New country, New Journey, Different Feeling

Just landed in JFK with a 9 hour layover then, I fly to Ghana.

Here’s to another adventure and another country. This trip will only last two weeks, but as the instructions of the flight began to crackle over the speakers, the flight attendant began miming the exits, and the wheels on the plane reversed, departing the gate- I had the same feeling of excitement, joy, nerves, elation, and a stomach full of butterflies churn I felt wrestling or during the start of my #5000milesfor500scholars journey. However, this time there was a tinge of gloom/sadness and the hardest one yet. I left my two nieces and my 3.5 year old nephew waving bye bye Uncle Jacob and him asking if I’d wave to him when I was flying in the big airplane.

I am no longer the oblivious, innocent blue eyed blonde boy that volunteered for the Peace Corps in Cameroon, 6.5 years ago. I am “aged”, more aware, and realistic. I saw on the news #45 declare a national emergency over something that isn’t a threat and also taking place during the latest mass shooting. There are many problems our country is facing and the least, I believe, should be building a wall.

According to the CDC in 2017, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and illegal opioids like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl) was 6 times higher than in 1999 and on average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. To me this is a national emergency.

Or the number of school shootings in 2018 where roughly 113 people were killed or injured in the US. This equates to nearly one school shooting per week. To me this is a national emergency.

Not some fear mongering tactic and symbol of hate and division. I can almost guarantee nearly everyone in the US knows of somebody affected by gun violence or the opioid crisis and nearly nobody knows somebody affected by illegal immigration.

And to top it off there is another national emergency, the devastating effect Climate Change is having throughout the lands and seas. Which will affect our kids and grandkids drastically in the years to come.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46507514 https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html

However, as always, I will try and stay optimistic and find the good with the bad. And, I can tell you there is a fire lit inside my belly that burns brighter and stronger than before, to bring goodness. I am more mature, knowledgable, confident, and determined to create bridges, love, and peace throughout the world.

We are all inhabitants of this beautiful world and only a spec amongst giants throughout the universe. I refuse to let one mans actions and rants stop me from being the best person I can be and treat every human with the equality and respect they deserve.

I am travelling to Ghana and starting another journey. The goal remains the same… putting a smile on the person in front of me and making their tomorrow better than what their today is. However, I have a little nephew and two nieces looking up to me and who will have to navigate this lovely maze we call life, and hope to make a better and safer world for them.

I hope your 2019 is starting of well and you will continue to follow my journey.

 

 

FULL MOON, BEACHFLYER, WASHINGTON MONUMENT!

Hey team!!! Well, after hours of sanding and filing the BeachFlyer I got on the road and hit 4000 miles at the Washington monument. It has been my ride or bye since day one. Once again I pushed the poor thing too its limit which led to another moment of highs/lows and ying/yang.

When the negative comes to balance out the positive that’s where my perseverance comes into play. Some might call it stubbornness or hardheadedness, but it keeps me on the road pedaling.

So what is the negative and positive might you ask? I was pushing the limits, not learning from my broken wrist, trying to ride 150 miles to get to DC. I was super excited with many friends coming from far and near. 80 miles in I had 3 flats in 5 miles and became very annoyed. I decided to push the beachflyer 6 miles on the rim and destroyed the back tire. Making the aluminum very jagged. After the six grueling miles I reached 3992 miles which was very upsetting not ticking 4000 that day. I went out bought a file and sand paper and roughly 5 hours of filing, sanding, smoothing, coaxing, and sweet talks I and the BeachFlyer were ready to rock n roll. (Yes I talk to my bike) Where is the positive you’re wondering? I did a test ride and I hit 4000 at the Washington Monument on a full moon at 1AM!

My whole trip has been about ying/yang, perseverance, and a happy go lucky attitude. If you came at me with negative words or bad vibes I just flashed the ✌! ain’t nobody got time for that. Especially ridin #5000milesfor500scholars. However, if you are down in the dumps and ask for support I am there. If you gave support and encouragement I bottled it up and sent them straight to my heart, legs, and mind. Now many go to my wrist 😉

When I rode to the Washington Monument and reached 4000miles it was very surreal. It was 1 in the morning, I was all alone, and it was a full moon. A wave of emotion rolled through me, chills perked up, a grin curled on the corner of my mouth, and butterflies entered my stomach. I couldn’t help but recollect.  In 2 months I had ridden the entire West coast and across the United States. My eyes swelled with pride (one might call tears) as I stared at the night sky and full moon.

My family and I have a thing, when I am in Cameroon or traveling, we look at the full moon knowing we are together. It keeps me from getting homesick knowing we are super close compared to universe. We are nothing but dust on a larger piece of dust and eventually we will be replaced. It gives me a sense of calm and relaxation

When I looked up this night I couldn’t help but think about Cameroon, why I am riding, and the current crisis. My heart goes out to everyone displaced, who have lost family members, and it pains me I am not able to do more. I hope a resolution can be found soon.

The Washington monument stood as a rock, a foundation for my trip. There’s history behind it and it was built for one man. However, Washington had 10,000s of people behind him supporting his every move and had 100s help write his story. He did not do it alone. Yes, what he did was not easy and he can be controversial, but he led the best way he knew how to lead. Whether you’re a leader or a follower know we are in this together and you’re just as important as the next.

I am just one person simply riding a bicycle with yall my rock and stone. I am using my traits and characteristics to accomplish my goal of a unified world, with less hatred, and more understanding.  My views are not popular with some, but that is okay. If everyone agrees people tend to become complacent. Take time to listen to one another and have a friendly debate. Try not to shut your mind down with my way or the highway attitude. I have definitely seen many other points of views better than what I thought at first.

With that being said, I could not have done anything without you and I thank you from the bottom of my <3. Your kind words, donations, and comments are very well recieved. Yall have been my pillars from the beginning and as of writing this I am 300miles away from 5000milesfor500scholars!!

.

.

.

This mini journey is almost complete and I cannot thank you all enough. Again your well wishes, donations, shoutouts, and support are overwhelming. I am $7,000 dollars away from reaching my goal of raising $25,000 for ScholarShop Africa. That will equate to $5/mile. Please consider a donation as we prepare for year 3! Again, every dollar counts! If you give $7 (stinking fees) to http://scholarshopafrica.org/give/ you will have sponsored a mile of my trip. If you give ~$55 and you will sponsor a child for the three month program!

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!