BeachFlyer

20180328_120309Electric Beach Cruisers, LLC began in 2014 and after 2+ years of testing prototypes and different designs the BeachFlyer was born.  The founder, Cory Shumaker, is a friend of ScholarShop Africa starting  roughly the same time the BeachFlyer was released.  Electric Beach Cruisers, LLC donates 5% of gross revenues to Scholarshop Africa.  I am currently riding the BeachFlyer 2.0 across the country #5000milesfor500scholars!

Meeting the bike in Washington I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  Upon arrival I charged up the battery and took off for the 20+ miles to Seattle.  I did not know anything about the battery, how to preserve energy, use the throttle, or how to read the monitor. BUT DONT FEAR YOU WONT NEED TO EITHER!!! The BeachFlyer’s  design is extremely simple and easy to use.  After the first few miles I had it down and was pedaling away with the assist!

I am telling yall, this bike is PHENOMENAL.  Extremely easy to manage, use, and affordable.  With The 6 PAS (Pedal Assist) settings and 7 gears one can easily ride 20+ MPH. Albeit the battery wont last as long, but thanks to the easy to read battery usage meter one can tell how much input is from pedaling and how much input is coming from the battery.

Along with the bike, Cory, sent me an extra battery of 8AH (AmpHours) twice the size of the original 4AH battery that comes with the model.  Depending on the hills (mountains) or flat lands drastically determines how many miles I can ride with the battery.  The least amount I have gone with the 4AH battery is 22 and the most is 37.   I have learned a few battery saving techniques by using more leg power and muscle strength I try to maximize the mileage from the battery (lower PAS, higher gear). Regarding the 8AH battery I have travelled 45 miles up to 65 miles.  I have been on the road for nearly a month and after my stop in LA I picked up a 3rd battery.  My last day riding down the coast, April 1st, with 2 batteries I met Cory at 9:50PM. I had a 10PM deadline as he had to fly out to France the next day… 12 hours riding, a flat tire, and an hour to charge the batteries making 14hours on the road I made it 140miles! Recently I went 130miles on all three batteries without stopping to charge!!!

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The BeachFlyer 3.0 is coming soon with hydraulic brakes, a bigger battery, and USB charging port in the monitor. As the weather is warming, more sun is shining, and birds are singing, you too can prepare for spring. You will not only be getting excersize and toning them legs, you will be helping the environment by producing less toxins in the air from your vehicle… oh and you will be saving MONEYYYY. If I can go down the Pacific Coast 1200+ miles you can go the 30 miles to work!!

Be on the lookout for the release date of the 3.0!

 

If you mention me or ScholarShop or #5000milesfor500scholars you will recieve a discount off the total price.

 

GO GREEN AND GO CLEAN!!!! GET YOURSELF A BEACHFLYER TODAY!!!

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Camping in the Redwoods March 22nd

Blogging this now,  as I have sketchy internet and had many miles to ride.  Enjoy!

It is currently 8:45PM on March 22- very chilly and I am sitting by the fireside. The crackle of the red woods alongside the hoot of an owl makes one wonder why we ever developed and invented technology.  This is life. My eyes burn of smoke from blowing the fire, all my senses are on alert, the air smells of burning redwood, and my eyes keep gazing up at the marvelous amount of stars glittering the sky. There is a little opening in between the redwoods where I can see the heavens above and I’m thanking my lucky stars for beautiful weather. More on this in a few…

Today, as I was doing my morning routine I felt an Earthquake 4.6 magnitude about an hour South of where I am staying.  I hadn’t taken off on my trip and was startled by the house shaking along with the toilet. (TMI?) But imagine sitting down and there’s a pretty large rattle beneath you. The lyrics shake, rattle, and roll definitely popped into my head along with my eyes popping out for sure.  There is supposed to be a massive quake within my lifetime that will cause a tsunami and wipe out entire cities and cause massive flooding.  It amazes me people still choose to live here with that being inevitable, but if you saw the beauty of the redwoods, smelled the fresh air, and felt the cool ocean breeze from the coast brush up against your face like the flicker of a cats tail you’d most likely stay put as well. A new understanding of west coastal living, I suppose.  We have tornadoes in Indiana, but feeling the power of an Earthquake a few miles away makes me be in awe at how small and feeble we are compared to nature and Mother Earth.

As I set the camp fire,  the wind is beginning to change directions and the temperature is dropping.  A plume of smoke just danced its way under my nose bringing along the aroma of burning redwood filling the night sky which brought me out of thinking about this morning….I am sitting here looking at my shelter and belongings: a single man tent, BeachFlyer, and two panniers holding my clothes, tablets, chargers, and bike tools.

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What am I doing? I continually ask myself.  Not in doubt or uncertainty, but to remind myself why I am biking and who I am biking for on this trip.

I am traversing across the Pacific coast, seeing some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, right in my backyard.  I have travelled thousands of miles seeing wonderful and gorgeous views ask over but the Pacific Coast, USA is among the top.

Some would call themselves lonely but how can you be when you have nature surrounding you and so many thoughts, prayers, and well wishes being sent your way? People from all over the world following your every step or pedal? I have 100% support from my family, friends, and colleagues. I have y’all who are amazing, supportive, generous, and every good- natured-word imaginable pushing me and following along my journey.

I ask again, with owls hooting, wind blowing leaves, and the branches playing a concert, with some cries of undetermined animals, how can one be lonely? Loneliness is a mindset. I have life and living nature all around me talking, interacting, and sending me good vibes I can never and will never be alone.

And….

Speaking of creatures and undetermined animals, I am really hoping to see Bigfoot or a fairy or possibly an elf maybe even a hobbit. Sometimes I feel like Bilbo Baggins. Just wandering off on adventures with no real aim in sight.  I have a goal and a destination, but looking for my preciousss, but this will not be my last journey.  I apologize for my tangents and thoughts quickly changing,  but that’s how my mind works. One second I am in fantasy land and the next real life hits.

Well,  real life just hit! and my fire went out and its beginning to drizzle showers of blessing. There is another couple camping here and I asked them for a piece of wood. I went scavenging for little twigs and branches, but nothing is dry.  I hope there will be enough smoke to ward off the pesky little creatures. But hey, if only I had  JackLinks beef jerky to lure in Bigfoot!!!! It is about bed time and my stomach is grumbling. Sadly, no fishing or hunting allowed here so I will dream of eating some jerky and lay a little path for Sasquatch!

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If you are reading this I survived that night and was not attacked by any hungry animals.  Hey maybe it was the fairies and elves looking after me as I continue on my quest down the Pacific Coast riding #5000milesfor500scholars!

This is why I am doing this. For the students.

Here is a little Haiku for y’all!

CAMPING:

Simmering red glow

Embers flickering in wind

Gentle fire fading

If you are enjoying following my #5000milesfor500scholars.  Please consider a small donation.

http://www.scholarshopAfrica.org/donate

 

CONTEST

Hey yall! My bike needs a name. Yes, it’s the BeachFlyer for now I have dubbed it the Pacific Coast Flyer. However, it needs something more personal.  I am leaving it up to you; my followers, supporters, confidants, and fans to help me. A bike that is going to be carrying me so many miles oughta have a name.  Thus, I am opening it up to y’all to choose a name.

The winner will get a prize and a shout out on my blog! Teachers, your students are more than welcome to enter maybe some extra credit for Spring? Submissions are due by April 4th.  I will choose a winner and announce it April 6th. Time is TBD. Please have a 1-2 paragraph explanation on why you chose the name and email it to Jake@scholarshopafrica.org.

What: Contest to give the BeachFlyer a name it deserves.
When: Now
Time: Latest April 4th
How: Write a 1-2 paragraph with the name and why you chose it. Email to Jake@scholarshopafrica.org

HERE ARE SOME HELPFUL HINTS TO SPUR YOUR MIND:
#5000MILESFOR500SCHOLARS
PACIFIC NORTHWEST
PACIFIC COAST
BEACH FLYER
ELECTRIC BEACH CRUISER
SCHOLARSHOP AFRICA
NORTHWEST TO SOUTHWEST
NORTHWEST TO EAST
PACIFIC TO ATLANTIC
JAKES JOURNEY

CLEAN ENERGY                                          UPKWA

GOGREEN

NGYEN-MUWAH

WUM

CAMEROON

 

ETC
ETC
ETC

BE CREATIVE !

Last day in Washington….. March 13th- Castle Rock

The second day of my ride was a gorgeous 68 mile trip to Castle Rock, Oregon.  I am still getting used to the bike and its batteries which almost got me in trouble.  Riding most of day 1 on the highest gears and using max battery power (making up lost time) I thought they’d go forever.  I was in the top gear on both the PAS (Pedal Assist) and normal gears (7 speed) for roughly 15 miles and I finished with battery juice still remaining.  Turns out uphills and climbs…. use a lotttttt more battery power especially when its 225+ pounds.

The second day started out lovely, nice weather, sunny, a bit chilly but that is to be expected on a mid March day in Oregon.  My wonderful hosts served me an excellent breakfast that included fruit, a bagel, sunny side up egg, and cheese. I packed my bags and they sent me off with a packed lunch. The ride was great and about 3/4 of the way I stopped to eat my packed lunch. I hadn’t seen a car for awhile and there was one medium sized white farm house off in the horizon. Surrounding me was lush green farm land and a river rushing in front of me.  A light drizzle continued to wet my face, but the sun reminded me it was only showers of blessings. After eating my lunch that consisted of  bean tortilla with pico de gallo sauce (delicious) and carrots, apples, radishes, celery I was off for the final 20 miles.

The rain continued but I had no bike troubles so there were no worries.  The last climb to my destination which was a wonderfully laid out RV Resort proved to be the end of my battery. The dreaded E6 flashed on the screen which means low battery. I had to move it to the lowest PAS and continue the climb about 6mph. Eventually, I reached the top and coasted on through to my destination with no troubles!

Nothing works, but everything works out!

This is the philosophy many Peace Corps and Cameroonians follow. In french they may say “C’est la vie” (That is life). In the United States we say it’s the 80/20 principle or “Perfect is the enemy of good.”

As I lay here in bed at 1:45 the morning of my trip many people ask me if I am ready. My answer? No. I am never ready… for anything. Hence the big pile of material still humped on the ground next to me or my last minute purchase of sunscreen even though 1 million and 1 people told me to buy it.  My procrastination may drive people crazy, ahem my mother, but I look at it as I am spending more time with the people I love. Packing after dark when the TV has been turned off and stories have finished being told is my time to shine!   Yes, I may be tired the next day, but I am alone by myself with my thoughts.

That is exactly what I am doing now. Sitting alone with  my thoughts and writing them down for the world to read.

Am I ready? NO! However, I can tell you my mind is mentally prepared for what is facing me.  The outpouring of support, well-wishes, kudos, and kind messages have blown me away.  With as much positive energy and vibes being sent my way it will be difficult to think twice about biking #5000milesfor500scholars.  Helping support the youth of Cameroon and their dreams is the main source of motivation I will dive into, but the aura of positivity will always be circling around me.  When I leave Washington I will write about my hosts and the time spent, but for now I will tell you I have been humbled by the generosity of everyone.

Many of you may see the heading and think well that’s pretty negative. Yes, it could be, but it depends on how you feel and say the phrase. When was the last time you were running late for a meeting, spilt coffee, got in an accident, waited for someone to show up, missed a deadline?  For me all of these have happened since January.  Was it a bummer? Yes. Was I anxious? Yes. Now look at the results….I kept my job, I wore a different shirt which recieved many compliments, nobody was injured and the car is fine, I read began reading a book, and the report turned in was more in depth than it would had I not waited for a task to be complete.

For parents: How many times have you been late because of your toddler? How many times have you let your baby choose their clothes? Or allow them to complete an art project that isn’t perfect? Been puked or peed on? Again, all of these can bring out anxiety and foul moods, but if allowed and taken in good stride it made memories, boosted the child’s confidence, made him/her proud for completing a task, and brought your bond even closer.  Sometimes there are days where nothing works, but eventually it will work out.

This philosophy is how I am tackling  this journey.  Through your support, youth in Cameroon, and knowimg there are going to be really really crappy days where nothing works, I know if I keep cycling and moving one pedal in front of the other I will complete my task and everything will work out.

Am I ready? No. Most likely you are not ready for life either, but how are you going to handle the days when nothing works?

 


Update!

So I don’t want to say I jinxed myself…. But I jinxed my self.  7 miles into my ride I tried to cross an intersection only to hear a dreaded noise of rubber being smashed between asphalt and the rim.  A popped tire. I tried to patch it, but 3 holes later I gave up. I tried to remove to back tire but my wrench kept stripping on the second bolt.  NOTHING IS WORKINGGGGG. My leisurely 4 hour drive is turning into a now 1+ hour tire change.  Luckily, there was a home depot 1.5 miles away so I was able to push the bike there.  After another 45 minutes I had the tire changed, pumped, and back on the road.

Time for the everything works out.  3 miles later I was on a road for 12 miles straight with nothing but train tracks to my right and beautiful spruce trees to my left.  If the tire went flat there I would’ve been SOL. I couldn’t have picked a better spot for a flat to happen. I realized my tool didnt fit and I was able to test my batteries.   I travelled 60.7 miles today and was all out on the large battery until it died with 20 miles to go.  So I now know I can go roughly 40 miles all out on the large battery.  I switched to the smaller battery and had a little juice left after the remaining 20miles. The route, however, did not have many hills the last 20miles. My legs are burning my, eyes are drooping and day 2 awaits me tomorrow

 

Here is my warm Showers feedback:

Sally and Bob were a wonderful introduction to WarmShowers. Getting a flat 7miles into the ride and putting me back an hour she was very patient.  Upon arriving I was welcomed with a warm smile and fantastic tips.  Dinner time was excellent as Bob’s running mate was a fellow Little Giant and we shared similar stories about Indiana.  I could not have asked for a better first stay with warm showers

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For more pictures follow me on instagram! Jrmoore165

If you find it in your heart to donate please go to Scholarshop Africas facebook page and click the donate button.  Facebook is not charging any fees.

If you want to learn more information about ScholarShop Africa please search Scholarshopafrica.org and you may donate there as well!!

International Women’s Day

I hope everyone had an enjoyable women’s day. We cannot forget about the mothers, biological or not, who brought us into this world, nutured for us, cared for us, fought for us, and worked for us!!

It is time we as men reciprocate the love, care, fight, and work. The #metoo movement is not a fight against us, but a call to us. We need to stand up and behave with more class, dignity, respect, and most importantly hold women with higher esteem and regards. They deserve an equal opportunity with wage, jobs, and in the government and it’s time it comes to fruition.

I am riding #5000milesfor500scholars of Cameroon. Majority of these scholars will be the girl child. In Cameroon we are fighting early childhood marriage and families who are poor only sending the boys to school while the girls stay at home with house chores and selling in the market place. In each and every country women are battling their own unique battles. We as a nation and world at large came together to show our appreciation for women on a single day. Let us come together and show our appreciation for them everyday and do what is right!  Through equal pay, equal opportunities, and women’s voices on legislation we will have more opportunities and a much better life we have known to date!

 

Women of ScholarShop

I have too many female role models to count. If you are reading this and I know you, just know you most likely influenced and impacted me for the better! Ya’ll are the rock to my foundation and I wouldn’t be in my profesion if it was not for your guiding. Thank-you and wherever the fight for equality goes I’ll be by your side!

Happy Birthday Peace Corps!

A lot of people have asked me how a Midwest boy who grew up his whole life in a small farming community moved all the way to West Africa. Well, let me tell you how I joined the Peace Corps. I attended Wabash College after high school and majored in Spanish with three semesters of Portuguese.  During my senior year, I went to study for my first-semester exams in the library.  I ran into a buddy applying for the Peace Corps and a short conversation turned into me asking tons of questions about the organization.  I am one to procrastinate, but I’m also a true believer that everything will work out, as long as you stay focused, have faith, and maintain a positive attitude.  At the same time, as you might have guessed, my mother and father were beginning to ask about my career aspirations after graduation. I would respond with the casual…. “Eh, I’m not sure. Let me pass comps first, then I’ll begin looking and thinking about that”.  Wabash has senior comprehensive exams, which is an accumulation of the students four years of course studies condensed into written and oral comps.  They are during the last week of winter break, and if you pass (and meet the other requirements) you graduate, and if you fail….. well, you get the picture.

(P.S. my response to my parents was a strategy to delay job hunting a litttttttle bit longer)

After that conversation with my friend, I went into the library and researched a little about the Peace Corps (instead of studying). Before long, I knew that Peace Corps was my job after graduation.  So studying for finals and comps was set a side and I proceeded to apply to the Peace Corps with my first choice being South America (Spanish major remember), and 2nd choice Eastern Africa (Hoping for Mozambique – a Portuguese speaking country).

I then made a call to my mom… “I applied for my FIRST JOB!!!!” This is how that conversation took place: (It was roughly 7 years ago so it’s not direct quotes, but I can imagine it being pretty similar)

Ring Ring:

Mom: Hey hunny, how’s studying going?

Me: Hey! Everything is going well, but I didn’t study tonight.

Mom: Oh really?! Why not? Is everything okay?

Me: Yeah, do you know the Peace Corps? (I tend to be very direct)

Mom: Yeah, why?

Me: Well, I just applied.  I am going to join the Peace Corps and be a volunteer in South America. That way I can perfect my Spanish, see another culture, and continue traveling.

Mom: …….. (a long silence)  Ummmm, I think you need to come home this weekend so we can talk about this. (I only live 15 minutes away from Wabash College)

Me: I thought you would be excited that I finally applied for a job and know what I want to do after graduation.

Mom: Yes, I am happy, but I would still like to discuss this decision with you.

They may have a different interpretation of good news! However, to the delight and major shock of both my mother and father, they were supportive.

Fast forward to the Friday of memorial day weekend of 2012 and I receive a call from the Peace Corps explaining I have been accepted to Cameroon and will be leaving September 2012.  I remember distinctly asking, where is Cameroon?  The recruiter explained it is in French-speaking West Africa, but they also speak English.  She also told me I would be an agro-forestry volunteer.  The art of incorporating trees inside ones farm for better yields and less natural set-backs from wind, erosion, and heat.  I was dumbfounded at this point – I had my sites set on South America or Mozambique to hone skill set. I asked if I could discuss the posting to Cameroon with my family members and think about it over the weekend and if she would call me Tuesday, I would have an answer.

Immediately, I got off the phone and I called my grandma. She is very calming and believes the same as me that things happen for a reason. So I excitedly told her the good news and predicament (I thought) that I will be going to a French-speaking country in Africa.  She helped my nerves and calmed me down by asking three simple questions.  Have you prayed? Why did you join the Peace Corps? Is the Peace Corps what you want?

The answers were: 1) No.  2) To serve others, help the less fortunate achieve their goals, and to be able to travel and learn about other cultures.  3) Yes

She then told me to go behind my house, sit at our log cabin (picture), and think and pray about my decision.  Our house was built-in the 1890’s, and in the 1970’s, a log cabin was built. The cabin has been great for birthday parties, fires, reading, and most important for me, reflection.  I sat out at the cabin with my trusted dog, Liska, for a few hours listening to the birds chirping, smell of fresh-cut grass, farm, and my thoughts.  The same thought kept coming back to me, “I cannot say no to Cameroon for selfish, first world reasons.  I applied to the Peace Corps to continue my philanthropy and try to help another culture or set of people achieve their goals and desires.”

After accepting the fact I will be living in Cameroon for the next two years of my life I decided to tell the rest of my family and friends.  Many of my friends knew of Cameroon because of arguably the greatest soccer player from Africa, Samuel Eto’o.

Having made my decision, the memorial day weekend was a blast.  The 8 AM call from the recruiter met me with surprise.  She asked for my decision and I said yes!!!

Over the past 5 years, I look on that fateful day that has changed my adulthood and life forever. Peace Corps truly makes a difference!! I am thankful for JFK’s forethought and his speech at Michigan University to start the Peace Corps and allow the youth to serve while exchanging cultures.

 

Happy 57th birthday Peace Corps.  Learn about the birth of the Peace Corps here!

 

X-(Wo)Men   My host family were HUGE!!!! X-men fans!  I hope they have had the opportunity to watch the new trailblazing movie, BlackPanther!

falls from afar

Waterfalls where the first Tarzan was filmed!  Chutes d’Ekom

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D’Jango, my counterpart and confidant, playing Cornhole!

Photos from my Peace Corps days!