I wrote this post for my co-workers, friends and family members who have a few questions about my adventure. This is my point of view, I am speaking for myself, not Seth.
Questions and Answers
*If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask in the comments!*
Why am I doing this cycling trip? Who am I doing it with?
This is my partner in crime. We are doing this adventure together.
It was actually my best friend Seth Columbia’s trip idea first! He talked to me briefly about how he planned on cycling the country to study permaculture and eco-villages. On September 11, 2014, I asked if I could join the adventure. And he said “Yes”!
Seth and I will celebrate our 3 year friend-aversary this summer.
What motivated me to do a bicycle tour when I can drive across the country?
I have always wanted to do a bicycle tour. I dreamed of doing one along the west coast with some chic ladies, but viewed the venture as a pipe dream: Where would I ever find someone who I was compatible with, who was committed to fulfilling the dream and would be willing to take risks, like leaving their current job? I thought that it would remain a dream, until this fall.
As for bicycling, bicycling is the free-est (not only money-wise) form of travel available to me! On my bicycle no place is out of reach, I feel completely independent, strong and in-touch with the natural world around me. Besides there is a huge rush riding through blizzards, sweating through summer heat or enjoying a cool ride in the fall!
You are going on a fully loaded bicycle tour. What is that?
Well it looks like this:
Essentially, each cyclist carries the most basic items they need to live.
See our list beneath the “Will you be staying in hotels?” question.
Are you bicycling around aimlessly or do you have a mission?
Seth and I have a mission. Our mission is to connect people to permaculture and to the greater environmental movement. We have researched and mapped out over 50 places across the country who are doing amazing, inventive, spirit raising work.
Personally, I am interested in restoring self-reliance to communities who are vulnerable to the economic conditions, social ills and discrimination by equipping them with the knowledge of permaculture, co-housing and community organizing. I want to use my deep roots in the environmental movement to empower, uplift and restore dignity, agency and power to disenfranchised people groups, particularly my own Black community.
Why is the name of your tour PermaCycle? What does that mean?
We developed the name PermaCycle to describe two things: our mission and our hopes.
There are 2 ways to read our adventure name.
1. Permaculture + “cycle” = PermaCycle. This is our hope. We want permaculture to become part of a greater cycle and global rhythm. The values of Permaculture which are Earth care, People Care and Fair Share are values which change the way people relate to the earth, themselves and material possessions. We want permaculture to become the driving force of economic change, agricultural developments and social transformation.
2. Permaculture + Bicycle= PermaCycle. This is our means of transportation and our current mission We are exploring permaculture and the various ways it has inspired and grown up with the eco-village movement, intentional living community and various other off-shoots of self-reliance, community, and perseverance.
What is your route?
We will be going on two trips.
The first is a “mini-spring tour” to Maryland. We have mapped out places in CT, NY, PA and MD where we will be visiting, documenting and learning about. This trip is our “trial and error” run. We will learn how to navigate the roads
Our main trip starts the last week of May. This trip consists of 4 legs. Our first leg is from Baltimore, Maryland to Asheville, North Carolina. Second leg will be from Asheville, North Carolina to New Orleans, Louisiana. Third leg will be from New Orleans, Louisiana to Telluride, Colorado. Fourth leg Telluride, Colorado to San Francisco, California.
How many hours will you cycle in a day?
In the beginning month of our trip we hope to be able to ride at least a minimum of 30 miles a day in 8 hours.
As we grow stronger we hope to be able to push 50 miles to 60 miles a day.
Will you be staying in hotels?
I would be surprised if Seth and I stayed in a hotel once in our trip! We will be riding with all of our gear on our bikes. Our gear will be in panniers and lashed down with bungee cords. Essentially, everything we need will be on our bikes!
We will carry the following:
Backpackers Stove <A bunson burner>
On the Bike Clothes
Off the Bike Clothes
Solar Powered chargers
Bike repair kits
National Park Pass <For $80 this park pass gives us unlimited access to ever y single national and federal park! We can even bring in 2-4 guests for free with our pass!>
How will you shower and do laundry?
Wherever and however we can! Bicycle tours are notorious for being full of blood, sweat and tears! We will be hopeful to shower at every organization, home and place we stop at. We are comfortable with the reality that showers and laundry mats will be far and few between.
What about food?
For the link: http://www.weather.com/news/news/rob-greenfield-dumpster-dive-20141013
Seth and I are committed to reducing the unnecessary and immoral waste in our country. Seeing that we have successfully experimented salvaging a jaw-dropping amount of edible gourmet organic foods from Grocery store dumpsters, we will be dumpster diving to obtain as much of our calories as possible. If you find this gross, consider that 40 percent of all food never makes it to a table- it goes to the trash. Now that is disgusting!
How long is your trip?
We will leave April 15th with the goal of being in Northern California by October 2015.
How do we stay in touch with you?
The best way to stay in touch with us is by following our blog, subscribing to Jasmine’s Bicycle Journal and “Liking” our page on Facebook. We will update you on our locations. If you would like to send us non-perishable food or camping equipment, we can arrange that!
What happens next? Do you have another job waiting for you?
This is a big question.
I have stressed over this question.
My parents have stressed over this question.
Everyone seems to stress over this question.
I have resolved to do the impossible: Not stress about it. Worrying about the unknown won’t do anything but stir up dormant fears, paralyze me and prevent me from asking better questions like: What legacy do I want to leave? What job(s) do I want to do? What problems do I want to solve? What type of community do I want to create?
After 1 ½ years of working in a for-profit company, I understand that I don’t want just ANY job. I want to decrease my reliance on money, by investing in things that give me back value. Like having a large backyard garden, raising my own livestock, and working as a freelancer.
I would much rather have several jobs that are life giving, that I am proud of, than one that strips me from my ability to feel alive. I don’t plan on being a comfortable middle-class American living in a home, in a neighborhood with people who don’t know or care to know me, I don’t plan on having very nice material things. Instead, I plan on having a rich wealthy lifestyle where I depend on others and they depend on me and together we create life of fun, family and community.
But the question is: Isn’t life too short to live out anything BUT your ideals?