North to South? Nope… West to East!!
So when plans change, they sometimes change incrementally. Or, if you’re a plan in my life the last few years, they change with a very large degree of difference. Thus, this is what happened this week, and to be quite honest, I like the trajectory much more. Without further ado, here’s some s’plainin’ about what I’m trying to s’plain:
Initial plan was to mountain bike the 2,850 mile length of the Great Divide Trail, which shadows the Continental Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico. Map below:
One aspect that I did not really like was that it was going to follow a script much like my 2011 hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. I would be, for the most part, isolated. The majority of people I was able to speak to about human trafficking were those that I reached through my website, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. This was an amazing experience, and my website saw more hits than I thought it would…even though I was on the trail for 4 1/2 months and only having internet access maybe once every seven days.
But my passion was and continues to be to reach out to those who do not know about human trafficking, and share the stories of some of the survivors of human trafficking, as well as the story of what I’m trying to do to help through The Oasis Projekt.
One night last week it hit me. Bicycle was the vehicle, but my route wasn’t the right route! Much like the initial thought to hike the PCT, everything came rushing in, ready-made and just needing the finer details to be worked out. So here’s the new plan:
I will leave from Santa Barbara, California, September 16, 2013, after a few speaking engagements about my trip and human trafficking.
I’ll head down the coast of California, then make my way East. Along the way, I will stop at predetermined stops to give a presentation about human trafficking and what people, just like you and I, can do to help.
I believe in this way, more people will hear my message than if I rode the more isolated Great Divide Trail route.
One other very big change will be the bicycle I ride. Instead of a mountain bike (the perfect choice for the terrain on the Great Divide Trail), I will be riding a recumbent bicycle. This is a style of bicycle where the rider is generally a little lower to the ground, in a semi-reclined position with feet in front of the rider, where the pedals are located. Besides being easier on the back and neck of the rider, it would also allow me to ride more miles each day.
I immediately researched if there were any bike builders who used bamboo to construct a bamboo recumbent bicycle….and came across Klaus Volkman. His were the most impressive, beautiful bamboo recumbent bikes I found in my search. In fact, his was one of the only! Yes, there were several people in biking blogs and forums that were thinking about building a recumbent, but he had done it, and they were beautiful. I contacted Klaus, and he immediately loved the idea and said he would love to be a part of the project. Amazing. In the picture above, you can see Klaus smiling behind his bamboo creation, which will be almost identical to the one I take across the country.
There’s more to come, but I had to begin by documenting for everyone the change in plans, and the excitement I have in this new direction. I am currently working on fleshing out the potential stops on my tour, so if you are anywhere along the way and want me to stop and give a presentation, I would be more than happy to see if it is a possibility. I would be humbled and excited to have that opportunity to share!
This trip is about spreading the word about human trafficking and what it is like to be a survivor of this brutal crime, and to bring help to those victims who are seeking to have their lives pieced back together. In addition to speaking at different places along the way, I will be visiting as many recovery organizations/homes as possible, and donating to their needs as I go. Your gifts will make each stop all that much more incredible for these survivors.
Please consider giving to the cause. No amount is too small!
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