It's really me this time. This is the first time I've touched my fingers to a computer in 2 weeks! The Wanderlust Riders are in Atlanta tonight, Friday, June 6, and will be staying here for the weekend. We are the guest of the Feminist Women's Health Center, an abortion facility. They have allowed us to take over a huge conference room, kitchen, baths, and laundry--a luxury compared to our nights in campgrounds. Tomorrow they're providing a pancake breakfast and a tour of their extensive facility. This clinic is being targeted by Operation Save America this summer.
We'll also be meeting with local activists tomorrow. We expect this to be one of our largest meetings.
On the last two days we've been on actual bike trails. It has felt far more relaxed than our stressful rides on state and county roads in the hills of Alabama, and much more enjoyable than trying to ride through construction zones. But everyday brings a new adventure. Small bike accidents, flat tires, barking dogs, getting lost, riders getting sick or injured, mechanical problems--there is always some challenge to overcome. Everyone finishes the daily ride exhausted, but usually proud and happy. Sometimes, though, the exhaustion makes us all a bit grouchy.
The riders are from all over the country--New York, Ohio, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Oregon, and California. The others range in age from 20 to 36, and then there's yours truly, trying my best to keep up with all that youthful energy as we pedal away the days.
I am so grateful to have such a fabulous MORCRC office staff that keeps interesting things happening while I'm away. I'm kind of sorry that I'm missing the most fun office time of the year, that time when we have new interns and allow our creativity to go wild. I'm in touch with Saskia or Adele almost every day. I miss them!
My bike is being good to me, but I think by the time I get to New York I'll be ready to throw away every piece of clothing that I brought. Nothing seems to ever get clean when washed out in cold water in a camp sink.
This is probably the toughest physical challenge I have ever undertaken. I'm pleased with the distance accomplished thus far and believe I'm finding new sources of strength.
Thanks for following along, and thanks so much to all who are sending me emails! I really am encouraged to keep going when I read your kind words.