Friday, August 03, 2007

CoH FAQ

Catalysts of HOPE
Frequently Asked Questions


Where are you riding from and to?
We rode our bicycles from Portland, Oregon to Ventura, California, where we turned left. We crossed the high desert between Twentynine Palms, CA, and Parker, AZ, then turned southeast to El Paso. We rode across the center of Texas to Camp Casey and down to New Orleans. We'll continue up the Mississippi to St Louis, then cross to Washington, DC, for a week-long encampment in front of Congress that begins Sat 22 Sept, World Car-Free Day. After that, we'll go down to Georgia, perhaps Florida, and back to Louisiana and Texas.

Doesn't it take a long time to travel this way?
Well, we could choose to spend our time earning the car and the insurance, the gasoline and the maintenance, but the kids like it better when we spend time with them. Bicycling is human scale travel. We take time to appreciate where we are.

When are you going home?
When the troops are home. When everybody's gone home to New Orleans. When the Palestinians have a home and the prisoners come home. Until then, these bikes are our home. The whole world is home.

Don't the twins get fussy?
Of course they do. They're two-year-olds. But they spend a lot of their time in the trailer napping, singing, or playing harmonica. We laugh and talk together as they push me down the hills. And we stop when they need it.

What do you do when it rains?
Generally we get wet. Of course, we get wet even when it isn't raining. The warm rains of the south aren't bad, so long as we can keep most of our stuff dry. We have some pretty good panniers and bags. The babies have a rain cover.

Don't you get tired from all that work?
Yes. Then we rest. Each hill makes us stronger for the next one. It's an invigorating lifestyle. Bicycling, like swimming, is low impact exercise, as long as your equipment fits and you avoid contacting the pavement.

What do you hope to accomplish?
World peace would be nice. In the meanwhile, we're just showing folks that it's fun and easy to live without oil. As long as they want to fight over it, we want to try not to buy it.

Where do you stay?
We often depend upon the kindness of strangers. We've enjoyed the homes of many kind folk along the way. We also carry our camping gear, so we can stay in campgrounds and backyards. Sometimes, we stay in motels, if we can afford it.

How can you afford to do this?
How could we afford to pretend a normal lifestyle works? We accept donations. Like most Americans, we've over-extended our credit cards. We try to live simply and minimize expenses.

What kind of work do you do?
Besides pedaling heavy bicycles, we facilitate community discussions. We help neighborhoods to become more sustainable and to communicate peacefully.

Can we come with you?
Sure! Go to your local community bike shop and assemble a rig that will carry the few things that you really need to live on the road. You're welcome to ride with us or set your own pace and meet us along the way.

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