Bike4Peace continues across America, after break in of Cynthia McKinney's home
The song that keeps going around in my head for this week is by Gil Scott Heron and it goes like this:
"This ain't really life, ain't really life, ain't really . . . nothin' but a movie." Because we went from extraordinary to surreal in just a matter of hours.
Gil Scott Heron also sings "Push come to shove--you find exactly what you're made of" and that also seems appropriate for this week.
I've spent so much time being rather graphic about my aches and pains in certain places, and so I thought I'd focus this week on the mental battle that each rider overcomes in order to, day in and day out, ride as much as 85 and 90 miles, starting out at dawn each morning. You can imagine the kind of mental fortitude that takes. In my last ride, I did only 21 miles and into the 3rd mile I felt my shoes too tight, my seat too hard, my bun too hurt, my brain on the fry as the sun's heat sizzled inside my helmet. My arms and my legs soak up the sun's rays and turn as black as my gloves. And then, turn brown again a few hours later. But, amazingly, not once on this ride have I felt my legs too sore and give out. Clearly, for the core riders who are in much better shape than me, this is a game of wits: how to stay on the case minute after minute, rotation after rotation, spin after spin, and remain alert--because the cars are unforgiving--and reach the goal of the next city.
YeYo collects plants. He's surely an expert on what is edible and what is medicinal and what we'd better stay away from. He picked something called "ephedra" and told us it was used to make "Mormon Tea." Well, I did start reading the book of Mormon, but I stayed away from the tea!
Annie listens to her iPod. Now, for me, that takes skill. Because the cars and the trucks and the SUV's and the RV's are treacherous sometimes. Too many drivers just haven't figured out yet that it's OK to be nice and share the road with bicyclists.
Scott is a serious rider, but he takes the time to appreciate the scenery. And wow! What scenery!
Vernon, Bike4Peace's co-founder, is truly an enthusiast. Having done this cross-country bicycling twice before, he now is interested in taking Bike4Peace international and has even roughed out a map to take a group of cyclists throughout the world's war-torn zones, including India-occupied Kashmir, which has been in the news recently.
I've given Yaney the title of Director of Logistics. Because she has done an incredible job of keeping us sheltered and fed on every stop along the trip.
I've canonized Vernon and Yaney; Vernon, because he is so patient with me when I'm riding and because he's the leader, he rides last. So, with me--he's waaaaaaaay last! Yaney, because she's figured out a way to split riding time with me so that I get to ride some, even though she could ride more. And when I get back, I will show them just how much I appreciate what they have done to teach me how to be a better rider!
When I get back, you say? Yes, and here's how Gil Scott Heron became the singer of the week:
Day Twenty-Five - It was mostly downhill after Monarch Pass at 11,000+ feet! So, after sleeping in a wonderful little motel in Poncha Springs, Colorado, it was time to anticipate crossing into Kansas. I was looking forward to Kansas because it was reputed to be so flat, even the bicycle maps had no elevation at all for the entire state. I figured that that was my kind of riding. I've learned to abhor hills, let alone climbing mountains on my bicycle. But then, Vernon told me that I could use a better set of gears, especially low gears. He says that nothing is wrong with the gears I have if all I'm going to do is tool around the neighborhood. But for the kind of riding out there on the byways of America, I need a bit more. So, we made our way from Poncha Springs into camping at Westcliffe.
Day Twenty-Six - We're off to see the wizard . . . Yaney rode 26 miles today! And we're headed toward Pueblo! I put in 21 miles before calling for Yaney to come and get me with the sag vehicle. Afterwards, realized I only had 5 miles more to go before arriving at our destination in Pueblo, a Mexican Restaurant, where Bob Kinsey (Green Party U.S. Senate candidate) and our host, Celestia, meet us!!! We have a host in Pueblo, a rest day, AND a potluck scheduled, so we're all very happy. After reaching Pueblo, I had real chorizo for lunch so I was especially happy. My aunt Hazel and I LOVED to make chorizo and eggs for breakfast and invite Nick and Dedon and her children over to eat with us! Celestia took us to her home where we camped in her front yard--I chose the hammock and swang under a full moon and a clear night sky.
Day Twenty-Seven - Today is our rest day and the day of the potluck. Man, it was so good to be in a real home. Celestia surprised us last night with dinner and then this morning with breakfast. Time to go to the potluck. We get dressed. Some of the bikers ride in; Scott went to visit a friend he hadn't seen in a long time and arrives just in time to accompany Celestia, Annie, and me to the potluck. We all proceed to Celestia's car, only to discover that her window has been smashed in and she doesn't have a clue who could have done such a thing. We call the police and make a report. I tell Celestia that she can always come and stay with me in Georgia--she is such a wonderful person!
Day Twenty-Eight - I think everyone is sad because we have to leave Celestia. She introduced her entire family to us. And has treated us royally. Yaney wants to spend more time at Celestia's and do some more logistics before leaving Pueblo to support the riders and search for lodging in Haswell, our last city/town in Colorado. I pack my things and get ready, wait for Yaney, and decide to go online to clear my inbox so I don't get so many bounces. Despite it being gmail, I've managed to fill my inbox! Among the first e-mails I read is a message from my neighbor, my house has been broken into--what do I want her to do. I try to respond to her but my box is full. I try to call her from my two cell phones and neither of them works, although they both worked at Celestia's home earlier. Finally, I borrow Celestia's phone and return the call. I exit my e-mail account and go into another account and send my neighbor a message: CALL THE POLICE! I finally talk to my neighbor, Daveed, and my mother. They all converge at my house and oh, what a mess. Instead of going to Haswell with the bikers, Yaney drops me at the Pueblo airport and I head back to Georgia . . .
Day Twenty-Nine - Bike4Peace makes it to a new time zone: from Pacific to Mountain to Central. Bike4Peace is now in Kansas--without me. Meanwhile, at home, I conclude that my burglars are either super stupid (leaving some items behind that one would think high on a burglar's list) or super shrewd (very selective about exactly what was taken).
"Push come to shove you find exactly what you're made of."
* Click here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZ-OMQp1bhg) to have a listen to Vic Sadot's latest: "Trouble in the Rubble" about the strange white-hot debris that burned the recovery dogs and first responders at the World Trade Center Towers in the aftermath of September 11. I'll be in NYC on 9/11/2010 to remember the First Responders that Congress and others certainly forgot. And then back to Bike4Peace in Kentucky!
* Click here to view the Josh Blakeney 7-part documentary of STS (Splitting the Sky) who tried to serve George Bush a people's warrant for torture, war crimes, and crimes against humanity and who, instead, found himself being tried for the crime of obstruction of police officers doing their duty (protecting Bush from justice)! And I'm in it starting in Part 4!
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Censored News is published by censored journalist Brenda Norrell. A journalist for 27 years, Brenda lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, writing for Navajo Times, AP, USA Today, Lakota Times and other American Indian publications. After being censored and then terminated by Indian Country Today in 2006, she began the Censored Blog to document the most censored issues. She currently serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague and contributor to Sri Lanka Guardian, Narco News and CounterPunch. She was cohost of the 5-month Longest Walk Talk Radio across America, with Earthcycles Producer Govinda Dalton in 2008: www.earthcycles.net/
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