Robin on the Road in Trerice Cornwall, UK

Robin on the Road in Trerice Cornwall, UK
Robin on the Road in Trerice Cornwall, UK

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Great Ride

So far it's been an incredible ride! 

When I think back to an earlier post and I posited the question: Why ride? I had a thousand reasons or excuses NOT to do this ride and could not come up with a single reason why I should.
Well, the answers are becoming more clear.
For one thing, the people I have met so far have been amazing and phenomenal people.
I could start by mentioning my friends Mick and Kelly without whose help I would not have even  gotten off the ground. There was Jim in San Francisco whom I barely knew and collected me and my 70 pound bike box from the airport, helped me put it all together and actually changed out some of the parts for me in his living room while hosting me for 3 days.
In a campground ouside of Winters California, I met Rom. He's a Venezuelan by birth whose parents were from Italy and he had cycled from Argentina and was on his way to Alaska. Our conversation was half Spanish and half English. When I asked him what he was going to do after Alaska, he said, "I don't know, I'll figure it out when I get there".

The next day, after the rear rack fell ff my bike the one bike mechanic on duty at the bike shop in Winters on Sunday worked for an hour on my bike and would not take any money.
Two days later on the American River Bike Trail, I met Katy whose daughter in law and son survived the Boston Marathon Bombing but both lost limbs.
We had a conversation about "feeling safe" in a world that seems to get crazier and more dangerous all the time.
It was aan interesting conversation considering that my thoughts are often consumed by personal safety. And when I talk about safety there are many considerations. There's the obvious safety regarding traffic on the roads. But there is also the added factor of being a single woman on the road alone. I have not always camped in designated campgrounds. I camped for two nights in the woods on the American River Trail. A sort of suburban camping experience. As I traveled through the foot hills I thought back to when I worked in Yosemite 20 years  ago and four women were murdered pretty much in plain sight. The perpetrator was eventually caught but how creepy!! And this thought is consistently dogging me.
But like my conversation with Katy on the trail, we can't live in constant fear. We have to get out and live our lives. Even as I live with the constant reminders of my own traumatic experiences, I will live my life as though there is nothing to fear and that danger does NOT lurk around every corner or behind every tree.
I have to admit that prayer helps a lot.
So from where I write this post in the home of some very kind folks who took me home from downtown Genoa, Nevada, Cathy and I had a vey similar converesation as Katy and I. This resulting in Cathy offering me her personal pepper spray. It weighs almost nothing and though I have considereed it at as a possibility, I wasn't sure I really want to take someting like that on this trip. The question is a philosphical one more than anything. As America becomes more and  more obsessed with guns and high powered weapons, do I want to contribute to the craziness?
So far, so good. I'll keep you posted as I consider the question further.
Thanks for reading.


Michelle Chaikin said...

This post reminds me of when we were hitchhiking down the east coast 30 years ago, singing "We Beseech Thee" from Godspell between rides as prayer to stay safe. I'm always amazed and a bit awed that you continue to live life so fearlessly. Keep flying, Robin...

Jim Sweet said...

Hey Robin,
Just thinkin about you shoot me a line and let me know how you're doin.

Jim in SF