Well, 7 days out. Will be six before many people read this.
Time to start the journal.
I’d like to get one thing out of the way right off the bat, and it may surprise a few of you, but I am not a cyclist.
In fact, I am not even much of a fitness buff, at all. I’ve never been to a gym, haven’t formerly exercised since High School, and before the Ride for Ron Paul, had never owned a road bike, nor pedaled more than a few miles in any one direction. So, though I’ve quite a bit of experience pedaling, now, I am still not a cyclist.
This surprises plenty of people I meet. Many think I just took something I enjoy and worked it into a political event. The truth of the matter is that I was watching too many people debating tactics/philosophy online and not enough posting evidence of taking those tactics to the street. So I decided to do something outrageous, so far outside of my “box” that even the most timid supporter might look and say, well if that Hawaiian guy can pedal a bike across the country for freedom, I can go knock on my neighbors door.
And it worked.
That remains the greatest satisfaction from the last ride. Not the thrill of finishing, not the celebrity it brought me, not even meeting and riding with Ron Paul. The greatest satisfaction I get from that ride is the testimony of people I meet, who tell me that the effort encouraged them to step out of their own box, and opened up a whole new world of effective activism to them. That is how I judge success. To me, there is little difference between approaching that first mountain range, and approaching their first door. Both are equally intimidating in the eyes of the beholder. Getting to the top of that first range, or walking away from that first door, is a watershed moment for most. When we realize that we CAN do this. With a little bit of courage, and a LOT of determination we can do things we never dreamed. And that is how we will take back control of our government. Persistence, determination, and a little bit of courage. It may not be sexy, and may not even be much fun, but it certainly is satisfying at the end of the day. Knowing you did everything in your power to advance the cause of liberty and leave a better world than we were born into. Indeed, it truly is not, whether we win or lose, but how we play the game.
So, well wishers tell me how much fun I’ll be having. And yes, I will enjoy meeting all of you on the route, I will enjoy seeing the light turn on behind peoples eyes as I pitch the ideas of the r3VOLution to them, I will, also, enjoy some of the beautiful scenery this great country has to offer. I’m sure I will laugh and sing with new met friends, and that will be fun, but pedaling? No, sorry, that is not much fun at all. It is hot, dirty, and dangerous on the roads I’ll be traveling. It takes enormous concentration to watch ahead for pitfalls and tube shredders. The bike seat becomes harder with each passing mile, my knees start talking to me, and on long days they start yelling. No, I do not expect to have a ton of fun on this trip, but the satisfaction of hearing one person explain that the effort encouraged them to find such determination in themselves, that to me is priceless.
Now, back to the title of this post. What I do enjoy, while pedaling, is the chance to think, to meditate on all I’ve learned and experienced, and focus my mind on ways to further our cause. Pedaling is kind of mindless, it just takes a sharp eye, a good ear, and a steady pace. When my mind is free to ponder, not clouded by the online noise and incessant calls for help from all corners, I am better able to discern the culture of the area I am in and tailor my message to suit. And by being out there, talking to people outside our circles, I know the circles grow.
And that is why I do it.