Saturday, July 10, 2010

my own vehicle

Being back on my bicycle is such a new experience. It is as if I am a new person on it. Well, I guess I am. This person has ridden this bicycle 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles with 1900+ other cyclists to raise money and awareness for Aids.

This person experienced 11 hour days of peddling, multiple blow outs, strong head winds, rolling mountains, rubbing brakes, and more. This person slept in a tent on cement grounds on top of a yoga mat and woke up at 5am to pack up the tent and get back on the bike.

This person then hopped directly on a red-eye flight to Chicago to go on tour with Colbie Caillat in support of Sheryl Crow and Lilith Fair for a job that I created as JOYOLOGIST. This person has been blown away with inspiration from so many people since I left Los Angeles on June 5th with my 2-wheeled friend.

I knew that I could do it. I knew that my old road bike and my un-trained self may not be the fastest, but I knew that we would make it. I said that I would be fine to fly straight to a new tour after riding a bike for a week solid, I believed it, and I was.

Was it hard? Was I tired? Yea, sure, but what is hard? What is tired? It is all subjective, right? That ride was really hard, it was, but it was also just a casual bike ride that happen to last 7 days long. Was I tired? I must have been because I slept so hard when I got to the tour bus, but if I know that I have to keep going and I want to keep going then I can.

It is all an adventure. It is all what we make it.

So now I am home, back to my bicycle as my transportation after being carted around by tourbus, car service, venue runners, hotel vehicles, and taxicabs. I was a bit hesitant to get on my bike, or better wording is, I was a bit lazy to get back on my bike, but it is how I get around so it was inevitable.

People use the expression, “it’s just like riding a bike,” once you know how, you always will without thinking about it, right? I definitely felt that but in such a powerful way. The way that I ride that bike now feels so different. We are one. We are connected.  I am a motor vehicle.

One of my favorite memories of Aids Life Cycle is riding south on the 101 freeway from Lompoc. There was a huge descent after climbing to 1300 ft. elevation it dropped back to zero in less than 5 miles and we were riding on a main highway single file outside of the white lines with major traffic. It was scary, but in the most enlivening way possible for me. I felt at home there passing fellow cyclists with cars and semi-trucks whipping past me.  It was powerful.  I am powerful.  We are powerful.

I am my own vehicle.


  1. I decided to be my own vehicle yesterday after spending the weekend (dwelling) on my couch. What was I dwelling about? Does it matter? I didn't even go to yoga Saturday or chuch on Sunday. Then I overate. Bleeurgh... I know better.

    So I read this post and wondered "Could I ride to the grocery store and back? Do I really need Evelyn the Oldsmobile to take me everywhere?" I live in the country so riding 22 miles each way to work isn't exactly feasible. But the local grocery store is only about 4 miles away. Of course, my new goal was met with my husband's typical negative to ambivelant reaction, "That's a long way. Are you sure that you want to try it?" Seriously?! Four miles?! A breeze for you after your recent excursion but I'm at 243 lbs down from 295. And sometimes I let my old mentality keep me from taking important steps toward my current goals.

    So, I made it. Easily actually. For the first half mile I struggled. I knew why. My tire pressure was low. When I got to the local air pump, they were at 29 psi. My tires say they should be 40-65 psi. Once they were aired up, it was a breeze. And I believe I survived the low tires because of my yoga instructors' love of Warrior I and II. Bless their hearts!

    So I'll keep trying new things. There is more out there than what I've been doing for the last 37 years. Have a good week!

  2. Jenn! I love this! You can do anything! Remember you get to go at your own pace, its not a race, so take up a ride and have fun and enjoy it! You are inspiring. This made me smile so big!