Recently, a lot of 'here and now' reflection has occured, in light of my 2 month cycling trip across the US. I've approached it from a variety of angles, and all of them have born fruit ranging from good conversation to modest internal enlightenment to a much broader perspective. But the vast majority of it has been a raw comparison of my perceptions now versus my perceptions 5-6 months ago. A lot of 'what', but not a whole lot of 'why' or 'how'.
I managed to do day-by-day high points and low points for just over half of the trip. Using those, my memories, and hopefully stories from fellow riders, I aim to piece together a memory with depth and perspective, one that benefits from exploration and heavy interpretation. Another goal is to further develop my thoughts on my membership to the earth. It seems that cyclists in general have more potential of gaining a basic awareness of causal relationships, simply by being more environmentally exposed. Memory of this trip seems much more contiguous than other trips perhaps because sensory information was constantly (maybe 'incessantly' is more appropriate) available. Pain, pleasure, numbness, heat, smell, light, taste, sound were all steadily preserving the experience and feeding the unconscious with input. On top of that, the purpose of the trip was to gather information from an environmental perspective and render solid thoughts on what to do in response to the stories we gathered. For me, at least, the goal of the Trek provided the root for a good framework to adopt the encounters I had with other humans, constructed environments, 'natural' environments, living creatures, communities, and stories.
Finally, after mulling over the ride as a function and at the earth as a community, I would like to try to take a good hard look at myself as an individual and all of the lovely things that come with it, like bias, hindsight, growth, emotion, weakness, surprise. Mainly, I don't think anyone is done right by me to try to fit this blog into a role or two (written by Tim, the Cycle Activist and Male Human), pretending that I was all sustainability, all the time. I constantly shift and grow, my time on the Trek being no exception.
With that, I'll lay down some vitals for my ride:
~3500 miles (avg. 50 mi/day & 11 mi/hr, low 30-40 mi/day & 8 mi/hr, high 80-100 mi/day & 17 mi/hr)
9 riders for 5 weeks, 19 riders for the next week, 27 riders for the next two weeks, 35 riders for the final two weeks.
25 planned community visits
45-70 lbs of gear
6 people I still keep in decent touch with
~3.5 gal ice cream
0 flats (Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires)
and get on with it.
EDIT: I started writing these back in November, began gathering the ideas probably a month before that. In the intervening time, I have continued to have a number of shaping experiences that have distanced me even from the person I was a season ago. I remain in the midst of a lot of pain, a lot of pleasure, a lot of challenges, and a lot of leisure. All that to say my memories may be fuzzy, and my stories may wander.
EDIT: Also, I didn't take many pictures. The issue with me and pictures is one that hasn't been high on my list of things to explore for most of my life. Mostly you'll just have to settle for words. Sorry.