I just wanted to post a quick update on everything, since I haven’t for a little while! Several readers have mailed in asking what the latest scoop is, so I thought I’d do a quick write up:
- First off, thank you for everyone who has been so supportive of the mission so far. I want to extend big smiling hugs to all of you. I have been very busy, and more than a little stressed out lately (just financial stuff, looking for that all-elusive second job that fits with the first job), and your support and encouragement has been much appreciated!
- The bike is now finished! You can check out the new pictures in the Bike Build page, and also THIS VIDEO of the test ride. Klaus has said it’s the best ‘climbing’ bike he’s ever ridden, which is one thing we wanted to achieve. Very exciting stuff to actually see, since just few months ago this whole idea was just that…an idea. And now, it’s really taking shape, and gaining momentum. Again, thanks to all of you who have passed on the details of my ride to others, your friends and family, school administrations and church leaders.
- Bike on the move! I am in the process of figuring out exactly what procedures are necessary to import the bike into the United States from Brazil. Since it is wood, there are ecological/health policies in place to make sure it is OK to import. I am hoping to get this in place and taken care of soon. The shipping is being handled by Klaus and Thiago, and all we are waiting on is word on what is necessary from a legal standpoint to import the bike.
- The Route: What started out as a mountain bike journey from Canada to Mexico has turned into a cross-country trek of 5,000+ miles, from one end of the continent to the other. Over 100 miles a day is what I am aiming for (I really don’t want this to be an easy trek…), and to make things more interesting, I am planning a multimedia presentation on human trafficking and the ways people can recognize it in their communities and how they can help globally. I have several stops already filled, and am going to be booking more as the time approaches. If you see that your community is somewhere near my projected path, please contact me and we can try to arrange a time for sharing. I am mostly targeting universities & colleges, churches, junior & senior high schools, and organizations. I will make time, though, to speak to any group at any time! Contact me via my “Contact Me” page, or at the bottom of this page in the “Comments” section. I’m hoping to have a sample of what the presentation will look like soon, so you can see if I would be a good fit for your group/school/organization.
- Financials: I’m still accepting donations for the ride and those I’m riding for! Donations GLADLY accepted via PayPal (use this address to donate: firstname.lastname@example.org), as well as my “GoFundMe” page.
- Training: I have been riding my bike exclusively since November, and am getting some very piston-like legs! Wait, what do I mean by “exclusively?” I mean I’ve sold my car, put my motorcycle into my storage unit, and have not been using a motorized vehicle for transportation since November, 2011. Just my bike, public transportation, my longboard, or feet. But since I moved in the first week of April, I’ve only been using my bicycle. I’ve been asked if that’s affected my dating life in a negative way, and I just respond, “What dating life?” 🙂 I’m excited to ride my bike, I love doing it, and I am looking forward to riding the “Bamboo Spaceship” as Klaus has called it.
- Gear Sponsorships: I have secured some really fantastic sponsors for the gear I will need on this ride. I will be continuing to update my gear pages, as I still have a few things to secure. I am optimistic I will have everything needed for the trip before I take my first pedal stroke in the late Winter/early Spring of ’13.
- Great story – Check it out! Gen Shimizu, owner of Yama Mountain Gear, is currently riding a unicycle over 2,700 miles from Canada to Mexico along the Continental Divide. Gen was one of the most supportive sponsors of my Pacific Crest Trail hike for human trafficking victims last year, and now he has decided to do something more for victims of human trafficking as well! I will be using his gear once again on my own ride, and am a very very big fan of his craftsmanship. As of this writing, he recently entered the United States, and is pedaling his way through Montana. Please take a moment to follow along on his adventure, bookmark him, and track his progress, and donate. He has done an amazing job thus far, raising almost $8,000 for victims of human trafficking by way of the Polaris Project. Just this last week, he took a tumble from his unicycle, badly spraining his ankle to the point where it swelled up like a balloon. He took just a couple days off, and was back on the unicycle, wearing an ankle brace, pedaling his legs off for victims of human trafficking. This guy is a warrior. Please check his site out!
That’s all I can think of right now….More to come soon. Please, please, please tell others you know about my trip, about the cause I am riding for, and if you get a moment please look into finding out more regarding the subject of human trafficking.