Pricey Bicycle Touring Professional and the biking neighborhood,
On August 16, we reached the tip of our cross-country journey in Astoria, Oregon after spending two and a half months on the Trans-America Path. Other than the straightforward rewards of motorcycle touring, together with a Mickey Mouse glove tan and the lure of an ever-changing horizon, it was the interactions we had with others alongside the path that made this expertise so memorable. Our bikes served as nice dialog starters, and other people willingly supplied us their tales, recommendation, and even their yards to sleep in. When it got here time to go away, they by no means failed to inform us concerning the “large hill” developing. “It’s simply terrible,” they’d say, “goes on and on ceaselessly…” We’d take a look at each-other and smile; in spite of everything, as any east-to-west cross-country bicycle owner will know, nothing can fairly beat the Appalachian Mountains.
Headed west, we additionally handed via a always evolving agricultural panorama. Because the “Localmotive Bike Tour,” we stopped at a number of Woman Scout camps and a YMCA camp to talk with youngsters about the advantages of native farming and natural meals. We additionally did our greatest to assist native farmers by stopping at fruit stands on the aspect of the street and visiting native farms that raised every part from sheep to greens. The vast majority of our connections, nevertheless, got here from interacting with area people members and referring them to our weblog, which served as an ideal medium to share our mission with others. What we found whereas talking with others alongside the path was symptomatic of our nation’s battle to redefine our relationship with meals as an entire.
Ask a bunch of first graders the place their meals comes from, and plenty of will reply “the grocery retailer.” Ask a corn farmer in Kansas the place his meals comes from, and he’s extra more likely to say California than Kansas. Not the solutions you’d anticipate? What we witnessed throughout our journey is that almost all of meals is produced by farms which have little in frequent with the Fisher Worth mannequin of our childhood imaginations – assume a little bit pink barn, livestock, and a farmer with overalls and a straw hat. As a substitute, large-scale industrial farming is the norm, characterised by fields of a single crop spanning 1000’s of acres, pesticide use that harms the encircling setting, and confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Nonetheless, we met a number of large-scale farmers who’re taking initiatives to preserve the setting, reminiscent of minimizing water use, whereas nonetheless sustaining non-organic practices. Whereas this nonetheless results in loads of questions on pesticide use, meals safety, and wholesome consuming, it’s clear that the overall mentality is transferring in a constructive path.
From Virginia to Oregon, we had been constantly impressed by the efforts of people and communities to preserve assets, enhance their youngsters’ faculty lunches, eat extra domestically, and construct really sustainable communities. It’s definitely the case that native initiatives are gaining a stronger foothold throughout the nation as folks make the connection between the farms that produce their meals and what’s on the dinner desk. What we’ve got now won’t be excellent, nevertheless it’s an ideal place to start out.
To the bicycle touring neighborhood that made this scholarship doable, thanks a lot on your assist and encouragement earlier than and through our experience. Our experiences have impressed us to proceed supporting native meals applications and to share our information of important meals points. We can be giving $50 again to the Bicycle Touring Professional scholarship with a purpose to assist fund one other touring group subsequent summer season, and can be donating $200 to a youth group alongside the path with a purpose to assist the institution of a neighborhood backyard.
Greatest needs and wholesome consuming,
Katie, Kerstin, and Lauren
To study extra concerning the Localmotive Bike Tour and see pictures from the cross-country bike experience, make sure you go to the official web site at: http://localmotive2011.wordpress.com