Rolling a tread between People and Permaculture

The Stages of Planning a Bike Tour


By Jasmine Wilborne

*Ugh, we haven’t posted in a  while. Behind the scenes Seth is putting in tons of energy into graduating from Southern Connecticut State University this Fall! He’s got major projects that are squeezing every ounce of focus out of him, but he’s smiling through it. I, on the other hand, went to Vancouver last week to see a close friend of mine who was born and raised in CT Essex-county for 15 years. Also, I’ve been struggling with how and what I should actually write about- thanks for staying with us through the lulls of this pre-adventure.*

Now let’s get to the meaty meat of this post!  I’ve been having a bit of writers block so maybe writing about the stages of this trip, I will have a new understanding of what to write next.

1. Stage 1: Eclipsed by excitement. This was in early September. I walked around my job like I was quitting the next day. I felt like I had a huge secret just waiting to bubble off of the tip of my tongue. I spent a lot of my time in a frenzied attempt to capture my thoughts through lists like these: 1. Dumpster diving will prove miraculous 2. Money must be conserved throughout all stages of the trip. 3. Consider self made crate box locks for panniers 4. Invite immediate community to contribute spiritually, emotionally, materially and financially 5. Create basic cheap food menu 6. consider bike trailer vs. panniers 6. Build a solar oven like these guys did on their bike tour 7. Create blog name- should be short specific and tell our story. For about 2 weeks I was totally into getting this thing off of the ground by setting up the blog, reading about other bloggers who were cycling, learning about the right gear! Whew, so exhilarating.

2.Stage 2: Doubt. This cycling adventure started off as Seth’s idea. As you know, I invited myself into it after a frustrating day at work and a culumination of thoughts like: feeling totally worthless at my job, feeling like I was living a life that was “too safe”, always wanting to do a bike tour and wanting to live up to the ways others view me. But then I felt like I was intruding. I felt like this trip was his and I was a sidekick. Seth never said or felt any of this, but my own insecurities set in. We worked through this issue in a rather dramatic flair of personal events, to settle on what was real: We are two best friends who desire radical untraditional lives and  who are passionate about people and  amazing environmental initiatives. Once I realized that this was a partnership and that I was a Co-founder, I began to take creative control and settle into my essence—dreaming and breathing through this trip.

3.Stage 3: Grooving. I went public with the trip. I told my parents, my uncle and let my immediate community know. I began to create a wishlist of things that we needed and I built up a reservoir of resources that I was into. I began to feel a good kinda “homeworky” pleasure on mapping things out. I fell in love with having a blogging community who read and commented on our blogs. I met awesome bloggers like Mimic Nature and Nepermahome. We had great consecutive Tuesday night meetings at the Southern Connecticut State University Library. We went to the Climate March in NYC. This part was about settling into our rhythm as partners

Stage 4: Contemplating the impact of our mission. I want this adventure to mean something, we both do. Inherently, it will mean something to us. But we both have a desire to contribute to the world around us in meaningful ways. We want to offer something that is vital. I think about this too, when I write a post I’m always thinking: is this the best that I can do? What is it that I should write about? My mother insists that I should vlog because she knows it is important for me as a woman of color to show my excitement about the environment and to help bring awareness to the wide scope of environmental activists. I want to come back learned. This trip is a research project on wheels, a social experiment in many ways. I want to know that the work I plan to do is necessary. I especially want to be able to bring environmental initiatives to the under served, the poor and the disenfranchised…in many ways my own brown community.

Stage 5: Planning Purgatory. In the beginning I was hung up on the how’s, the when’s, the where’s and the why’s. Now I am more zen. Haha. Simply, I know that this adventure will be an open-ended run on sentence. In essence, the sentence starts like this: Seth and Jasmine leave Connecticut on their bikes with a limited amount of money, panniers filled with simple gear and their first eco-village/farm/family/homestead/school to visit…… And then it will just bloom into a beautiful story of “going with the flow”. Simply, I’m not worried about the details. As long as I have a sturdy tour bike, a bike manual, simple gear and a positive outlook I know that all will be well. But….I still don’t have any gear other than a few items here and there and I’ve gotten really lax about worrying. Things will happen when they happen.

So there, that’s what the stages of this trip look like to me at this time. I’m excited for the next phase and am enjoying every one of them.




Author: zestyjazz

I'm a garden and a bicycle.

13 thoughts on “The Stages of Planning a Bike Tour

  1. Don’t lose your enthusiasm for thing you love to do and feel so strongly. It is possible your experience as a black cycling touring-woman will be different. May I suggest that some days, you cycle alone while travelling overseas, since it may open you to other experiences.

    You know what I mean.

    You may become more changed than you could ever guess.


    • Jean, I can’t tell you how much this comment means to me. It actually brought tears to my eyes. This adventure signifies to me the opening of so many experiences, revelations and truths about my inner being that have been either staunched by time or just buried through fear.

      I feel so blessed, for lack of a better words, that I have a community of cyclists AND nature enthusiasts who are encouraging me on.

      I don’t think I will ever buy a car. I think I will always travel on my bike OR at least join a car share so that I can have the benefits of driving, while still enjoying the low costs of cycling.

      I know EXACTLY what you mean Jean and that is why your comment is so heart warming. Prior to this adventure I never really TRULY believed that I could get out there and do the things that I had been dreaming of!

      I value your comments and your thoughts 😀


  2. “I don’t think I will ever buy a car. I think I will always travel on my bike OR at least join a car share so that I can have the benefits of driving, while still enjoying the low costs of cycling. ” And you will save a ton of money over the years.

    Many touring cyclists have said and certainly we can vouch that while cycling can make you more “vulnerable” as a traveler, it also invites locals to approach you out of curiosity because not many people do many weeks of cycling by bike in 1 trip. When are you 2 pushing off? Next year after Christmas or?


  3. The online magazine is based in Vancouver BC. Here’s something:

    Well, this Filipino-Canadian is partially right, but I think some folks do live part of their lives “green” but don’t think environmental protection. I’m one of these people. Some of the traditional methods of eating, farming, have been “green”. We just tend to think of Old World ethnic. Instead of recycled fleecy jackets.


    • Thank you for this article Jean. I read it in between doing tasks at my job.

      This bike trip has really got me facing the fact that a lot of environmental movements are lead and pioneered by whites and in many ways, for whites. But not intentionally.

      I am growing the compassion within myself to extend the environmental movement to those of all cultures- while having the movements rooted in food, practices and ideologies important to each culture.


  4. I’m excited for you both! And you are completely right, things will happen when they happen so don’t worry 🙂 I’m going to blog on this very thought today.
    many people will benefit seeing the friendship and cooperation that you and Seth have while cycling….people need to see more of this and less of the hate and separation on the news.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yaaay! Glad that this post inspired you. I was just talking to Seth about this a few moments ago! I used to be really hung up on details… I’m really laid back.

      Honestly, Mimic Nature, I’m glad you brought up your point about me and Seth. I love that we will kinda be like poster children for the environmental movement in the most superficial sense. I’m excited to show people across the nation our love and respect for each other, but also the ways that we bug each other out! haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Being the ridiculous planner that I am, I am just curious what kind of route planning you are doing? I am in no way a cyclist of any kind, although it is something I would like to get into, but how do you even follow a map cycling? Do you have a big long list of a bunch of places you want to go or are you just picking a few and spending a while there? Are there certain cities that are loaded with permaculture that you are going to visit? Very exciting!
    Also, we break ground spring 2015 so it should be an amazing spring for us both!!!


    • To be honest, we don’t really have a plan. This used to freak me out in the beginning, and it will probably start to freak me out as we move closer to departing, but we are really anti- route/ major-restrictive planning.

      Nevertheless, we do want to press our treads along the east coast- make our way through Colorado and then spend time on the west coast- maybe head up to vancouver. Idk. I know that I want to see the beauty of New Englad and also of the midwest!

      We are really going to be hopscotching around. We plan on having places “set in stone” probably eco-villages and homesteaders like yours…we are really trying to be free to let our hearts, interests and bodies lead us. Sounds “breezy” right!? haha.

      Well thanks to the Wwoofing website you provided, I can see that there are a LOT of farms on the east coast and west coast and in that middle area called the south….so yeah.

      After Seth gets outta school (this fall) we will be able to focus more deeply on the when’s and where’s etc. I def want to hit up conferences, be a part of volunteer movements and genuinely be engaged with the publci! 😀

      WHAT you are breaking ground spring 2015?! How damn cool!!


      • So it will a surprise for all of us where you end up! That is awesome. How long will you be on the road? If you come anywhere near Maine, feel free to stop by, especially in August (pig roast!), but we will be officially living there sometime late spring early summer. We break ground for the small, temporary home as soon as the ground is thawed and not too muddy. Hopefully early enough this year so that we have time to be well set up by summer.


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