled around Pegasus helping adjust and tinker with the parts until he was just right. What a blessing this community is.

And I can’t not mention the amazing light I feel every time a friend, friend of a friend, or friend of a friend’s friend energetically offers to host us as we cycle through their home turf. Thank you!
As our date of departure comes closer, I become increasingly excited to make my home on this bike. It’s a comforting feeling knowing that all the possessions I’ll need for the next few months will be right with me on this small metal frame.
 I sit here, looking out at the beloved Adirondack ridgeline, watching the gulls flies over the blue water (god what I would give to be a gull for just one day), and my mind wanders…
Says Bekah to herself:
“I’m at peace here by the water, here in the city that I call home, but I’m ready to travel and see. I’m ready to leave behind what is comfortable so that I can come back and appreciate it all even deeper and love ever more.” (I’m sorry I mention ‘love’ so much, it just happens).
Now, I’ve worked ropes courses and climbing walls for a while, typically making it my goal to (safely mind you) guide people out of their comfort zone. Why? I suppose so that they can come back into the world they know having become stronger and more awake. Which is perhaps why we are seeking to ride...so that we can, as Joey says, wake up!
And here on the brink of this journey, I can feel the gift that this trip is handing to me. The gift presents itself in the form of a question:
          Can you be present in the moment?..and embrace the change that is happening, to open up to the new people entering your life, and to stop in order to listen to the river flowing around you, around us all.
A few years ago, a university class of mine had each student adopt a nickname. River was the name that stuck for me. And I challenge myself now to live up to that name (oof, don’t forget Bekah, there are lots of folks who just heard that challenge to yourself). 

One of the mantras I like to keep as I cycle reminds me that no matter how massive the hill up ahead may be, the only enjoyable way to get to the top is to embrace (with a smile if you want) each and every pedal along the way. It’s the ONLY method to get you to your destination…and there are always more miles to come.
With gratitude to you all,
River (Bekah)


Joey's Bike

When I started looking for my bike I knew I wanted to get it from a local bike shop. I wanted to be able to ask lots of questions, and have somewhere to go when I can't figure something out, and talk to a real person who really knows bikes. I also was trying to hard to find a good touring bike for under $1000 (this is hard to do).

I checked out most of the bike shops in Bethlehem and a couple in Easton but didn't get "the feeling" about any bikes I saw or the shops themselves. They were OK. I was thinking about getting a Raleigh Port Townsend, but the (good) review I read was from a man. So I looked up "best touring bikes for women." The name Bianchi started popping up so I checked it out. On the Bianchi website, I kept coming back to the Campione. Something seemed right about it. AND it's under $1000. So I looked up Bianchi dealers near my zip code.

On May 1, I walked into Cycle Funattic in Phillipsburg, NJ-- just across the bridge from Easton. When asked if I needed help with anything I said, "I'm riding across the country this summer and I need a touring bike." Russ said, "I have just the bike for you."

He showed me a Bianchi Campione.

FURTHERMORE. Here's why Cycle Funattic is the best:

1. Even if you don't need a touring bike, there is a great selection.
2. The owner is really there and he is so caring and passionate about bikes and cyclists.
3. He treats you like a human instead of just a customer.
4. It's small and local.

I seriously can't describe all the ways Russ went above and beyond for me during this process. I am so grateful and I feel SO lucky. Thank you thank you thank you Cycle Funattic!!

About the bike:

That signature Bianchi teal-like color is called celeste. I had to have it for my handlebars.

She wasn't a fan of the gravelly part of the trail on the way home from the bike shop, but otherwise rides like a dream. (and I DO know how to change a flat now-- Thanks again, Russ!)

Her name is Maia: daughter of Atlas, the primordial Titan who held up the celestial sphere; first of the Pleiades, the seven sisters; mother of Hermes; a mountain nymph; embodies the concept of growth. ...Plus I found her on May 1st. Plus, she was made in Italy.

So far I couldn't be happier with this bike. I'll update on her performance during my trip down to Philadelphia in my next post. :)




I returned from a morning walk.
And I ask:
"How can I possible begin to embody and thank life for all that I see outside? How can I express it all?
The contrasting white- no purity!- flowers against the crisp, sharp, morning blue.
The deep dark well-like maroon color on rose-like buds with lime green leaves, new and soft.
The bell-shaped blossoms and champagne smells.
The way the wind bubbles through the new Quaking aspen leaves, tender, waving towards the sky!"

I feel a change. It seems like, along with the Inventure team, many people in our lives are embarking on new journeys, new chapters of life. And while I feel a sadness during this time, a longing to hold onto each moment never letting time pass, I am ready and I am humbled by all that is to come. To venture forth!!

This morning a dear friend of mine introduced me to another blog on which I discovered an African philosophy known as: Ubuntu. Ubuntu believes that no one of us exists in isolation. That we are all intertwined and interrelated and that when one of us suffers, we all do, and conversely when one of us succeeds, we all succeed. I believe Ubuntu.
And as summer approaches and we each blow to the wind, I take you all with me...I take Ubuntu with me.



May Day, 2013

May 1, 2013

Blessings to you on this May Day....and finally I was the first one to yell "rabbit rabbit!" in the house this morning! (it's tradition to say that on the first of the month in case you're confused :)

The change is in the air. I can see it in the lime green buds on the trees as they stand in stark contrast to the illuminated blue sky. I can see it in the children that run around in the fields and the birds that soar gently above me. I can see it in the way our bodies are running swift, our joints feeling mobile, and our feet are running barefoot. I can see it in the way we seem to feel healthier, alive, and changing too.
We change with the season, we roll in and out like the tide.
As Vermont glistens, I feel ever-ready for this journey.
I wonder to myself: Vermont feels a part of me, and yet...what is home? What will home feel like after 4,000 miles on a bike? What chapter will life show me next?

I am now riding Pegasus with clip-in shoes and it is marvelous!
I am incredibly thankful to Roger and Sean at Skirack for such personalized care and support towards my most recent InVenture preparations. http://www.skirack.com/

With light to you,