West to East for Freedom: A Biker’s Quest for Healing and Freedom

(Editor’s note: I had originally planned to ride the Great Divide Trail this summer to bring awareness to the cause of human trafficking. I’ve changed direction just a smidgen, but only a smidgen: the cause is still and always will be the same; the route has changed. For more, read below! For my bike trek blog: Click Here)

Thru-Ride 4 Freedom...join me....


In August of this coming summer, 2012, I will be taking a bicycle journey to help those who have been caught in the web of human trafficking. There are organizations around the world, including the United States, that are helping these victims get the healing, love, and help that they need. These are people who are fighting each day to piece their lives back together. These are hurting, damaged individuals. They could be your sister, niece, mother; they are real people. I will be riding to raise funds for the amazing organizations who are fighting in the trenches and on the front lines of human slavery, in one of the most difficult areas: with the survivors. Piecing lives back together is not easy. Your help is needed.

 5,000 miles. One Bamboo Bike. One crazy rider.


I will be riding a recumbent-style bicycle made of  bamboo from the leading recumbent bamboo bike maker in the world, located in Brazil. My journey will take me from the water of the Pacific Ocean on the coast of California to the waters of Hudson Bay in Manhattan, New York… an arduous 5,000 mile journey. I will be traveling a path along some of the busiest human trafficking zones in the United States, and giving a multimedia presentation and talk at selected spots on the way. The map of my journey is on this page. If you would like me to come speak at your church, business, organization or school, please message me here on this page or though my email, at oasisprojekt@gmail.com. My speaking schedule is already filling up, so if you would like to have me speak, please let me know soon. I can fill you in on more details if interested. Click here for an information form.

Speaking Engagements / Multimedia Presentation. A nice generic picture of what I will be doing. I won't be wearing khaki pants, though. Just Sayin'.


So if you feel led, please help me somehow make this ride a huge success:

  • Tell your friends, family members, coworkers, barber, barista, or bartender.
  • Give financially to the cause.
  • Keep me in your prayers.

I will be stopping at different rehabilitation centers and homes along the way, and donating what I have raised financially during that particular leg of my journey. This is an amazing opportunity to be a huge difference in someone’s life. You can follow along with me on this journey as I head eastward, and actually see and read about the results. 


Researching the history of bamboo as a material for bike making actually led me to realize bamboo was one of the earliest materials used to produce bicycles. Steel, though, superseded the natural substance, and bamboo bikes were generally not seen again for nearly 100 years. Now, there is a small renaissance in the bamboo-as-frame-material way of thinking, and there are small groups, both individuals and custom bicycle makers, that are either incorporating bamboo bikes into their offerings, or specializing specifically in them. One quality of bamboo is that it diffuses road vibration, lending itself to a smoother ride than steel, aluminum, or carbon fiber.

Bamboo Recumbent bicycle, with creator

As usual, the fact that I am going to ride 5,000 miles from California to New York on a bicycle has come with mixed reviews among some friends and family. This was the same as when I decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Add to it that I will be riding a recumbent bike made of bamboo…well, you can imagine. I spoke with my best friend about it today, and he made no attempt at hiding the fact he thinks I’m off my rocker crazy…but he understands my passion. He also agreed with me: if it was easy or ‘safe,’ it wouldn’t be ‘extraordinary,’ and people might not notice. Friends, we NEED to notice. It’s not a story about a guy riding a bike across the United States….it’s a story about real people who need our help. There are beautiful, real people who need us to notice them. There are former slaves, who are freed physically but still in chains emotionally and psychologically, who are begging us to notice.

The days of human trafficking, slavery, child labor, and forced prostitution flying under the radar are hopefully coming to an end. Be a part of blowing the issue up and helping everyone take notice.

I Need Your Help. They Need Your Help.

If you get a chance, please head over to the site I have set up for the ride and subscribe…I will be piecing together insightful and oftentimes humorous preparation updates, compiling gear lists, food supply strategies, trip updates from the road and the speaking engagements, as well as sharing more info on who I will be riding for and who will be sponsoring me along the way.  —–> VISIT THE SITE BY CLICKING HERE!



A light moment with Nick Vujicic in india, on the trip I learned about human trafficking in 2008

This entry was posted in Alpinlite Gear, Bamboo, bamboo bicycles, bamboo recumbent bike, Bombay, Brothels, California to New York, Dug Shelby, Equipment, Gear, Human Trafficking, India, Life Without Limbs, Mexico to Canada, Mumbai Teen Challenge, Nick Vujicic, Oasis Projekt, Pacific Crest Trail, Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike, PCT, PLEASE DONATE!, Prostitution, recumbent bike, Red Light District, Sponsors, Thru Hike, thru-ride, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to West to East for Freedom: A Biker’s Quest for Healing and Freedom

  1. Amazing post, Dug!! Wish I had something clever or witty to say, but I’m blown away by your sincerity and genuine care for people.

  2. You are an absolutely beautiful person. The world needs you, and many more like you. You’re incredibly inspiring – thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s