Sunday, June 29, 2014

Some Hopeful Vibrations in Film

I hope you all enjoy these snapshots of inspiring moments!!

I hope you can catch a vibe or a feeling or something hopeful about our time there. Maybe these videos will bring you to a place of exploration and we are so glad to share them with you all!  

I hope you will watch each of them with some meditative breathing and silence in between each, asking in Prayer, what shall I learn from this?  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

We're at Wild Goose! 1,000 Miles of Bicycling Done

Hanging out in Asheville... Destined meet-ups!  

We've been trying to get together with this family for over 2 years!  Here is our random, street meeting and a picture of the pot-luck we joined in on.  


Naomi's 4th Birthday Cake!  A delicious, pink vanilla, organic, fair trade, vegan cake.  It slid on the bike ride from the bakery to Zia Taqueria.  That did not affect the taste!

When vegans eat birthday cake rarely, they make funny faces.

The kids' new 'Uncle Mark'.  Not to replace their original Uncle Mark in any way, however.  

Etienne playing in fountain water at Dobra Tea House.

We sat for hours, reading the menu, drinking tea, laughing and relaxing.

Naomi slept through her sugar coma at Dobra.

A gorgeous place.

The birthday girl enjoying A Taste of Kashmir tea with warm soy milk and Appalachian honey.

Almost in Hot Springs!

We picked up a 4th cyclist.  An old friend from Wild Goose 2012!  We all rode in together and had a great day of climbing mountains and laughing hysterically at the human potential of overcoming huge mountainous obstacles (even though we're just molecules of water and sometimes watermelons bumbling forward).

While riding on a sparsely travelled road, a sound came from the forest and looking up, while riding by, we see this boy tumbling down the hill shrieking in pain.  This 12 year old wrecked quite badly going *way too fast down a windy road.  We were there at the moment he got all road rashed and dashed  and gashed and bruised...sitting with him, washing out wounds and comforting his cries...praying for his recovery.

Biking with a Bump - Part 1

There are some great articles online about cycling pregnant.  This is going to be my personal story.

My first pregnancy began just before a hectic snow season.  There was no bicycling, but I did snowboard a little bit and walked/hiked almost everyday.  After the winter, I had about 3 months to ride around on my bicycle, which I did.  Each week I rode around our town while getting groceries, going to the library, riding to friends' houses etc.  We rode a fair amount and it only bothered me at the very end.

I remember being 39 weeks pregnant and my due date was one day away.  I rode up to the grocery store, filled my backpack with around 35-40 pounds of groceries and rode home.  My tailbone was hurting because of all the weight I had been carrying on my body (an extra 40 lbs of pregnancy weight and 40 lbs of groceries).  The next day I went into labor normally and had a healthy home birth.

The second pregnancy had a little bit of bike riding involved.  The most we rode in one day was around 50 miles.  Other than that, it was weekly errands and leisurely 10 or 15 mile bike rides through the countryside (after the 1st trimester nausea).  My 3rd trimester was over wintered and I didn't do hardly a bit of riding, just walking here and there in town.  I had a healthy, fast home birth.

For the first trimester of this pregnancy, I wasn't feeling great many days and didn't do any riding.  Knowing that we were going into an 8-10 week bicycle tour soon didn't scare me though, I knew I could make up for it.  About 3 weeks before we left, I began to ride two or three times a week with Mike and sometimes Tyler.  We hit the hills around town, trying to acclimate to that, we rode in a torrential downpour, around the countryside, etc.

And so we began to tour.  Straight into 30-40 mile days every day, 6 days a week.  Honestly, I have enjoyed every day of it.  My first bicycle seat was a mountain bike seat and lasted for over 2 weeks.  I bought a high-end performance seat for women and it turned out to be worse (don't ever get a seat with gel in it...not ever a tiny amount!).  Then I made a great decision and bought a Brooks B17.  :)  Happy arse.  No more waddling after a long day of riding.

  • My energy levels are so high.  I feel better than I ever felt with the other two pregnancies.  
  • I'm not tired (except at the very end of the day, when we're ALL tired).  
  • I'm not aching. 
  • I'm not (too) hormonal.  ;)  
  • Probably no more than I would be normally on high activity days after 2 hours of riding uphill.  
  • My hips feel great.
  • My tailbone feels great.
  • My appetite is ABUNDANT.
  • My body is thankful!

19 Weeks Pregnant, on the Blue Ridge Parkway Around 3,500 feet in Elevation


Going into this ride, many people mentioned their fears and concerns about pregnant bicycling.  Sometimes those things would start to nag at me, bothering my mind.  I would think, 'Am I doing something stupid?  Irresponsible?  Careless?'.  And then my body-sense would say, 'Don't worry, we take it slow.  I will tell you if something is wrong.'  I breathe a big sigh of relief.

This plays out in my mind over and over.  Others' projected fears whispering a convincing story and then a still small loving comforting voice says, 'I care for you'.  Whether pregnant or not, I know which voice is the Encourager and which is trying to crush my faith.

I know myself.  I know my body.  More importantly, there is One who sustains me (and the baby), giving sweet loving embrace every moment that I call for it.  If this was not our destiny at this time, it would not be possible.  I didn't believe in determinism for a long time, but some experiences have convinced me toward this idea, and farther from my own belief in free-for-all-existence confusion.  That is simplified, of course; my belief is more complex to explain.

We take it slow.  We climb mountains.  We can do this.  We are doing it.  We have done it.  The baby is sitting happy and loves to roll and kick around safe in the womb.  Little baby Completely, as Naomi named it.

20 Weeks Exactly:  Blue Ridge Parkway 4,356 Ft in Elevation

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pictures of 100 Miles of Bicycle Touring

Our trip total is now around 850 miles done...

 The last three days on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Mileage total:  Over 100 miles of the parkway.

Linn Cove Viaduct

The first 10 miles of today were extremely slow.  All uphill... climbing... we got REALLY HIGH!


And even more high!

One of our hosts for the night, Mark.

First night of rest in Asheville, North Carolina.

Monday, June 16, 2014

750 Miles of Bike Riding with Toddlers, Gear, Heat, and The Time of Our Lives!

Where to even begin? I guess where I left off... somewhere around Day 16...
Day 16 - 55 miles (Staunton River State Park to Danville, VA)
Day 17 -  36 miles (Danville, VA to a stealth campsite in NC somewhere)
Day 18 - 33 miles (Stealth site to Winston-Salem, NC)
Day 19 - 49 miles (Winston-Salem, NC to Lydall, NC)
Day 20 - 52 miles (Lydall, NC to Boone, NC)  ...a SUPER difficult 52 miles!  In the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains!  Ascended our first mountain (3,300 + foot ascent took 2+ hours)
Day 21 - 9 miles
Day 22 - 7 miles
Day 23 - Today!

Exciting events:  Etienne super grumpy with teething woes for 4 days straight... climbing mountains, seeing incredible views!...meeting many new friends in Boone, NC...drinking coffee, necessary bike maintenance (broken spoke for Tyler, bald tires on trailer), ate at Farm Cafe (a gift economy cafe), did some great Yoga with Thomas (our new friend)...Boone pics to come!

Ascending Mt. Boone!!! 1.5 hours in...
Up, up, up, up, up, up........
AT THE TOP!!!  Officially on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The views are unreal.

Camping out in heaven possibly.
Some minestrone.  So good.  So good.
Our gourmet chef for the evening.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

600+ miles DONE! 199 to go... memorializing

Falling in love with the South?  The roads have been so flat so far.  It's been hot, but beautiful.  We are currently in Winston-Salem, NC hanging out at the Washington Perk, a great little coffee and grocery store/deli.  Last night we slept on our friend's sprawling porch, listening to the rain gently falling all around the house.  The sun woke us little by little and the rain tapered off.  A bird sang to us intimately, waking us for a time and then left unanswered.

Today we head toward the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We have less than 200 miles to ride to our destination in Hot Springs, NC.  We've gone so far, we've gotten so dark and have had an incredible adventure, not to mention all of our new dear-friends.

Also, remembering Todd Martinez, a bicyclist killed back in February.  We passed his memorial yesterday and it was moving.  We passed a ghost bike.  Prayers for his widow and kids as well as the poor kid who hit him.