(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)
A JOURNEY OF HOPE AND HEALING
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.
THE RIDE, THE ROUTE
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
PLEASE HELP ME HELP OTHERS
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.
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.
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!