Many apologies for having dropped the ball on updates for the last five months or so. Part of it was just being really freaking busy with my job, this side project I’ve been working on in my spare time, this other side project that was kinda a big deal there for a sec, and this pretty amazing group of people I’ve had the privilege of hanging out with and learning from. Also recently, having some really groovy times with fellow Midwest movement friends, old and dearly missed Obie friends, my nearest and dearest housemates and their incredibly rambunctious extended families, my own somewhat smaller but no less wonderful immediate family, my oldest of New York friends, and some new Cleveland acquaintances to boot. It’s been a good month.
But another part of it was being, well, overwhelmed. Not just in terms of being super busy on a personal level, but in terms of incorporating the absolutely bonkers array of things that seem to be changing at the speed of light. It was only five months ago that I was freaking out about Egypt. Since then we’ve had the fall of freaking Mubarak, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Malaysia, South Sudan, Japan, Joplin, News Corp-Gate, the death of Bin Laden, the release of Google+, Powershift 2011, deficit lunacy. And the Indians were doing pretty damn good. To those inclined to pay attention to the news (something of a key premise of this blog), it’s been kinda dizzying.
Amidst all that, my perspective and approach to citizenship and community membership (which has always, and probably will always be the focus of this blog) has been quietly changing in ways subtle, obvious, unprecedented, grounded, deep, significant, insignificant, revelatory, pedestrian, measured and radical. It’s both profoundly shaped how I see my role as a social agent, and how I see a better way to live on a day-to-day basis (which is again, a big theme here). It’s been a really fun process (though it would have been difficult to put into words and succinct blog-posts as it’s been going on for the last few months), and I may try to get into it at least a little before bike trip- as those shifts have given me a much clearer vision for the project I intend to be working on in Cleveland over the next five to ten years. But if not, no biggie, I’ll be returning to it when I’m back and have begun my process of working on my project in earnest.
But for now, the real reason I’ve returned to this blog is for bike trip. There are 38 days from today, the 19th of July, until the 27th of August, when we depart on the great bike trip from the North Coast to the South Coast, from grain to gulf. As a recap, this is the rough route we’re taking:
- From the magical (“This is for the steel workers leaving the mill, and for the crowds at The Lancer, for Harvey Pekar, who’ll be buried near Eliot Ness, for the young plotting reinvention, for the middle-class Lithuanians, for everyone who ever loved something that didn’t love them back“) Cleveland, Ohio
- to Columbus, Ohio
- to Cincinnati, Ohio
- to Louisville, (which I’ve heard is pronounced loo-vuhl) Kentucky
- to Nashville, Tennessee
- to Memphis, Tennessee
- to Little Rock, Arkansas
- to Dallas, Texas
- to Austin, Texas
- to Houston, Texas (I’ve been mapping this sucker out. let me tell you, Texas is really freaking big)
- to New Orleans, Louisiana
All in all it’s about 1,900 miles. If we do approximately fifty-mile days for most of it, it should take 38 days of biking, leaving some solid leisure time for detours, excursions, break-downs, disasters, extended stays with friends old and hopefully new, volunteering and wonder-feeding. We’re planning on doing a lot of swimming, hanging out at some intentional communities along the way, volunteering, and for at least myself, checking out models to help feed the vision and inform the project I intend to turn to full-on when I return to Cleveland. And I (and I’m hoping my compatriots) will be blogging the thang for relatively consistent updates.
All that said, if you’re still reading, I would love for your help and participation in this adventure in the following ways:
- If you live along this route, or relatively near to it, and want us to visit (and will tolerate my likely smelly self), let me know and we’ll definitely hit you up. I’d love to hang and see where you’re at.
- If you want to meet up with us at any of these cities and hang please let me know, it’d be great to see you.
- If you want to accompany us for any leg of the journey (have the foothills of the Ouachita national forest been calling your name? do you want to roll from C(leveland) to shining C(incinnati)? do you want to see what lies between Austin and Houston?) also let me know, we’d love to have you join us for a spell. Let me know well enough in advance so we can figure out gear and logistics and stuff.
- And finally, if you know of any essentials along the above route- things we must do, places we must see, organizations we must volunteer with or seek out, people we must talk to, foods we must eat, or any other happening things we need to do- please let me know. We’re pretty much down for anything, and though I’ll be doing a bunch of research into really sweet stuff over the next month (and will be seeking out the folks who I know lie along the route) I’d love to hear of what to check out from folks I know and trust.
- Okay really finally- let me know if you want postcards and comment below with your mailing address. I’ve never really done postcards before and am REALLY excited to get into it. But I need people to postcard.
That’s it for now. I’ll be posting more as the month or so of prep goes on, and will be obnoxiously soliciting answers to the above questions intermittently. And, as previously mentioned, I may begin to get into the project I’m really psyched to be working on when I get back (to Cleveland/the real world).
But for now, it’s good to be back (to blogging/the digi-world).