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ronpaulhawaii
05-17-2009, 10:08 PM
http://libertyrider.com/zen-and-the-art-of-pedaling-a-bicycle/ (http://libertyrider.com/zen-and-the-art-of-pedaling-a-bicycle/)

Well, 7 days out. Will be six before many people read this.

Time to start the journal.

Iíd like to get one thing out of the way right off the bat, and it may surprise a few of you, but I am not a cyclist.

In fact, I am not even much of a fitness buff, at all. Iíve never been to a gym, havenít formerly exercised since High School, and before the Ride for Ron Paul, had never owned a road bike, nor pedaled more than a few miles in any one direction. So, though Iíve quite a bit of experience pedaling, now, I am still not a cyclist.

This surprises plenty of people I meet. Many think I just took something I enjoy and worked it into a political event. The truth of the matter is that I was watching too many people debating tactics/philosophy online and not enough posting evidence of taking those tactics to the street. So I decided to do something outrageous, so far outside of my ďboxĒ that even the most timid supporter might look and say, well if that Hawaiian guy can pedal a bike across the country for freedom, I can go knock on my neighbors door.

And it worked.

That remains the greatest satisfaction from the last ride. Not the thrill of finishing, not the celebrity it brought me, not even meeting and riding with Ron Paul. The greatest satisfaction I get from that ride is the testimony of people I meet, who tell me that the effort encouraged them to step out of their own box, and opened up a whole new world of effective activism to them. That is how I judge success. To me, there is little difference between approaching that first mountain range, and approaching their first door. Both are equally intimidating in the eyes of the beholder. Getting to the top of that first range, or walking away from that first door, is a watershed moment for most. When we realize that we CAN do this. With a little bit of courage, and a LOT of determination we can do things we never dreamed. And that is how we will take back control of our government. Persistence, determination, and a little bit of courage. It may not be sexy, and may not even be much fun, but it certainly is satisfying at the end of the day. Knowing you did everything in your power to advance the cause of liberty and leave a better world than we were born into. Indeed, it truly is not, whether we win or lose, but how we play the game.

So, well wishers tell me how much fun Iíll be having. And yes, I will enjoy meeting all of you on the route, I will enjoy seeing the light turn on behind peoples eyes as I pitch the ideas of the r3VOLution to them, I will, also, enjoy some of the beautiful scenery this great country has to offer. Iím sure I will laugh and sing with new met friends, and that will be fun, but pedaling? No, sorry, that is not much fun at all. It is hot, dirty, and dangerous on the roads Iíll be traveling. It takes enormous concentration to watch ahead for pitfalls and tube shredders. The bike seat becomes harder with each passing mile, my knees start talking to me, and on long days they start yelling. No, I do not expect to have a ton of fun on this trip, but the satisfaction of hearing one person explain that the effort encouraged them to find such determination in themselves, that to me is priceless.

Now, back to the title of this post. What I do enjoy, while pedaling, is the chance to think, to meditate on all Iíve learned and experienced, and focus my mind on ways to further our cause. Pedaling is kind of mindless, it just takes a sharp eye, a good ear, and a steady pace. When my mind is free to ponder, not clouded by the online noise and incessant calls for help from all corners, I am better able to discern the culture of the area I am in and tailor my message to suit. And by being out there, talking to people outside our circles, I know the circles grow.

And that is why I do it.

GO GRASSROOTS!!!

AdamT
05-17-2009, 10:24 PM
Michael, you make us all so proud. See you next month my friend.

BeFranklin
05-17-2009, 11:17 PM
Donated like I said just now. Have a safe bike trip - God speed :)

evilfunnystuff
05-17-2009, 11:20 PM
ill be donting a little to ya for the trip next week

good luck and stay safe

emazur
05-17-2009, 11:36 PM
How did you pick your bicycle route? I used to live in Japan and would be comfortable doing a cross country bike trip there where the roads are ultra bike friendly. I recently moved to Portland, where it's supposed to be America's #1 bike friendly city but already there have been a few times where I've regretted going down a certain road. So if that's how it is in the #1 cyclist friendly city, I'm wondering how it's gonna be in the rest of the US.
Does your bike have large enough baskets for your cargo? Are you going to bring tire tubes and a pump with you in case of flats? Got a cushy seat? Good front and rear lights attached? Do you intend to ride even if it rains?

BenIsForRon
05-18-2009, 12:32 AM
Inspirational story ronpaulhawaii. Keep doing what you're doing, activism IS contagious.

And yeah, America is terrible with bike friendliness. Aside from all Obama's bullshit about decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, just creating more bike lanes would go farther towards that goal than anything else (by local and state gov, of course).

ronpaulhawaii
05-18-2009, 05:58 AM
Thanks all :)


How did you pick your bicycle route? I used to live in Japan and would be comfortable doing a cross country bike trip there where the roads are ultra bike friendly. I recently moved to Portland, where it's supposed to be America's #1 bike friendly city but already there have been a few times where I've regretted going down a certain road. So if that's how it is in the #1 cyclist friendly city, I'm wondering how it's gonna be in the rest of the US.
Does your bike have large enough baskets for your cargo? Are you going to bring tire tubes and a pump with you in case of flats? Got a cushy seat? Good front and rear lights attached? Do you intend to ride even if it rains?

How did I pick my route? First, I came up with start and end points, Then I decided on a waypoint system (capitols), Then I made a rough outline in google maps, from waypoint to waypoint, using the "walking" option. Then, it gets tricky and is a matter of using two mapping programs, a spreadsheet, and google earth, poring over the presumed route and looking for roadblocks, choke points, etc... Finally, I am asking the locals to contact their sheriffs and have them both look over the route, and warn of anything google earth dooesn't reveal. The fact remains that the US is not very bike friendly and the last trip saw me pedaling in places that would make a Marine nervous (one particular bridge in Louisiana is etched in my memory). While I am doing my best to avoid such traps, at the end of the day, it is a matter of faith...

As far as baskets go, here is my rig at the end of the last trip:

http://photos-h.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v1811/185/124/663957952/n663957952_1850623_8576.jpg

I'll just have different signs...

Flats? - haha, last trip I dealt with approx 70, (remember I have 4 tires). Yes, I will have spare tubes, patches, glue, and a pump. The pump just gets me to the next service station though, as getting 110#'s of pressure into the bike tires, on the side of the road, is just about impossible with a hand pump...

Seat, :eek: - I have a "gel" cover, but cushy becomes relative after thousands of miles...

Lights, I have emergency lights, but intend to be well off the road by dusk...

And yes, I will pedal in the rain. On the day we pedaled into Arlington on the last trip, we pedaled almost 60 miles in a freezing downpour

http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb19/mkauai/IMAGE_00002.jpg

Thanks again for the interest and support, you all have no idea how much it affects me; giving me strength, and increasing my determination.

Apathy breaks my heart...

Onward and forward

:)