The Blog

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer break - Oliver

This may be my last post until August when we get back from our summer trip.

There has been interesting movement on many fronts since my last post. On the technical side, the bicycle I got is wonderful. After getting to the top of our hill, the roll down to the flatlands is a total kick. The long wheelbase and the low center of gravity makes the ride a complete delight.

Fast too!!

Michael picked up a recumbent like mine and is working on getting another one for Tinki. All off of Craigslist! He will borrow my bike while I'm gone so that he can get some real numbers on how efficient it is compared to the bikes he's been building.

Michael and I spend a lot of time talking about and even went to look at an older shuttle bus to convert for use as a support vehicle. As it turned out the seller is a realtor and had our offer and another offer so he started a bidding war. He just couldn't help himself. We didn't like that so we backed out. Our current thinking is to use my VW Vanagon as a support vehicle and spend more time in hotels along the way. Since we have to charge nightly, it makes sense to be close to the grid.

I posted my trike on Craigslist and after a flurry of activity decided on a buyer who is an above knee amputee. It will be interesting to see how this works for him. He plans to strap his prosthesis into the pedal and use his good leg as the majority of the power source. I sure hope it works out for him!! He's very excited.

On the media front, Michael and I met with an old friend who insisted that the project have a "take-away" for followers of the ride. We both agreed and I've been working on what that take-away is and how to sell it. The current thinking goes something like this:
"The ride of each of our lives begins at birth and ends at death. For the last 200 years, our rides have been mightily influenced by the ethic that values personal gain over benefit to the commons. As the planet's eco-systems go into decline, the personal gain values are showing their flaws. A renewed ethic that values the good of the commons needs to inform each of our rides. The bicycle ride that we are taking is really a metaphor for the ride that describes each person's life. The GROWH invites followers combine their rides with ours. When the GROWH is over, the real work of transforming humanities ride will still need doing. Come to our website and pick from the palette of choices out there that will contribute to the healthy survival of this planet."

That is a rough version of the take-away value that the GROWH offers. We will need to build that website but there is nothing to invent. I see apalette of opportunites ranging from changing lightbulbs to growing your own food to marching on Washington. Once people engage
more fully in their rides, they will want choices of actions they can take that are aligned with their passions and available time.

AS I may have mentioned before, we want to put together a team that will help us develop the media portion of the GROWH. This will include the website mentioned above and well as the communication with the various "riders" we will visit who are currently engaged in supporting the commons.

That's all for now!! Oliver

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