From Three to Seven

Jeffrey here.  Joey yields the floor for today.

Joey is our brain and our voice.  I am the muscle and manage the day-to-day.

We face a stormy week.  Gentle rain in Mendocino will become torrential (atmospheric river) as we go north.  Even smooth roads are so narrow that we are forced to share the motor lane.  Hills are long, steep, and legion.  We climb slowly on tight curves, worried that drivers won’t see us until too late.

 No shoulder, no escape.

Motorists overtake us extra fast on steep climbs.

When trucks come close, there’s no way out.

Here at least there’s grass, not a rail or wall or cliff. And a turkey! But no shoulder.

At our current pace, not counting possible weather delays, Seattle is 23 days away.

In 21 days I must be at a friend’s Philadelphia wedding.  (Joey isn’t invited.)

There’s an egotistical side to the Rides.  “Look what an old country boy and a kangaroo puppet can do!”  But indulging our ego does not help to repair the world.

Any repair we effect is by inspiring bystanders and travelers with our Human Rights signs.  By showing respect for our neighbors and their ideas.  By sharing the truth about immigration and asylum law and how it is implemented in our names.

We can do that without biking between towns.  As you saw yesterday in Mendocino—and from our 6 months and 10,000 miles of Rides since 2011—towns, rest stops, and tourist sites have plenty of curious people who want to take a few minutes to talk about human rights.

And these northern California roads make it harder than in most places for drivers to flag us down on the open road, pull over and chat.

Here’s the new plan:

My Nancy—my heart— . . .

L to R: Nancy, Jeffrey

. . . and our patient friend Jennifer drove south to the San Francisco area today.

L to R: Nancy, Jennifer

En route, they dropped me, Joey, and our gear at the Santa Rosa airport, where I rented a 4-wheeled petroleum-burning vehicle to carry us back north.

We wouldn’t need to go from three wheels to seven wheels if I could pedal faster.  I can’t.

Joey and I will follow the route we planned, driving the same distance each day (40-60 miles) we’d cover if we were pedaling in good conditions.  We’ll stop in towns for the night.  We’ll bike on municipal streets and on highways, to places of historic interest and scenic beauty where we can make new friends.

In sum, we’ll keep pedaling.  We’ll redistribute that pedaling from long-haul straight-line open-road, to being centered around inhabited areas and interesting sites.

There’s always risk.  But we’ll be safer when we’re not too many miles from shelter, and can explore byways rather than being confined to highways.

Plus a predictable schedule can help our colleagues at Human Rights First find us speaking gigs along the way.

My concession to circumstance has let Joey down.  But of course we don’t want the stuffing (hah!) knocked out of us.  We don’t want a collision to convert this to The Joey Memorial Ride.  And I have to be in Philadelphia in 21 days.

If this change leads to more contact with good people who can civilize the tone of our national immigration debate, maybe it will be an improvement on our classic Ride model.

Let’s try.

Joey will return to these pages tomorrow.

See you on the road!

8 thoughts on “From Three to Seven

  1. Beautiful photos. And your text is so well illustrated. Glad to be able to follow your journey. All best wishes.


  2. Very wise decision. I often shuddered thinking about you on the open road facing
    the unpredictability of Mother Nature and human nature.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. SMART move. GOOD choice. Once day, when the weather is calm, you and Nancy can travel this span, slowly, in motorized transportation, stopping along the way to enjoy the scenery.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. At a Way to Go Jeffrey- Ride for Justice in all the ways you can. Sounds like you will have even more ways to discuss/present and meet your objectives than out there alone in dangerous roads and weather where itis not possible to stop and talk anyway! Keep Riding on more and more wheels. We finally sent some support for Justice from Florida so you are definitelymaking a difference in more places than you know!

    Liked by 1 person

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