What I noticed last night was that not only are we on a schedule (although, not yet keeping to it as perfectly as we would like) so is the wind. We rise begin cycling and almost like clockwork the wind begins picking up during the 8am hour and continues on until somewhere in the 9pm hour (there roundabouts); seriously! It’s done it for the last 4 days that I’ve noticed. Hopefully, it won’t prove me wrong tomorrow.
So, after a beautiful sunset last night there was a storm coming thru the campsite at Northpointe Recreation Center but it wasn’t the type we normally experience out east. It was a dry lightning storm. We battened down the tents and listened as the wind rustled and whipped everything in its path. When asked what they thought about the storm the girls answered “what storm?” Seems they slept right thru it. It must be great to not have a care in the world.
The morning’s ride began with an uphill out of the park. It was a fitting warm up; just enough of an incline to wake you up and not have you mind it so much. Being DFL Leader (DF2L) I now have a DFLL in-training with Itza, my co-pilot. Suepinda was able to join us today and we all rode DFL with dragonflies buzzing about us like dolphins to a ship. We had a combine truck pass us and we did something different in moving onto the other side of the road since he was taking up much of the shoulder and road at the same time. I think he appreciated that, as did we.
With the wind in our faces the three of us caught up with Kate and rode beside her for a number of miles. Itza and I started a game to break up the monotony by racing downhill as fast as we can while I call out the current speed. We were impressed with our best time of the morning with 37 mph; an improvement from yesterday’s robbery of 24.9 mph. But eventually we found another hill where we were able to get up to 40 mph. Suepinda and Kate got up to 37 mph. Their best time to date! We didn’t tell them that 40 was faster than 37, but I think they knew.
Me being a lover of grande vistas I took lots of pictures but realized they meant nothing without the context of a cyclist in the picture. Oh well. But South Dakota, I would say, is home to the rolling hillsides. Miles and miles of rolling hills. What a site. I can’t wait until I see mountains in the background or grande vista. Working on my Spanish this summer: learned to say “Hola, vaca negra, hola, vaca kaffe”
To remind us that we are in the very deepest of the country we only witnessed a few oncoming vehicles and almost NONE coming up behind us for miles. Wow. That’s why I’m DF2L. Because in the country, to quoting one of my favorite movies, “no one can hear you scream”. As we rode on eventually more vehicles past us and two of them were trucks carrying hogs. Dripping, oozing, leaking a foul substance that clung to the road like a paint. And being up wind we began to travel what we now call the “Trail of Stench”! The wretchedness lasted consistently for almost two miles as we could not get away from the headwinds which faithfully brought to us every molecule of that strange substance.
At the campsite tonight the youth cyclists played “Ninja”. A game where they get two moves, defensive and offensive to either block or hit the other opponent’s hand. That’s all I can explain but it looks fun.
Tomorrow we plan to continue with the tailwinds and make good time to Fort Thompson.
13 hrs later SnR youth cyclists arrive at the first overnight stay @ camp Trimble! Tomorrow the rest breaks will be shorter!
Everyone’s excited about the upcoming tour. One of the many discussions was the “National Park passport” that Bob has where he gets a stamp for each visit to a National Park. He was happy to say that he will be getting quite a few more on this tour. Suepinda and I decided to get one, as well, to record out visits as we’ve had a few that would have been included that Bob didn’t. That made him laugh as he said Suepinda had better hurry and because we’ve got a lot of ground to make up and he’s not stopping to wait for us.
After a long ride we finally reached the wonderful home of my bother and sister-in-law, Brad and Jen, in Indiana. Our first stop on the tour. It was that final stop of a not-so-grueling, but long, trip across NC, WV, KY and then Indiana.
Normally a quick 10.5 hr journey it expanded to 13 because each stop became a joyous visit to the restroom, coffee shop and snack counter. I don’t think we want to continue having lengthy stops like this or we’ll never make it to our destination to start cycling. hehehe
My mother-in-law had cooked a good Thai noodle dish for the crew and Brad grilled chicken legs to round out the meal.
After dinner we sang “Happy Birthday” to newcomer youth cyclist, Sammy. Afterward the girls dropped out of sight with my nieces to play “Just Dance III” and the boys went off to play a round of basketball with my nephew, Dillon, while I played with the very little ones a game of cat and mouse.
To round out the night we collected music to play on the van’s MP3 player. We’re ready to roll in the morning.
There was a culminating moment for me last night at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival where I could have just had an outburst of excitement and joy. It was when the music for the W&SFF intro began. It’s this high note piano melody that if done with a slightly different tone arrangement could have gone into a horror film. I’m thinking Jason and a campsite. But in this instance it was beautifully done and we had listened to this music so many times that when the lights went down and the screen lit up all I could think of is that WE DID IT! YES!
Two years of wanting this to happen and two months of intense learning, arranging and planning have now reached its pinnacle and was being executed. That’s one of the greatest feelings in the world. The Masters of Ceremony, Lyle Estill, Tami Schwerin and Gary Phillips were exceptionally wonderful and we are so glad that they took the time out of their schedules to help us bring this environmental film festival to Chapel Hill, Carrboro and the surrounding area.
It was a great evening of inspiring films that showed how individuals can make a difference and affect positive change in their community.
Spoke ‘n Revolutions Youth Cycling (SnR) and The ReCYCLEry are excited to be the first to bring to Chapel Hill and Carrboro some of the favorite films of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, the largest festival of its kind in the United States. We are proud to live in two iconic towns that are full of activists and people choosing to make a difference in the world. Spoke ‘n Revolutions and The ReCYCLery choose to make a difference in the everyday lives of individuals by building confidence, grooming future leaders and giving many the means to transport themselves to wherever they desire to go. SnR does this by taking teens on bicycle tours across our state and country so that they may learn about the environment around them, the community they live in and most importantly, themselves. The price of admission: Community Service.
The ReCYCLEry has been doing its thing for 11 years. Teaching the art of bicycle mechanics and self reliance by giving the community the means to have reliable transportation that they themselves earned through their own community service. In addition, The ReCYCLEry refurbishes bikes to be given away during the Christmas season and catastrophic moments when bikes were in need of replacement due to tornado or hurricane.
I’m happy to say that we are just as proud of our accomplishments as we are to have Lyle Estill of Piedmont Biofuels, Tami Schwerin of The Abundance Foundation and Gary Phillips of Weaver Street Realty to have been our Masters of Ceremony for the event. These three local environmental champions are affecting change in a community of change makers. We welcomed their participation in this inaugural environmental film festival.
Of the films featured at the historic Varsity Theatre in Chapel Hill was “A Corner Plot”; an inspiring story of what one man can do with a small plot of land in the middle of a bustling city. Also, there was the story of how Jen Slotterback and her husband were “Finding Their Way” in stopping their beloved park from being leased out to an industrial gas drilling company in a story on Fracking. And our personal favorite, the powerful story of the bicycle as a necessary means of transportation and empowerment in “My Own Two Wheels”.
Spoke ʻn Revolutions and The ReCYCLEry perceive cycling not only as a potential solution to many of the problems faced by North Carolina, but as part of a bigger strategy to reduce an environmental footprint. All of our refurbished bikes are built from Triangle area donations and saves useful bikes from entering the waste-stream. We help to empower the community by enabling economical transportation and providing youth an opportunity for some of the best project based learning and leadership training in the area. Empowerment of the people is a very important part of what we do. The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is a natural extension of SnR and The ReCYCLEry’s work to inspire you to act on behalf of the environment in any way you see fit.
see you next year. stay wild and keep it scenic.
Video montage of festival films. Listen for the piano at 43 seconds in.