Tag Archives: bike touring

Completion of Bike Tour- 1,500 Miles Canada to Oakland

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PleasantRevolutionIn June 2016 the start of summer, I rode the Amtrack train to Seattle, Washington from Berkeley, California. 24 hours by train with my bicycle panniers and an extracycle bicycle that I had boxed and ready for shipping. From Seattle, I joined with 12 other cyclists and we started out on a journey that would last 2.5 months and over 1,500 miles of pure cycling. We organized over 31 human powered festivals with the 4 bands on bicycles. We are called the Pleasant Revolution and put on Biketopia Music Festivals all over the world.

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We each had loads on our bicycles consisting of microphone stands, stilts, food, stove, pots and pans, 2 amps, a subwoofer (80 pounds made into a trailer), cables and more! At the end of the tour, I personalized the people that went on the entire tour into a drawing.

1-omar 1-carolyn

1-adley  1-heather

1-kristina 1-maiesha

1-matt  1-molly

1-nate  1-nikki

We all had large bicycles making it possible to pull anywhere between 100-180 pounds. What is so challenging about bike touring? It forces you to slow down. If you need to ride 45 miles (which would normally take an average cyclist 5 hours to bike) in a group, it takes three times that amount. So you are slower, there is no destination because if you focused on that you would constantly be stressed and worried about getting there. In this specific community, you had to let go and enjoy. Swim, eat, talk, play music, and let things go with the flow. Sound easy? It was life changing, but with all that down time and time on a bicycle makes for some great reflection and inner work. I love cycling alone but with other people, it’s immensely powerful. I think its something that everyone could benefit from. You have to be strong physically but even more important, mentally. Balanced and rationale and put the group first.

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Here you can see the humans pedaling/making the electricity for the music. The bicycles have individual generators on the back wheel that are connected to a utility box designed by Rock the Bike in Oakland. From the utility box, you have output to the speakers and microphones. Pretty incredible!

The tour was incredible. The bike tour is so much more than cycling especially with the power of community and riding with a large group of friends with similar values and mission. Below are the group agreements created by the 2016 Pleasant Revolution west coast tour:

  • Slow is beautiful- take a breath, slow down, and pedal
  • Leave no trace.  Become a steward of the earth-  pack it in pack it out, clean up after others, dig a hole when you poo, gather wood in a considerate manner.
  • Be an active guest- consolidate your belongings, do a chore, cook a meal, give a gift.  Make your impact on someone’s space neutral or better than when you came.
  • We offer the highest musical and performance content.
  • To change the world, we must change our own consciousness and lifestyle, the bicycle liberates
  • Use music and performance as a political platform whenever possible.
  • We work to uplift the feminine in all of us to move beyond the patriarchs well as the binary to create balance in our group and ultimately in society.  We work to embody nurturing, supportive, loving energy among us.
  •  We respect to act in the highest regard for the webs of all life.
  • We operate on modified consensus- everyone’s voice matters and we won’t move forward on a decision if some have a strong block, however, if one is willing to stand aside even if the decision being made is not their preference the group will move forward with the decision.
  • Hold a culture which allows folks to speak any discomforts and work to address it right away
  • We work to educate and inspire the communities we travel through on fossil fuel alternatives.  We work to be a living example of sustainable living.
  • Everyone should strive for direct heart centered communication.  We should address conflict on a person to person basis, if the group needs to be called in we will facilitate that.  Take it to the source.
  • Everyone should be emotionally responsible for themselves, able to employ de-escalation skills on themselves when necessary.  
  • This is a Group lead tour- every person is a working part and doing their part. This is truly living interdependence.  We all have the opportunity to lead and be led.
  • We work to uplift everyone’s strength while also challenging growth in each individual.
  • Always do your best and have fun!

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    Here is the extra cycle Novara bicycle I rode for the tour. You can see the frame is extended backwards making the bicycle into a cargo bicycle. Her name is Gunther! Can you find the stilts?

We are talking about a 2018 6 month Europe tour that we already have a solid group of 20 cyclists for and I am already planning on making some murals for the tour and getting funding to make community art projects happen. Why do we start planning something almost 2 years away? We need funding, sponsorship, grants and more. It is  great timing for booking festivals and for planning out the route and logistics. I look forward to it.

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Santa Rosa to the San Francisco

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We made it back home! Can you believe it? All the way from Seattle to Bellingham, Vancouver, Salt Spring, Victoria, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Whidbey Island, Bainbridge Island, Seattle again, Olympia, Portland, Eugene, Brownsville, Coos Bay, Florence, Fort Bragg, Jenner, Santa Rosa, Sebastopol, and Oakland! 

 

The last couple of days were wonderful, annoying the last moments. We ended up staying at a geodesic dome in Sebastopol with a pool for Nates birthday. We had a beautiful brunch in the morning to celebrate and rode a couple miles to our Petaluma to play our Farmers Market show.

 

The show was incredible, we were overwhelmed with all of the food that we were gifted to the crew and we loved playing!

On our way home, we were lucky enough to go by Yuba Bicycles headquarters in Petaluma and get a tour and talk to the people that work there. We test rode some bicycles. Two of our 10 extra cycles were from Yuba so we were happy to provide feedback and hang out with them.

 

For the final 20 miles, we decided to take a ferry into San Francisco. We were able to fit all of our bicycles and it was my first time to get into San Francisco that way. We were all so excited to see the city and it felt so weird to see that familiar city skyline. It had not really sunk in until that moment for me. We are home. My bed is close by. We are not sleeping in tents anymore! It was a very strange feeling I can not quite describe it.

  

BUT! Our shows were still not over, we had two more to play and decided to stay together as a group at night to not end the energy or disperse. We played a Friday night gig at Oakland’s art walk called “First Fridays” and we had a 10 bicycle system instead of our typical 4. There was also a huge double decker bicycle called “El Arbol” or “The Tree” that lights up and is also a generator bicycle as well. It was a beautiful show and we had an incredible turnout.

  

The second and final show that we had was at PLACE for sustainability where we had all the acts of the tour players, and I even got to sing a song. It was a blast and we spent the night all together to keep the tour going! The next day, it was hard to part and felt very odd. I still can feel the feeling but not quite put it into words. Pedaling away from everyone after almost 3 months of being together anywhere from 10-2o people at one time. We really loved the tour, hanging out with each other all the time and playing music with one another. We are even talking about riding 6 months and playing shows in Europe 2018 summer and there are still more plans in the work for the future of the tour! Thanks for reading and following. This tour has been a blast BUT there is more to come so stay tuned.

Jenner to Santa Rosa

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Leaving the coast was a much needed break from hills and from the dew filled air. The coast has such a dramatically different feel than even 5-10 miles inland. Jenner was beautiful, we met a man that owned the community center, and he let us stay at it. Everyone in the town of a population 136 were so nice and welcoming. The town lays at the mouth of the Russian River and is on the Pacific Ocean. The state route highway 1 runs through it, as well as the 116.

 

Typically heading inland there are a lot of hills, but to our surprise we didn’t hit any! We passed through Gurneville and had a beautiful dip into the Russian River and had some lunch before hitting into Santa Rosa, wine country and lots of traffic and cars!

Santa Rosa was amazing, we got to stay with Carolyn’s brother, Sean. He had a house and he let us stay in his driveway with our tents. We played a show at the Santa Rosa farmers market. It was amazing, we had a lot o participation and her brother came as well. We did a little wine tasting, a lot of riding and the anticipation of arriving at home is at the forefront of our thoughts! We are really trying to enjoy every moment. Less than a week left!

Olympia to Portland – 1 month stong

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Goodbye Olympia! We had three days to ride to Portland and took about 45 miles each day. We wanted to get into Portland for the weekend!

 

Olympia was really beautiful with a lot of rivers and trees!

 

 

 

Here is the group at the welcome oregon sign. There was an epic bridge that we cycled over and actually just a weekend after the famous Seattle to Portland ride so there were still sings on the ground welcoming riders and showing them the way.

   

Our first show we played at was for Velo Cult a brewery and bicycle shop. Yes, a bicycle shop with beer and a venue. It was the perfect setup for us, and quite hard for us as it was the first show we had inside. The sound was overwhelming but we learned a lot.

Our second show was at the sunday street closure for only bicycles and pedestrians! No cars and it was magical. I stilt walked and there were children that were learning how to stilt walk as well. It was amazing because they were staring at me with awe and loved my sparkle pants.

 

The third show we had was thanks to my friend Sarah Vitort who hooked us up with the Jade lounge. It exactly the show that we needed as the whole group came together and we tried some new songs. We even had one of the original pleasant revolution riders, Kipchoge come and play with us. Incredible night and I had another family member show up and stay the whole time! What wonderful surprise it was! I also got to see an old friend, Andy Vu. It was fun to see him again.

 

Portland was great, we spent about 4 days there and had a blast. Shout out to Mike Cobb and Kelly for hosting us at their home. It was a great place to call home and we enjoyed watching Mike fix bikes all day! Ah!

  

Port Angeles, Sequim, Port Townsend and Beyond!

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We arrived from the black ball ferry mid day into port Angeles from victoria that took about one hour and 36 minutes on the ferry. Again, epic as we passed through the islands and through the US border and into the tiny cozy town of port Angeles. Home of the Olympic and Hoh national rainforest it is where many people get their start before their trek into the forest.

   

  

We arrived in town and wanted to play a show so we asked a bar owner we met on the ferry if we could play at his bar. Two hour later we were on stage praise on the sidewalk and then later elevated on a second story stage that looked down upon the bar. At the bar called “next door” we met a man who let us crash at his place less than a mile from downtown and the venue we were playing around. So many nice people along the way! Yipppeee! The outdoor sidewalk concert quickly turned into a full on elevated stage venue inside and we played a couple hours on this stage that was on the second story looking down onto the bar. A pretty amazing venue.

We slept in the lawn of a friend and played music around the bonfire!

Next we traveled next to port Townsend and along the way we passed by squirm which is where my great aunt lives!

 

This part of the tour was super super super important to me. After my mother passed in 2007 I started using my mothers last name as my artist name. Molly Aigner turned Molly Keen for my art and inspiration. I sign my paintings M. Keen and my mother has been with me through all my journeys and paintings. So meeting another Keen was amazing. She is a painter herself and signs her paintings M. Keen as well! What a blessing and amazing thing to have in common. We spoke of family and I heard stories I never had before.

 

I gave her a last minute call to see if he could have lunch or coffee and she agreed! Met me within ten minutes at the Mexican restaurant down from her home. What a gift! Her name is Marion keen and he is an artist and painter as well. He was married to my grandfathers brother, Stan. What a beautiful reunion it was!

Marion let me know that she has a son and family in port Townsend so I grabbed the number of drew. The next morning after we camped at a clearing in the fleet and made a lovely fire. We stopped for gas at a gas station and sure enough there came Pamela and Drew running to our group of cyclists and asking “Which one of you is Molly?”. They had found our group and the reunion was beautiful. The last time I saw them was apparently when I was only a couple of months old and I was in their wedding. They are Keen’s as well! I loved meeting them and getting to know them. I invited Pamela to our show and she came for the whole set with chocolate and gifts included! She was so sweet to connect with and just retired from working for the library for 25+years! What a treat it was to be able to get to know her!

The show was set on the water at a park and we had a great turn out. After the show we rode another 5 miles to a friends house where we slept in the front yard. It was a great place to stay for the night and we were all super tired!

 

 

The next day we were in route to Seattle! We rode a different way from Port Townsend to the Edmonds ferry! I was able to ride early enough to get dinner with my family and enjoy seattle! More to come on the Seattle shows that I have helped book and put together. It is going to be an amazing weekend! Stay tuned.

Canada! Vancouver, Salt Spring & Victoria

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Getting to Salt Spring island was a beautiful adventure. We saw pods of orca whales on the ferry boat, and did some Tarot and card making. I started to get pain in my wrist so my friend Justin and I switched out my handle bars and met the rest of the group at the ferry. From my understanding they went through a huge tunnel on the ride, that was not meant for cyclists. They had no troubles and a road angel showed up and rode behind them through the whole tunnel protecting them from cars. I am glad that they are all okay!

  

 

Here you can see the group looking for whales and all of the 16 bicycles packed on the front of the ferry. What a group we have! The ride from then ferry into the channel was incredible. Orcas are considered rare to see these days, so we felt incredibly lucky. We pulled into long harbor, salt spring island around sunset so the lighting was incredible and you could see more bright green trees than water or houses. What a special island.

 

It was hard to say goodbye to Vancouver but the ferry ride into salt spring island was unbelievable. We got to play an amazing show at Centennial park in Victoria and a show at the Farmers market in Salt Spring island.

I couldn’t believe the one hour ride through the gulf islands. Those orcas are still with me! The ferry rides have been nothing short of epic and incredible as we get to take them all around the route we are on. They are so nice to bicycles and to be out on the deck and listen to the sounds, smells and experience all that the Northwest has to offer. I feel really lucky to be from this area and to have experienced so many ferry rides in my life. Below if a picture of the first place that we stayed, and an epic rock formation from Salt Spring Island.

  

We played a show at the farmer’s market and got caught in a bit of rain. We stayed a total of 4 days on the island. We were so lucky to get another ferry ride to Victoria and then played a show at centennial park with the pouring down rain. People still showed up and even for our bike ride after. We had a little moonlight ride through the rain.

It is a small town and the farmers market that we played at was super cute. I think that playing at farmer markets is really the best venue for our bike music festival as there are tons of children, local people and local healthy food. Playing outdoors is definitely a strong play for us to play as well. Above is a picture of one of the three children that we got to play with and get to know. Here in the picture he told me he was catching butterflies.

  

  

The island of salt spring has a population of 10,000 people and is on a Quartz! It was beautiful intense energy. The first night I met a 92 year old woman with a property right in a cove. She let us stay under her apple trees in the front yard. We sang some songs into the sound and to our surprise there was a group of sailors that heard us sing and they began to sing back! They eventually took a dingy boat to meet us and turned out to be two drunken older guys. But it was fun to sing across the cove to each other. In the morning we headed for our hosts home. We stayed with a family for three nights – Ashley’s friend Michelle who he travelled with in Colombia and Canada! Michelle’s sister let us stay at the enchanted fairy farm.

 

 

They had three children on the farm, three horses and two cats.The property was super close to mermaid lake. A wonderful lake with super clean and warm water. We played a show for the couple that hosted us. It was a long ride from town to the house with quite the uphills!

 

  

 

Canada has been nothing short of stunning scenery, nice people and friendly drivers. We all agreed that this is an incredible part of the journey and unlike anything else we have ever seen! Beauty!

The next day we took the black ball ferry to port Angeles. We are so thankful for all of the bodies of water we were able to cross with ferries! Really special! This leg of the trip is epically impressive.

 

 

 

 

Lastly, below is Michelle crossing the border off the ferry. You can see how much space all of our bicycles take up in the below picture as well! We are a sight to see!

 

 

Bellingham to Vancouver

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We made it to Canada! Check out the above photo of the 4 bands with a burning man sculpture that was used 20 years ago and is pedaled by solar energy! Canada was epic and we are so happy to be traveling now around the islands and B.C. We love this place!

  

What a beautiful ride we had to get into Canda! Crossing the border from United States to Canada was a breeze, we had to ride on the I-5 to cross but it was relatively easy. We only had 33 miles to ride this day, so we swam, took lots of breaks (as we always do) and arrived to Vancouver to the house of Adley’s brother, Chris. Chris let us stay in his back yard and was so gracious with his home. There are now 16 of us, three more joined us in Canada. Craig, our drummer, Dara an amazing writer and experienced cyclist that took a group across the U.S. with a theatre group the Agile Rascals and then Mega, who juggles, sings and dances. She has ridden with the crew before in previous bike tours.

  

We stayed a total of 4 nights and played a gig at the Vancouver Art Gallery in conjunction with eatArt that helped us with the burning man sculpture. We had a beer garden and a dance floor. There was also tricycle bikes they brought that people could test ride that we pretty amazing.

    
It was an incredible show as we played on the steps of the gorgeous gallery.

   

The show was incredible. I was pulling people from the street with my stilts and our sound was incredible. It was a sunny and beautiful day. It was great to relax and take time in one city. Vancouver is gorgeous right on the water and at the edge of huge mountains and glorious hiking. I was so excited to get to know the area and to get to celebrate Canada day! July 1st, they celebrate the joining of three colonies, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Providence of  Canada into a single dominion within the British Empire. This all happened on July 1, 1867 .

  
We are in good high spirits and excited to continue the tour, meeting beautiful people and playing a lot of music. Have you gotten a chance to hear all the musicians on tour with us yet?

Check out the links below!

West Coast Bike Tour Day 1! Seattle to Muckeltio

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Imagine 12 people, 8 cargo bicycles, 4 normal bicycles, riding along the road with gear being carried completely by human power. We are talking about 2 powered speakers, 4 microphone stands, tons of cables, a mixing board, drum kit, a bass guitar, tons of percussion instruments, 3 guitars, 1-18″ subwoofer, a pair of stilts, merchandise and juggling balls! This is a list of gear we are carrying for our shows! In addition we also have our camping gear and bicycle load as well! It gets pretty ridiculous! The Biketopia music festival bicycle tour has begun!

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I met 11 of my friends and cyclists at the king street station in Seattle who all rode a 24 hour train from Oakland. We rode to my beautiful friends house Heather, who lives with her son, Luka and dog, Pepper. They have a stunning home in Ballard and she was gracious enough to let twelve people and 7 tents up in her front and side yard. It was incredible. We were so thankful to have her for our first night together, she helped us out way more than just a place to stay. She was our road side helper and let us borrow her car and did everything she could to support us. We don’t know what we would of done without her!

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The night was wonderful, everyone was super tired from the train and had a great sleep. In the morning we ran errands, had some meetings and interviews with venues and radio stations for our July tour dates in Seattle. This tour is going to be amazing.

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We left riding our first time together north at 5pm! There is a saying that we have in the biking community that the first three days of the bike tour is called the “The Three Day Hump!”. This means lots of problems on the road, getting to know your bicycle better and learning how to strap it and carry the large loads.

It was a late start, but thank goodness summer is here because sub set this day at 9:30 pm! We rode to Mukilteo about 25 miles and actually the police stopped us and asked us if we needed help. They offered us a place to stay, 92nd park just a mile from the ferry. Thank goodness for that because there were 10 tents!

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That night, the rain started! First it was just sprinkles but then more and more! The night was dreamy with frogs croaking and the raindrops playfully falling from the tents. It was a great first night on the road. I am feeling so thankful for my friends, my cargo bicycle and my community. It is a really special group!

Biketopia Music Festival Summer 2016

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This summer I am apart of an amazing group of 18+ humans that will be taking part in a beautiful project called the Biketopia Music Festival by the Pleasant Revolution! This 2016 summer, we’re touring the pacific northwest from Vancouver to the bay – twenty of us, musicians, dancers, clowns, jugglers, on bikes.

The Pleasant Revolution

For the past three years we have been organizing bike tours from California through Mexico.  On these tours we have carried all our musical equipment on bikes, but wherever we played, we had to rely on electricity.  This year, we hope to abolish our dependence on external energy sources by purchasing a pedal-powered sound system from the good people of Rock the Bike, a Bay Area based small business who’s been working for years to develop a sound system which runs completely off of kinetic energy generated by people riding bikes.

Purchasing a sound system from Rock the Bike not only supports their ingenuity and innovation, it also allows us to share our message in the most authentic way possible.  Your donation will aid in supplementing the cost of our two month bike tour; this includes cargo bikes, touring gear, musical equipment, food, camping and ferry fees.

Bike touring, and performing with a pedal powered sound system is 100%  community effort.  Not only are we learning to live through alternative means, we are also realizing the power of a group of passionate people joining together to accomplish magnanimous feats.  Every donation counts, even a small amount will get us one pedal closer to our goal.  Please follow us, share our story with your friends and loved ones, and let us know what you think!

Pleasant Revolution Group Photo

The cyclists:

Molly, Carolyn, Adley, Nikki, Kristina, Nate, Maisha, Heather, Omar, Finn, Matt, Mega, Robyn, Robin, Seairra and more!
Within the Pleasant Revolution there are a number of potential musical acts that could play depending on venue etc. which include but are not limited to:

1. Bicicletas por la Paz or “bikes for peace” which is a band I’ve played and toured with from Oakland to Mexico in 2015. They are a Latin circus funk band that has songs in Spanish and English.

2. Heather Normandale is a singer-songwriter, performer, independent music producer and music teacher. She studied music via anthropology, doing an ethnography of curandera music in Ecuador, interviewing street musicians in Quito, and then taking off on her own busking adventure through Europe with a team of musicians charging their amps with bike powered sound systems. Connecting with our deeper nature and the nature around us has been a constant theme in her activism to protect and preserve the wildness within and around us. Her most recent CD delves into the theme of water exploring the space between our earthy, aqueous nature and the subconscious. “Trembling Water” plays with our many connections to water, alluding to the creative process and our mirror like connection to nature. Her lyrics are rich and emotive, poetic and thoughtful. Rolling rhythms of finger picking on the banjo, mandolin or guitar drive the melody and message of the songs.
3. Kristina Bennett
4. Maeisha
Here is  a look at some of our shows coming up! We hope you can join us!

June 25th – Biketopia Music Fest, Bellingham, Washington – location TBD, for more info check Facebook event here.

June 26 – Boundary Bay Brewery, Bellingham, Washington – 12 – 3pm,  for more details visit the event page.

July 2nd – Biketopia Music Festival  at Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada –  3-7pm with bike ride to follow. For more details visit event page.

July 5th –Biketopia Music Festival at Salt Spring Island Farmer’s Market – in Centennial Park,  Salt Spring Island, BC,  12-5pm.   For more details visit event page.

July 8th –Biketopia Music Festival in Centennial Square,Victoria, Canada. 6-10pm. — for more details visit event page.

July 12 –Biketopia Music Festival in Pope Marine Park, Port Townsend, WA.  3-7pm

July 15 – Peddler Brewing Co. in Seattle, WA  at 7pm for an outside bike music festival. For more info see event pagewww.peddlerbrewing.com

July 16– Biketopia Music Festival at BikeWorks Seattke, WA–  3-7pm with bike ride to follow. More details coming soon.

July 17 – Outlander Brewery and Pub in Seattle, WA. 

July 19 – Biketopia Music Fest at Artesian Commons, Olympia, WA. From 5-9pm – for more information visit event page.

July 30 –Biketopia Music Fest, Portland, OR

More TBD

Proyecto de Pedaleo – Collaboration Mural

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This is one of my most favorite projects I have ever done. The murals that keeps painting itself…

Vienen desde Seattle Cristina! Mexico! Beautiful! 12742448_815486748552274_4099817604893194673_n Mexico! California! Yes! 12670322_804344156333200_4109102368704856084_n 12670554_809261105841505_6849309011698076449_n 12647525_802356846531931_3636936079675793018_n 12744607_815487928552156_494096165187563378_n 12646996_806501459450803_5194471518189293325_n 12347703_784427168324899_5109186728106992705_n 12592401_799718863462396_609506109077819445_n 12541166_801464986621117_7802651288094113071_n 12541009_802356886531927_3074796416029057138_n 12670110_806501496117466_4043224842760332899_n 12439540_799719906795625_5099429797484874940_n 12391299_785882841512665_1429675794084120982_n 12376508_785221584912124_8730392073311550586_n 12226919_775824765851806_3836251116168647645_n 12348013_783186095115673_1656918665007762061_n 12313552_779722598795356_5439720303886848775_n 12346574_780811968686419_6792227552521666329_n 12347793_783186291782320_223210873390970866_n 12239583_775824795851803_2504142713499328588_n 12308749_779722462128703_3201813429675870790_n 12366285_784050021695947_2835233678314186598_n 12088392_760388220728794_4562033277990765589_n 12347577_784427074991575_3041376503097520681_n 12108179_760388184062131_3466970195729643554_n  12219326_771613792939570_2873509282572244229_n 12208856_771622142938735_6752253056477016121_n 12345443_780812555353027_7927194467437689071_n 12342596_784427118324904_5466104802676059047_n 12006237_748938231873793_833417898214344283_n 12359965_783186355115647_5380800740189347486_n 12342524_785221621578787_4667617655200650302_n 12341404_780812422019707_2429764771460050472_n 11164799_683131381787812_9115220073727280353_n 12105882_764664750301141_3960902484411507910_n 11068304_687614024672881_7605146776557258569_n 12645142_806501376117478_3070912247589358610_n 12109265_759356994165250_5673157183717858127_n 12341377_780285068739109_6114608443086874168_n 12341339_783186255115657_1772778972687439328_n 12043205_759359097498373_8560607580710529277_n 12314023_780284522072497_9142651834022999622_n 11050659_674209252680025_1217103449483997940_n 12241453_775824632518486_4879052105354297233_n 12239628_773707676063515_4174821280400285822_n 11014931_687613881339562_8540182453926254271_n 11010616_768789366555346_2295969924401638950_n 12107751_761175053983444_7447352164543470525_n 12239597_775824659185150_1088410451528852223_n 12191929_769012633199686_3270511815902872379_n 12189802_769012773199672_361749079545191825_n 12189682_771622122938737_5736437508194590461_n 12187650_769012659866350_7620234306019662383_n 1897982_748938085207141_159569422041242702_n 12143355_769012709866345_3426044938605775703_n 12036805_765899790177637_7451067676275242094_n 12140823_760388150728801_3901057440400167876_n 10999640_674209479346669_4161809373608525570_n 10647015_683148088452808_8189605994458828589_n 10420357_674209932679957_7501759322314638576_n 12122886_769404819827134_1206073913274287070_n 12115452_775824835851799_2794512302507571165_n 12036845_759359234165026_2676114869130917200_n 10246311_769012536533029_4640190016464976948_n 12011275_748938258540457_1301916847842035031_n 11220099_764393686994914_4598073069734273868_n 11193437_683130941787856_5481388070810590155_n 11108213_683130931787857_7507626238384722192_n 10986564_712993878801562_3554285581591217137_n

Baja California

The Inspiration: As many of you know, I am not a stranger to staying on peoples couches, floors, back yards of anywhere I can with a tent. My journeys have been filled with hospitable and beautiful humans who have treated me like a family member. Among the many Lupita and Gabino from San Quintin stand out to me as shiny examples of this. Parents to daughter, Stephanie, they have welcomed hundreds of travelers yearly who bicycle down the Baja Mexico. They took me in for almost a week!

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They are made me feel like I was apart of their family and took care of me in ways that parents would. I met them at a hard time in my travels and they made me feel that I was not alone. Lupita and Gabino have so many travelers stay with them, they made a guest book and started having people write entries. Then it turned into a map where people would pin where they started their travels from. The day that I first stayed with Lupita and Gabino they were full of excitement for me to mark with a tiny tack where I traveled from. They led me to a large map that was covered in plastic lamenant and many different colored pins all over the map of the world.  It was incredible to see these physical pins from so many people. Connecting the world to make it seem smaller and that we are all the same. I was so inspired.

I knew this idea would come up again. And sure enough, three weeks later I was able to make it happen at the “Casa de Cyclista” in San Ignacio, Baja Mexico

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The Process: I ask to use some paints from the surrounding neighbors in Mexico and many of them laughed at me and then watched me paint from the street. They had no idea why I would want to borrow paint from them. Sure enough I found green, blue and white. The only colors we found. It was enough though and after one day of sketching (I typically don’t sketch but figured I had to in order to get the world perspective right) that I was underway painting.

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How long: It took me almost 4 days to paint. I had a little helper with me who got me coffee, and sharpened my pencil. He also just watched in awe as I painted. He would even help me erase my pencil lines. What a beauty this little helper was!

The exchange: Free stay and food for the mural.

The Location: San Igancio, Mexico at the Casa de Cyclistas. Click here for the Casa de Cyclistas Website. Thank you to Casa de Cylistas and thank you to Lupita and Gabino, ustedes tienen un lugar especial en mi corazón!

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Biking Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsyvanlia, Philly, Delaware and Beyond

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Cycling, cycling and more cycling down the East Coast!

    

Above is a Rail to Trail, converted rail road tracks made into a trail that was 17 miles long. So many people were using the path and it was one of the most enjoyable, car-free trails I have been on. It creates a strong sense of community by having those biking trails,

      

  

The 17 mile bike path was incredible and every time I found myself on a trail with no cars and dense silence from the trees around me, I always was thankful for it. That is why I ride, for that serene and full feeling of being immersed in nature.

With that said, some of the bicycle paths that I took (via google maps) were absolutely horrible in the sense that I had to walk my bicycle because the sand was so thick and impossible for me to ride. There were sometimes the roads were 2-6 miles long and often I had to turn around because it was so ridiculous. I follow whatever google maps tells me to follow, and sometimes I think that it was made for off road dirt biking!

  
  

I continued from Rhode Island south in to Connecticut where I rode on a bridge hundreds of feet in the sky. I was alone and pretty scared as well as claustrophobic being that high up. The bridge lasted a couple of miles and was over a huge river. It was a path that was squished next to 5 lanes of traffic and when another cyclist passed by, it was hard to squeeze through! What a rush!

   
  

 

From Connecticut I took the ferry across to Long Island and rode to meet my friend Tricia who I met and was friends with in Oakland CA. She now lives on Long Island where she grew up and has a son and husband now. It was lovely to catch up with her and spend a couple nights on Long Island. We went to a cross fit competition in long beach for all one day, swam in the ocean which was incredibly warm and got to catch up with one another.

   

   
 

Long Island was beautiful and full of vineyards and agricultural land. The houses are huge and old and apparently its become quite expensive to live out there. I saw a lot of horses, deer and animals too!


  
 

From Long Island I took the train a bit and then rode into NYC and met my friend from college, Jon who let me stay with him for a couple days. Jon and I ventured all over the city and had a great time exploring the 9/11 memorial, Central Park, Empire State Building and many other sites! It was one of Jons first time riding in the city so I felt so honored to explore with him. I really love exploring cities and being able to do it by bike, exploring bike paths and falling in love with bike riding all over again. I cant get enough of my bicycle!

 

  

   

I absolutely loved New York. I was blown away at the public transportation, how easy it was to bike anywhere in the city, and how pedestrian friendly it was! At some points while riding, I could see multiple buses, train cars, subway trains, bike paths, car paths, and waterfront spaces for pedestrians. This city has a great mapped out infrastructure and I don’t care what anyone says about riding a bike in New York. Its possible! Not only is it possible, but its a magical thing to experience. I would definitely be commuting if I lived in NY.

   

  

   

Next stop was Philadelphia where I stayed just for a night with some lovely people from Warmshowers. I saw a lot of murals and left promptly because the Pope was in town and it was hard to get around. It was a rush riding into Philadelphia as I was riding solo and got into some bad parts of town. I felt quite vulnerable on my bike. There are roads to go around these parts, but in many ways I like to ride through the whole city to experience what it is really like. Maybe next time I go with someone!

  

  

Next stop: Washington D.C. where I found my friend from childhood who let me stay with her a couple of nights. I loved D.C. it was very clean, organized, had free museums and I even got a glimpse of the Pope! I was able to see my childhood friend, Lauren Goodman and we had a wonderful time walking around the city and seeing Georgetown where Lauren went to school.

 

 

Next was Atlanta where the city was organizing an outdoor weekend music festival featured around rap. It was another world, like anything I have seen. It was interesting!

  

 

  

From D.C. it was onto Durham where I was reunited with Soul Sister, Gillian and I was fortunate to stay with her for a weekend. It happened to be Durham Pride. Highlights included donuts, days of rain, and my beautiful friend!

 

 

Next was Atlanta where I met up with a vehicle and friend Jesse who ended up giving me a two week ride cross country. We camped, stayed with friends, and met new friends along the way. My bicycle went with me as well, and so it was again wonderful to explore the cities that we traveled to by car.

The next stop was Nashville, Tennesse. Although out of the way, so glad we went to this city because it was full of great music, interesting people, and a lot of sights to see. They had a great bike path through the outskirts of the city so you can get around pretty easily by bicycle.

  

 

   

   

Next was New Orleans!  It was a city that reminded me of a town in Colombia called Cartagena because of its Spanish and French architecture and for the tropical climate. It was hot hot hot, which apparently to the people of New Orleans was not that hot contrasted to what they dealt with in summer.

    
  
  

I felt it was hot! We spent a couple of days in NOLA and enjoyed swimming, parks, and friends! There was even a gorgeous tree that had chimes hung to the branches which created an art tree with an orchestra of healing sounds. What a colorful city! Vibrant, diverse and amazing!

  
  
  

Then is was Austin Texas! A place that I have always wanted to go, and almost moved to directly after college. I got to see my cousin, Elizabeth there and really get to know the city riding around. Lots of bike lanes and lots of biking!

  

  

Then onto Arizona, Tucson! We just stayed for a short time I did not feel like I got a good grasp on what the vibe was like. But lots of driving and lots of freeway. I am definitely not a big fan of driving I think most of you know!

 

  

 

These last bunches of photos are from our camping journey a couple days on the way back home. This was in New Mexico and we found a cool place off the freeway. It was quiet and the stars were loud!

  

Then we were onto Joshua Tree where I linked up with the Joshua Tree Music Festival! I was able ot see my riding mate Maud, who I just absolutely love! She was in Southern Mexico and decided to take a month break in LA. I was so lucky to link up with her!

  

  

  

What a great way to end the tour! Since I was so close to LA I just decided to work a couple weeks out on Catalina Island. More of that to come….I feel so lucky to have my friends that I have met along the way. This journey of bike touring the east coast has been filled with love, exploring and change. I feel super clear minded and open, I feel charged with love and space for more change. I am always growing and transforming. Just because I challenge myself by traveling and learn a lot still does not mean that I know everything. I am always open to new experiences and exploring new spaces. I feel full of gratitude for all I have seen and done. Now is a time for rooting and grounding. Lets see how it all unfolds!

Love you all! Thanks for supporting me!

Biking – Boston to Rhode Island

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Biked 54 miles from Boston, Massachusetts to Providence, Rhode Island. It was beautiful, easy and on the way out of the city I had a wonderful bike path for almost 15 miles which was a rail to trail bike way. Rails to Trails is an amazing organization based out of Washington D.C. that converts unused railroads into community paths for pedestrians and bikes! They are just wonderful bike advocates.

  

  

Rhode island is the smallest state in the U.S. and was actually the state that I picked for my 5th grade project and in a weird way, I have always wanted to visit! Founded in 1636 making it one of the oldest cities in the U.S.

   

I was fortunate to stay with my friend Erick who lives in Providence and happens to bike! We biked around maybe 40 miles and got a really great look at the city.

     

There were great bikes paths, I love this state!

  

The ride was gorgeous, Rhode Island has some pretty incredible bike paths.

  

Here is a view of the apartment I stayed in, it was a really cool loft and art place! Thank you Erick!

Boston, Massachusetts

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I spent a little over two weeks in Boston had a great time getting to know the city. I have always wanted to visit Massachusetts! I stayed with different groups of friends and strangers that became friends.

     

Above are pictures of the arboretum in south Boston. Such a beautiful place. I learned a lot about myself and more about what I want for the next couple weeks of my adventuring. I have been so blown away by the love and support that I’ve received while in this city. I got to reconnect with some old friends, visit my cousin, go on many bike rides, and meet other cyclists who are passionate about riding. I just feel lucky to have spent the time I did.

   
   

Above Ian would speak to morning and afternoon bike commuters about bicycle benefits. Sometimes the line of cyclists would be 30+! Pretty amazing. Boston has tons of riders and maybe not the best infrastructure, but the people are committed to make things more safe. Here above is also my friend Jesse from Oakland who used to live in Boston just visiting!

  
     

 I was so lucky to be able to go to Boston bike party which so happens in Oakland as well. It’s one of my most favorite organized rides where hundreds of people get together and ride 10-15 miles and there are planned stops where there is music and just hanging out. Sometimes there is a theme and people get really into it. It’s a great place to meet people. Then I took some screen shots of some instagram posts from a host we had. She liked our “hippy camping” set up. It is quite the urban sight to see I will admit. Oh and do you see my mailbox and sprouts growing on the back of my bike?   
      
Lots of beautiful scenery mists the chaos of the city I loved waking up for sunrise and finding a place to watch sunsets. 

 

    
I volunteered with MassBike to do some bike parking at the Red Sox game and got a free pass to check out the game at Fenway park. Surprisingly small!

    

 Here is me and other Molly and Sasha, new girlfriends of mine! What a special time it was with some ladies that I really connected with! This picture was at a potluck/clothing swap.

The pictures are from Franklin Park just south of Jamaica plain outside, south, of Boston. Beautiful park that has a zoo, a golf course, and many ponds and green space.

  
   


When we first arrived to Boston we were welcomed with an organized ride that was 20 some miles, and there were 4-5 stops and it was during the day. Very similar to bike party but more small and intimate. Anyways, at each stop was a planned musical stop so it varies from one guy at the top of a pillar playing music, to a DJ to a full on band playing at the top of the hill with free snacks and another full band near the greenway of the Boston Airport. It was an incredible experience.

   

York, Maine

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Welcome to York, Maine settled in 1624 and right on the Atlantic Ocean!

     

York, Maine is known to be a summer vacation town, just South of Portland, Maine. Took us a day to bike and Ian had some friends that he knew in town. It was a beautiful couple that were musicians and artists who had two young boys. We ended up staying in their barn for a week!

   
  

We took the boys out for their first long ride. Actually you could call it a tour, because we spent the night at their grandparents house in the back yard. It was a pretty wild experience teaching the boys how to ride. It wasn’t a simple ride either, a lot if it is what I do while touring. Incredible time!
   
  

Above is the barn room that we stayed in. Joyce, the mother and incredible musician was such a fun time to hang out with. A beautiful soul and I feel so wonderful and appreciative that she let me stay with them for the week.

    
    

We stayed a night in Portsmouth, New Hampshire as well. We ended up staying with a man, Jeremy that had Ian had already stayed him. Pretty funny, we ran into him on the street. We stayed in his back yard and set up a tent.

     
   

We met some friends, went to an art party and then ended up camping on the beach. What an experience as there were trucks that drove through where we were camping in the middle of the night.

   

2 Days 190 miles – Portland Maine to Townshend, Vermont

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Back on the road again, and this time solo.

First I wanted to see what it was like to ride alone, and second I wanted to visit my friend, Tyler who I originally took the train to the East Coast with.

The plan: Ride 2 days to ride to West Townshend, Vermont from Portland, Maine to see Meadow Bee Farm where Tyler and friends were working and staying.

       

The first day I cycled 100 miles to a town outside of Manchester, New Hampshire to a warm shower host, Art and Sarah who welcomed me at the end of the bike trail. They gave me a bed and a wonderful comforter and a beer and in the morning catered to my every need and made me fruit and yogurt and PB&J snacks for the road. I felt like a daughter it was beautiful! They had a wonderful garden and two lovely dogs and a great home.

   
  

The ride was intense as it was my first trip riding 100 miles and the last 15 miles was on dirt road with tons of large rocks and roots exposed. I had some difficult time with my google maps biking directions that took me into strangers back yard, sand roads that are impossible to bike on, and large up rill dirt roads that were ridiculous and absurd to take a touring bike on. Part of me thinks that the directions are for mountain biking and not road touring.

  

   

I was fortunate enough to learn about the history of my mothers side of the family from my grandfather Bruce. He told me that in the early 1600’s that my family was located in Maine in what is now called Saco its just south or Portland. I couldn’t believe it was on my way so I took some time to get a coffee and enjoy the town. Unfortunately most of the information in the historical libraries only dated back to 1750’s so I wasn’t able to find information on the Libby’s, who owned a market in town. Pretty amazing history and special for me to visit the town.

  

The next day I was up early and headed to Goffstown and road a good 90 miles to Brattleboro, Vermont where I met Tyler and we swam in the lake and headed to the Farmers market where we met all the Farm friends! I got to see the farm and then we headed to Chabot at a friend bakery “Earth, Sky and Time” where we sang beautiful songs and had a potluck. More about the farm soon, just wanted to send a update about my riding solo time! What a beautiful life this is!

   
    

Biking from Vermont to New Hampshire

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Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 10.07.21 AMHere is the map of the bike trip so far. We are going to call this tour the “North East Tour” which so far has included New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and currently I am in Maine. Many people talk about how I am in “New England” and just to clarify that means a tour through six states. Can you guess them all? Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont! I didn’t know all 6 so if you didn’t guess them no worries. Anyways the journey has been full of mountains and green beautiful land.

  

Vermont and New Hampshire do not have any lack of lakes and rivers for swimming! Waterfalls galore and beautiful people to meet! I think there was not one night that we didn’t camp next to the water. What a wonderful way to go to bed and to wake up in the morning. These day we are averaging anywhere from 25-50 miles a day, swimming wherever we get the chance, and just enjoying the local people and surroundings!

  
    

New Hampshire is one of the founding 13 states and actually the first to technically declare independence from British North American Colonies and the first U.S. state to have its own constitution. The license plate motto here is “Live Free or Die”. So humorous to see that on plates. It is also nicknamed “The Granite State” for its granite and quarries.

 
  

Here are the typical roads and the green highways. We typically have a shoulder and it is quite the contrast from Mexico. I enjoy the roads here and relax quite a bit. The hills, even the mountain passes are nice and gradual.

     

I love to ride my bike. I ride because I utilize my body in ways that I didn’t know it could function. I ride for the challenge, for the sweaty and hot uncomfortable feeling. I ride because I realize my privilege and resources available to me and want to take advantage of it. I ride because I know I wont always be able to take on this many miles and this many weeks camping. I ride because it is meditation and frees my mind and soul and lets my heart sing. I love to ride. It gives me power, clears my mind and gives me a beautiful perspective on life. When you ride a bike it takes you longer to get places. It makes you really mindful about who and where you spend your time and the life tends to slow down. I cant stop!

   

 

Riding through some of these small towns is really crazy because many of the buildings are over 100 years old with beautiful architecture and stunning farms and landscapes. This small town had a pharmacy that also had a diner. I guess its been open 75 years and the gentleman in the lower right hand pictures name is Jon and he owned the last gas station in town and now is a banker. He is 80 years old and was quite knowledgable about the area.

     

One night we stumbled upon Bethlehem Flower Farm that had flowers, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens and a garden. The woman that worked and owned the farm for the last two years was my age and we got to chatting with her about the possibility of doing some work trade for sleeping in the back yard (full moon) and getting some eggs from her chickens as well as some zucchini. It was a great trade we worked in the garden weeding some onion plants and feeding the baby goat! What a great time we had, we made popcorn and had some wonderful conversation. This farm was settled in at the top of the White Mountains and was picturesque.

 
  

 

Here below is Ian in the onion patch at the farm.

    
 

I love the landscape and could bike across this part of the country any day!

    

 A Mural in Burlington, Vermont

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Vermont is a beautiful and magnificent place! It is the leading producer of maple syrup in the United States, it has forests that cover over 75% of the state! The green mountains are located within the state and the state is bordered by Massachusetts, New York, Quebec Canada and New Hampshire.  I ran into old friends, and made new ones. I never could of imagined it would of been this green and luscious, I am still in awe of the beauty and how friendly people were. Billboards are outlawed and there was no sign of cooperation’s, just tons of farm and local businesses.

I made my way to Burlington, Vermont after New York. We took a ferry about 20-30 minutes across Lake Champlain. I met with my friend, Cody that I met on a bike tour of the west coast and he actually met us on the other side of the ferry. He took us swimming and showed us around town. We got caught in a storm that was so intense but short. We met a woman who let us stay in her garage until it past.

It was great to catch up with Cody, to swap some bike touring stories and he hosted us for two nights. It was such a blessing. We also met wonderful people through warmshowers.org and turns out Ian knew them! Dan and Christine were their names and they help run a community bike shop and a bike shop in town. We ended up staying 1 week with them and so thankful for their hospitality. Their project is called Burlington Bike Project and if you click the name you can check out their project and website.

Their website also features me in their blog. You can click this link to check it out.

Who: Essentially the Old Spokes home is run as shop for just about anyone who needs help with their bike and then Bike Recycle Vermont helps create access to affordable education, job training opportunities, and a supportive and encouraging environment for people who need it!

Where: Burlington,Vermont

  

  

How long did it take: Only 3 full days of painting! This also included a day where many cyclists came through for a celebration of the North neighborhood called “The Ramble”. This included a community BBQ, displaying of the mural and tons of kids and adults asking about the mural. It was a pretty incredible space.

Dan and Christine introduced us to some beautiful people and we were able to plug into the Burlington scene pretty easily with their help. Potlucks, cooking, music listening and making, hair cutting and just hanging out I would move to Burlington because of the people and bike culture. They had a lovely co-op that we hung out at quite a bit speaking with cyclists about bicycle benefits, which Ian helps promote and run where you get benefits for riding bikes! It is as simple as that, empowering more cyclists to get moving and start commuting, touring, or just getting out there and riding. The program is amazing and I feel excited about helping out.

 

The mural was so much fun to create. I really enjoyed it, although its an older style I felt that it was the best thing for the Bike Shop and the community. I was able to paint certain local businesses and community organizations that the clients could relate to.

  
  
  

Here is the mural in detail, this was also one of the first times that I drew people in my painting. It was fun, I met some amazing people and wanted to include them. Ian is also pictured here with doughnuts as he handed out doughnuts to cyclists a couple mornings in the street. I drew Dan and Christine of course, and then I am meeting RJ and his children who helps organize Bike Party Burlington.


     

Here is more on the mural!

  

 I love to ride my bike. It makes me feel the true sense of the word free. I feel alive, I feel free, I feel strong and I feel like I can do anything in the world that I set my mind to. It is a beautiful feeling and a wonderful way to see the world.


  
  

We left Burlington after a week and headed to the state capital, Montpelier which is actually the smallest capital according to population in the United States. There our goal was to check in with all the businesses that supported Bicycle Benefits and make sure that they were still accepting cyclists and just promoting the cause. We tabled at the local co-op again and met some amazing people just encouraging people to get on their bikes. Bicycle benefits program is great it allows cyclists in many cities throughout the U.S. to buy a sticker for their helmet for only $5. Then they can go online and see the different local businesses where they get a discount. Discounts range from 5-20% off purchases, free cookies, free chocolate, free coffee, and more. It is allowing local businesses to support cyclists and cyclists getting rewards for cycling.

  
   

We got to ride through a lot of green beautiful mountains, I felt like I was back in Washington State. I am still in awe of the State.

   

   

Rain, rainbows, libraries, meeting new people!

              

I would absolutely live in Vermont, I loved it there. I think that I would have to live through a winter to actually understand what the state is all about. But either way I would be open. Thank you to all the people and friends that we met and spoke with. What a beautiful life! The plan now is to head east! New Hampshire and Maine!

Bahia de Los Angelos, North Baja California Mexico

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This magical bay of Los Angleos, Baja California deserves a post of its own for the inspiration it left me and for the beauty and screnity of its location.

 

The past month since arriving in Meixico we have had one road the entire way. It is called the “One” and you don’t need maps and you don’t need to worry about getting lost. You can see it above in the yellow line. From the one there are many roads that lead to the sea of Cortez and they are a good 66-120 kilometers of a detour.   You can can also see in the photo above the one road and then where the pin is dropped. We didn’t want to miss out on all these beautiful places.

So we decided we wanted to hitchhike and not back track and with three bikes we knew we had to be patient. We see maybe one car every half hour but we were patient, ate lunch and waited about 1.5 hours before some cars came along. 2 cars, one with a man made trailor from half a truck cut in half already stocked high with things, and another suburban with a sailboat hitched behind. We were kindly offered a ride and put all our bikes on top of the trailor in the classic bike stack.

 

It was only 66 miles and unfortunately got to sit in the suburban and chat with a family from La, a father and two kids the same  age as my brother James (11) and sister Melina (14). They were on spring break (lots of tourists from the states in Baja). Anyways we arrive in Bahia and seeing the water truly make you appreciate it more and want to jump right in. But we had to find a place first.

Well as soon as we were packing our bags on the side of the road a lovely couple in a dune buggy came zipping by merrily and asked us what we were doing etc. They kindly and warmly offered their back porch for us to stay and it was a divine meeting! They were very excited to meet us and were just finishing up a week long stay there and did not mind if we joined them for the end of it.

The couple, from Lauguna beach, Don and Susie met when they were bike touring in the states. They ironically were going separate directions but ended up riding together for 4 hours. They didn’t get together till much later but it was a blissful meeting!

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Dons parents, Joyce and Wally were one of the first Americans to build a home in Bahia in 1972. Mind you there are virtually no houses in 1950 this town is relatively new. Anyways Joyce and Wally build a gorgeous home. Simple, filled with joy and love, and looking out onto the water. They used to fly their airplane down to Bahia LA and would sometimes bring chickens and apples and fruits for the local people.

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 So the house was constructed in the states by Joyce where she put the house together to make sure it worked properly and  then took it apart, loaded it in a truck and constructed it for a second time in Bahia. Such an amazing story I love it. The two of them seemed like a happy couple and really you could tell from the energy of the home. Unfortunately Joyce passed away last year and Wally 5 years ago but their legacy lives on. We even were fortunate enough to listen to some of their Cds!

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So we all agreed to stay one night, which turned into two, which turned into three! What a wonderful time. We took out the boat and got a wonderful tour of the islands around the bay. Beautiful clear water, tons of little islands, red rocks, jumping fish, white sandy beaches, and plethora of birds and sea lions! So many islands to explore and we even got to hike to the top of a little hill on an island to see an osprey nest. Papa Bob and Joe I always think about you two when I see any birds from our days birdwatching in the arboretum!

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So there were 5 of us, plus a dog, skipper that went whale watching. Susie made sandwiches and we got to see Finnback whales! So beautiful at one point we saw 3 of them right in front of us coming up to breathe at the same time. So beautiful they are the second largest whale! They can grow up to 90 feet long! The whale is long and slender, grey blue in color, They are super fast and can pass the fastest ocean steamship! They are not very fond of humans so the way that we would find them was to stop the motor, listen for their breathe which is easy to hear.

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I still can’t believe these amazing animals that are so large in size eat such small plankton. I also learned that some of the whales are now a generation away from the whales that were whaled and killed meaning that the new generation has no memory of fear of humans. We are meeting many tourists who actually take boats and pet the whales because they are so curious and friendly. While this is more about the grey whale, the finnbacks are not into people at all. The would always swim away from us but you could get close to see them breathe and then you could fell when they dove high and can swim up to 20 mph. What a lovely experience!

We are so thankful to have met Don and Susie. I have stayed with many people over the last 2 months and I never had a hard time saying goodbye to any of them as I wanted to continue the journey but for some reason these two have still been in my thoughts and I didn’t want them to leave! I will have to visit them in Laguna Beach!

Acampar y San Quintin, Mexico

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Mexico is special. 

It has such a deep part of my heart as the people I make connections with are real and present and loving. You can make friends so quickly , everyone says hello to you, and there is a way of life that is about family and living in the present moment. Most conversations I have are about family, food, and weather. I see smiles and honks all day long and best of all I love when we share food with people. The life is about sharing and caring and everyone is included. I really missed speaking Spanish.

This is now almost a month since we have been riding. We left February 6th and have been non stop going! We are currently in San Quintin, where the dot is below.

   

I am sure by now we have done over 700 miles not quite sure just an estimate. I’m most surprised so far at how many homes we have stayed in! Such generosity that we have encountered.

Half of the weight that I carry is from food. We have a whole kitchen with us from spices to stove to pots and pans and then of course fruit and tortillas and avocados and cheese! I do miss the protein bars we could so easily access in the states. Traveling by bike outside  the Us is totally different in almost every single way. You don’t really have bike lanes here, food is different and you never have to pay to camp and the people are moree likely to let you sleep at their homes.

From Ensenada we rode 43-45 miles and arrived in a small town called San Tomas  around 5:30pm after wine tasting!  (My idea) Adley and I agreed that we would not bike after 4:30pm from now on as the drivers get crazy and that is also the peak hour when people get off work. Not worth it to ride we also hear daylight savings is coming this week so we will have another hour of riding!

Once in San Tomas we started asking around for a place to stay. We asked a 25 year old doctor who worked at a social services building if we could put our tents up in his yard. He responded “si perfecto, hágalo pues!” Later we found out he was super bored and somedays works 36 hours and delivers babies after being asleep and the women would wake him up ready to give birth. Pretty crazy stories and an amazing guy, super young for that sort of responsibility alone. He let us sleep in the storage room. We cooked him dinner.

The next day we camped after riding 35-49 miles at a random spot. Below is a typical camping experience. This place was just off highway 1. We are usually in bed usually by 830pm and up at 7am. I am a fan or writing in my journal and I’ve been learning tarot cards as well. So I like to do this at night and meditate. 

In the morning we usually make oats and fruit for the morning and then are off.

 

My tan is getting better and better. My face as well is half tanned from sun glasses and helmet.

 

Here is Adley and moon last night arriving in San Quintin where we have a warm showers host. They cooked us dinner and breakfast let us take a shower (after three days ) and have wifi and a warm bed! So appreciative of the little things what luxuries they are! Here lupita and gabino live with their children and two chihuahuas. It’s a beautiful home and they have hosted over 170 cyclist in 1.5 years! Here is a map they have in their home! The dots below in the map are the different places cyclists have come from. One guy that stayed here is traveling by unicycle!!!! I couldn’t believe it all the way to Argentina!!! And another guy by foot running!!!! All the way to Argentina! There are wonderfully more crazy people out there than I expected! Such a nice surprise and inspiration ! 

 

  

I will meet my future riding friend Maud from France hopefully here. She is on her way to Peru and we met on this cycling website warm showers. I am in no hurry and enjoying all the time I have on my beautiful bicycle! 

Tijuana, Playa de Mision y Ensenada, Mexico

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Never had I experienced that type of cycling as what I did in Tijuana! I’ll explain…It was an amazing city despite what many people say and I had a great time there thanks to our hosts and my cycling buddy Adley.

  

The ride was crazy from San Diego to the border maybe 15 miles of an easy ride. We took a ferry and loved chatting it up with the captain.

After the ferry you pass a couple of navy bases and it feels almost like Armageddon. There are US planes with people jumping out of them with parachutes, helicopters everywhere and guys and girls running through obstacle courses. You hear gun shots practicing  in the background and it feels almost scary.

Anyways we cross the border after exchanging money and are sent through a whirl wind of people. We pass the hundreds of people trying to get back into the states, an incredible amount of people! I couldn’t believe it. Apparently Mexico is one of the most visited borders in the world.

I received 6 months of visit from Mexico and then we were off. We had friends Liz and Elvis who live in downtown Tijuana so we were off. The problem now is that we don’t have GPS so we were sent to the streets  to ask people for directions. From experience most people you ask for directions they tell you anything they can and typically it’s not the right way. If they don’t know something they still tell you a way. There is a need to not just admit they are wrong.

After an hour of searching we found the house had an amazing time with Liz and Elvis who had experience bike touring in Europe and were just incredible people. Great conversations, good food, and wonderful hosts.

In the morning we were off by 11 and that’s when the chaos started. No bike lane and a major highway. Add in an element of being lost and we were in a crazy situation. We figured it out quick but there was a good six miles that I didn’t even change gears or think about how hard to was to ride up the hills because I was so concerned about the cars. This is a different ball game and the way the cars were driving was a wake up call to always give the right away to the car and always assume that they don’t see me. I’ve never riden like this before!

But all was fine and safe. We made it though to playa de mission almost 40 miles where we were lost again looking for a biking hostel. Those 40 miles seemed like 80 because we were just riding so hard.

We were searching for a place to sleep when suddenly we were honked at by a white Subaru that (in english) asked us where we were going. It was a woman and her friend and she invited us to stay in her guest house. It was getting dark so we jumped at it and came to a huge house on the hillside complete with food a bed and comfort all over it. Warm showers and a delicious meal later we were in biking heaven.

 

  

The next day we rode 10 miles to Ensenada when we got pulled over by a “green angel” who told us we were not allowed to ride on the toll road and that we had to go around through a mountain in order to get to Ensenada. We pleaded with him to give us a ride as we weren’t allowed to continue and he agreed to take us to enaenada. I was so happy because I really didn’t want to go around.

We arrived in Ensenada, fixed out bikes at a local bike shop and ate with some hilarious people who reminded us of cartoon characters and had a great time.

  

 

We stayed with a friend of glorias, daphne and stayed 2 nights as a storm hit and we didn’t want to ride in the rain! She had two children and seven and we had our hands full playing with them and being special guests in the house. We left her house just a half hour before another big storm hit. We made it out in time and even had time for some wine tasting at the oldest winery in North America San tomas!