Archive for June, 2009

About Pedaling

June 22nd, 2009

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Hooo doggy… a bit warm out there on the blacktop… heh… 97 in the shade when I got off the road, more with the humidity… woohoo…all good, cranked out 60 miles, thought about going for 90, for about a second, (till a hot blast of wind caught my face, as I sat in the shade of an overpass, looking onward.) The forecast has a bit of east in the wind tomorrow, we’ll see how it goes, would love to make up a day, but ya know, 100 degrees is freakin hot,

Anyway, speaking of overpasses, I made another milestone today, am finally able to ride on the interstate. Quite the change. Thought maybe I’d share a bit of the road with you all.

Surface plays a huge role in both speed and comfort. Smooth, seamless, aged asphalt is the best, keep it clear of debris and I am in heaven. I may roll a bit faster on concrete, but the cracks and regular joints (Bump>Roll-Roll>Bump>Roll-Roll>Bump>Roll-Roll>etc…), for twenty miles, or so, can get a bit tiresome. Every bump, crack and pebble I hit slows me down, a mile or two an hour might not seem like much, to most folk, but make a huge difference to a guy traveling at ten. My brother Tony, Liberty Rider #2, noted on the Jersey leg how much, even the different types of asphalt, effects pedaling. One of the surfaces I dread is a large stone mix that’ll leave my forearms vibrating for hours.

Surfaces change often, seeing a change ahead usually elicts a sigh, whose tone varies greatly…

The wind is another large factor, and I am always making it. Consider me pedaling at 10mph on a flat calm day, I have a 10mph wind pushing back at me… Even a 10mph tailwind, is to me a flat calm. A direct side wind is moved forward by my momentum and becomes a slight headwind. A sailor will tell you the math involved, but that is what they are talking about with “true” and “apparent” wind.

Probably needless to say that a strong, gusty, in your face headwind is the worst. The last few days have seen the track “staircase” west and south into south, and SSW winds. So while the west bits were a slight headwind, seeing a south turn ahead always saw me shaking my head with a, “here we go again…”. Though turning west was a relief of sorts, it was still great to get out of it finally, at the end of the day, and I am stoked that my southing is done.

I mentioned in yesterdays post a bit about cities. Big and small, they require termendous concentration. Disregarding the traffic and navigation issues, the road is a bear; city hot, and all bust up. Lots of construction zones and tube eating debris. Worse than the potholes and cracks are the parallel joints between concrete curbing and asphalt roadway. Often the joint is either a small ledge or the perfect width to grab my tire like a rut, and that could be very bad. And I have to ride along, inches away, for miles. I suppose the silver lining is that I have to concentrate so much on staying out of the ruts that I hardly notice the traffic… haha

I saw all kinds of roads navigating my way here, including dirt (which thankfully did not last long.) Knowing there is a major bridge ahead is always a bit nerve wracking. No matter how closely you pore over it on mapping software, until you actually see it, you don’t really know what you are facing. Holding up traffic on a narrow, long, high, bridge is never much fun. Ain’t no rest for the weary in such a situation. And, as a flat tire would make matters exponentially worse, the debris watch is heightened as well… It always feel like an accomplishment to cross a major one.

The country roads with little traffic are pleasant, but often hilly and rough. Usually no shoulders, as well. So some of them roads can become nightmares if they are local shortcuts, and heavily used during rush hours… I do just about everything I can to avoid slowing anyone down, what with the sign and mission and all… The mountain roads are usually always gorgeous, I hope to go back and see them sometime, on a motorcycle…

Route 66, though. That is a different animal altogether. I have not felt hurried or harrassed once while in the arms of the Mother Road, who has surely seen it all. It is like I am to be expected. My propoganda festooned cart, and I, merely add color and character to what must be America’s Most Charming Roadway. It truly has been a kick to pedal down Rt 66. Classic “Motor Courts” and filling stations, odd ball eateries and knick-knacks galore. Rolling through towns that have watched people pass through for decades. Motorcycle and Classic Car clubs, Solo and small group bikers packed for long hauls. I swear, if a Wagon Queen Family Truckster went by with a granny strapped to the roof, it would not look all that out of place.

Myriads of folk, out for a cruise…

The road itself varies by municiple jurisdiction. Most had been resurfaced, but some sections are the original jointed concrete (with no shoulder at all, just a 4in drop to dirt…), but, as I mentioned above, the travellers had no problem giving me space and time, often it was two lanes and I ambled along my own. The real traffic was on the interstate in the distance.  While I looked forward to reaching here where I can finally use them, I certainly am stoked that the routing led me down that legendary road. It was kinda the last thing on my mind while planning. Hadn’t really given it much thought. Now, after experiancing it’s magic, I hope to go back on my own dime and really amble along (in a vehicle with AC – haha)

And now it is the interstates. I like ’em. Actually feel safer with the wide shoulders and hign visibilty, (no blind corners and hilltops). Another plus is the fairly regular overpasses offering respite from the relentless heat. Chances are, if you ever see a bike parked under an overpass, you’ll see the rider splayed out in the shade on the cool concrete, and if you listen close, you might even hear the sigh… The final good thing about the interstates is the gentler grades, the hills more cut and the valleys more filled. Seeing parallel roads in the distance today happily reminded me of that.

They can get nasty at times, narrow bridges with little debris filled “shoulders”. Even worse can be “rotten” shoulders with gravel filled craters, or the monotonous jolts of a jointed roadway, all. day. long… Construction Zones are usually a bit dicey, as well. Like a bridge, you don’t know what you are facing till you see it. Saw the standard warning display today,”rightlane closed ahead.” It was still a ways up the road so I got off and onto an overpass to see what I could see. Still too far away, so I pedaled back onto the highway and hoped for the best, (while the work must leave room for normal wide loads, there can be narrow lanes for miles… While I am staisfied the flag array provides plenty visibilty, it can still be nerve wracking. ) As I pedaled up to it I was pleasently surprised by the sight of new lanes and the crews working the other side. The shoulder was actaully too new but the closed lane had been done earlier so I had a perfect track to myself for about ten miles… ahhhhhhh…

I don’t really know how much this all relates to the reason I’m out here, only to say that the road I’m travelling is a lot like life. Sometimes silky smooth, but usually a bit rough, with some better stretches. It sometimes changes directions and labels, loops around curious obstacles, sometimes even breaks and we have to find detours, which then become part of our road. But what is important is to keep pedeling on. Nothing of value comes easily, so embrace the hardship and press on, keeping eyes on the goal. I may sarcastically curse when I come up to a county line and see a crappy roadway ahead, but cannot stop.

That is unthinkable, the stakes are too high…

pedal pedal

The Mother Road

The Mother Road

Journal, Uncategorized

The Next Few Days

June 21st, 2009

Out of OKC, made all the south and now turning west again, a navigational waypoint. Getting ready to bake a bit. I think I may go with the arab style of desert wear. Imagine this… an Italian exposing  Fascism, using “terrorist” canards while dressed like an Arab, pedaling a Schwinn and flying significant flags… haha…

The schedule for the next few days looks like

Monday El Reno to Clinton

Tuesday Clinton to Erick

Wednesday OK/TX Border to McLean

I’ll see how the wind and sun treat me and if I can think about making up a day somehow, always good to keep a buffer…

Cities are tough, and OKC is pretty big. 25miles through city traffic, potholes, storm drains, redlights, construction,  ugh… As much as I enjoy meeting all the liberty folk that concentrate in the cities, I must say I am thankful to get out in one piece… (and I even skirted downtown).

On the way in I stopped at the Chandler County Sheriff Office.

Skeleton Crew and the deputy seemed to shut down at the name Ron Paul… ah well… worse, I had been easily buzzed in a backdoor and had to go back out to get the books, in the process I set down my helmet… I was a bit disconcerted leaving and by the time I realized my mistake I had travelled down a fairly large hill… that’s OK, I was going to have to switch to a shemagh soon anyway…

In OKC, I met up with a facebook friend Terri Creech. Her son Ben, and friend Steve, became Liberty Riders 7 & 8

and had a great lunch with RJ Harris & (partial) Family. I do need to remember that just because other people are taking pictures, doesn’t mean I don’t need to… RJ’s eyes are those of a kindred soul and I truly hope we score a win with his race…

Anyway, I should hit the hay, will be working towards earlier starts as the heat increases… Here are some other pics though…

Getting Interviewed in Salpulpa

Getting Interviewed in Salpulpa

Senator Brogdon honored us with a visit

Senator Brogdon honored us with a visit

Get your kicks

pedaling does have its rewards

pedaling does have its' rewards


Some Media Reports

June 21st, 2009

Salpulpa Herald

Great full article


Short and sweet, love the headline, (and the comment)

Purple Oak Politics

Great Write-up from a new friend

– making the 4th Estate great again… thanks all

busy busy…


Oklahoma is Keeping Me Busy

June 20th, 2009

The Sooner State seems to be living up to it’s name in regards to the r3VOLution. Not only are the activists enthusiastically busy, but the general people I am meeting, and the sheriffs, all are reacting very positively to the message I am spreading. It really is a cool state. The residents all seem to have a connection with their home that, again, reminds me of Hawaii.

I left off with LR-6 (aka acptulsa) pedaling up from Tulsa to accompany me into town.

Unfortunately for him, the ride out was mostly downhill and downwind, meaning the ride back was… (not easy – haha) By the end of the day we were taking a few breaks…

We made it in time for the BBQ, but was a bit longer of a day that Anthony figured – haha

On the way we had some productive stops. First was the Sheriff  Office of Rogers County.

Neither was the actual sheriff,. both were decent guys. The officer on the left was the Captain, he took a bit to warm up, but the other officer caught right on, and was very agreeable. The more I talk to these fellow Americans, the more I am convinced that the Law Enforcement outreach aspect of this journey is a very good thing to be doing. We are earning respect for standing up for ourselves, and our beliefs. I am stoked to hear of the ride encouraging the expansion this outreach effort. You don’t have to ride a bike, but you can get a set of materials and go say hi to your sheriff…

Another thing that OK is capitalizing on is the “news” aspect of this trip. I’ve had two local news interviews in two days. Here is Jessica from the Claremore Daily Progress

This is another area we could do better in, cultivating relationships with local media, and becoming local media. The 4th Estate is a very real force in American Politics, while all the people running for various political positions is great, we could also use liberty people entering the news field as well.

Here is another mention from an “in the wild” interview (no-one had contacvted this paper)

And so it starts… News coverage should build as I get further along…

Before we left Claremore, we stopped at a massive gun Museum,  Any gun enthusiasts who are passing in this area should not miss the place…

and then we pedaled on

talked to a few folk…

saw a blue whale

Oh, did I mention it was windy

Anyway, we made it to Tulsa, where we had a great Meet-Up BBQ and I got to talk to lots of liberty folk. One thing they seem to have here is a strong “team player” attitude. Humble strength of conviction in the righteousness of our cause and the need to do whatever to advance the cause…

The next day was a sorta easy ride, had a glitch to deal with in the AM, but Jay Blevin came through and solved that dilemna.

We pedaled to the Sheriff Office where we had a long conversation with two deputies, and though I’ll respect the off the record nature of some of the comments, I’ll say these two boys are definitely on our side… After talking to potential Mayoral Candidate Clay Clark we mounted up and pedal into the bright OK sun.

Anthony got me safely back on to RT 66 and turned back to home… Was a great time and I’m stoked to have have a long time LibertyForest member join the ranks of LibertyRiders. And he pedaled quite far, close to 50 miles… (only my brother beats that, – though BJ Lawson comes close…)

Next stop was Creek County Sheriff, again it was quite busy and I took no pics myself, but we had supporters, reporters, officers and gubernatorial candidate Senator Randy Brogdon even came down. Quite the honor, and quite a guy. Definitely a political animal, and definitely relishes sticking it to the status quo. Listening to him interact with the people going past us into the sheriff office was great. I really like the man and hope the best for his race.

The Chief finally came out to see what all the commotion on his front step was about, and I did the presentation right there, in front of all, including a reporter, Brian, from a Salpulpa paper (The Herald?) Again, the Sheriffs I am meeting are very agreeable. This one was more personable right off the bat, lots of locals around helped in that regard. He brought up references to the tragedy of gun control failures as soon as I started touching on the “historical warnings” aspect of the pitch. All in all a great busy stop

I look forward to seeing the articles and pics people were taking… I have somevideo and will try to get it off for processing before I get on the road…

The rest of the day was hot and windy, good practice for what I will be facing for the next few weeks…

I made it here to Bristow, got an alright room, took a shower, and was picked up by Pastor Tim Gillespie of Drumwright OK, who brought me up to their place for a homecooked dinner and fantastic pie :). His wife, Jennifer, and he are quite the couple. Happy first year Anniversary is coming up – still newlyweds – great to see.

He was a former county GOP chair, now treasurer… very active; on the election board (where we should have more people as well). He has an interesting pespective…

Well, always more I could write and more I need to do, so will close this with something that happened on the road.

I make quite a sight pedaling down the road and usually always draw peoples eye. Yesterday as I was pedaling along a quad (fourwheeler ATV) came out of a trail and turned along a path on the other side of the ditch just off the shoulder, and came towards me. On it was a father and his young son, the classic, “taking the boy for a ride” image that most all of us cherish somewhere deep in our memory. I got a huge smile and watched as we approached each other… the thing was, the son was looking at me with the huge eyes of innocence, little mouth agape in wonder at the colorful contraption rolling by, the sparkle of fresh eyes as he responded to my returning smile.And the father never saw me at all.

He was deep in concentration, holding a precious treasure in his lap while navigating the bumps of the simple trail. Chugging along, as slow as you go, his eyes never wavered from the trail in front of him…

Ain’t that America?

As I pedaled away, tears of simple joy cooled my cheeks, as I said my little prayer of thanks for such moments, seeing quite clearly why I ride.

So that father doesn’t have to…

pedal pedal


Journal, Photos, Uncategorized

Video from Claremore Oklahoma – live interview with Michael!

June 19th, 2009

Some footage Bryan Mayberry shot of Liberty Rider Michael Maresco in Claremore Oklahoma – terrific interview (thanks Bryan!)

Gallery, Journal, Oklahoma, States, Video , , , , ,

Pedaling across the country on a schedule

June 18th, 2009


I always feel bad if I ain’t “blogging enough…”  Time is a precious thing…

Lets see what I can get off. Liberty Rider #6 Anthony Platt is pedaling up from Tulsa, will be here in a few minutes. Together we will be pedaling to the Rogers County Sheriff, wher they have a rranged a reporter to meet us. Just like that…

Met Sheriff Jimmie Sooter of Craig County yesterday. Great guy, he lit up a bit when I presented Ron Paul’s book, kinda like a kid at Christmas… The body language, and all, told me he understood exactly why we are doing this, and that it is the right thing to do. He appreciated the visit… In Hawaii we call any elders who deserve respect, “Uncle”…  Sheriff Sooter earned that from me with a quick comment about my route to Claremore and the winds I would face. Respectful concern… Mahalo, Sheriff.

Ride was windy, just something pushing back, I just have to push forward with more determination…

Have to run, LR-6 just arrived… will try more later…

Thanks to Brian Mayberry for coming out and meeting up last night



Welcome to Oklahoma

June 17th, 2009

First, I want to apologize for the lack of video/pics. On really tough days my mind starts shutting out most everything but what is necessary to get there.

And yesterday was tough. Thunderstorms in the AM, followed by gusting winds, sweltering humidity, and relentless sun. Shady spots were few and far between, and I am on a schedule…

The good thing about traveling by bicycle is that one gets to acclimatize gradually, transitioning from one zone to the next.

And the transition from Show Me, MO to Sooner OK was GREAT!!! I was actually met at the border by some great old friends and fellow activists, Sandra Crosnoe and Kaye Beach, and they brought my new friend and congressional  candidate RJ Harris who has joined the ranks of LibertyRiders as #5

I really like RJ. My first impression is that the people of OK would be well served by having this man represent them. He reminisced on his childhood, growing up in these parts and pedaling around during the “Wonder Years”, I could tell this was a man with passion for his home, and that is always a good thing for a represenative to have. He said some things pertaining to his native heritage that made me think the Hawaiians would like this guy. And he said them with the kind of humble grace that would make the Hawaiians love him.  It is an honor to ride with such folk and I hope we all do everything we can to get some Liberty Candidates elected this season. RJ’s Money Bomb is June 19th.  Please help spread the message…

I purposely have some lower mileage days built in here, so I can better visit with the outstanding activists of OK. Got 5 sets of books out lastnight for local delivery. The Brenner Family came down to visit and took three, (am real sorry not to have gotten pics). They are already mapping the state and raising funds to distribute to all counties that I will not have the pleasure of visiting.

Liberty Grassroots Rock!!!

53 miles today, Afton to Claremore on Rt 66. Wind is up, but so are spirits…

pedal pedal…