San Francisco is one of the premier cities of the world, the environment is stunning and the culture is rich. I always have a strong sense of freedom in a place like S.F., and I am in love with it’s people now.
I woke up early and packed my bicycle, a ritual that is becoming more sacred each time. Safety and weight distribution is crucial, the terrain is very hilly. Each time I become better at it, I can do it faster and more simply everyday. I moved swiftly to the port of san francisco awaiting a ferry to take me across the bay, to the east, which was fitting. As there are limited ways to travel from the city of SF to the east bay, I opted for the boat. Better than stuck indoors in a bart train and I always love to be on ocean waters at anytime. It was a very fast ferry, I took it to Oakland where on this very evening game 7 of the NBA Finals were getting underway. The city had been buzzing with sports excitement this week. I could still hear the announcers and fans engaged in a Giants game at AT&T park as I left shore, later to be eclipsed by an explosion of excitement and cheer when the Golden State Warriors won the basketball playoffs. At that time I was already in northern Berkeley and what I thought were gunshots and car explosions behind me, was only just the sound of jubilation and the explosion of energy and excitement from the outcome of the game. I was glad I was getting out of the city, passing the SF city limits to the north would truly signify the beginning of my journey home.
I must mention why I am out here.To ride a bicycle from the San Francisco to Boston. To publicly show and act of appreciation to those who are doing things to change the lives of others for the better. Super simple. I also want to remind people that Im not raising money so that I can have this epic bicycle journey, I am already doing it without the support of anyone. To put it simply I earned the money necessary to pull off a stunt like this. I also have learned most of the mechanical skills necessary for bike maintenance and because I have been treated with a lot of love and kindness from my friends and family that make it alright for me to get a little wild and adventurous, and I want to give it back.
I just want to make that clear. I am not asking for support because I want to be a bicycle bum for two months. I’m doing it anyway, and my inspiration is to attempt to help some charitable causes. After a few months raising money and spreading awareness just by speaking with people I realized that its so very little about the money, only the sensation of being charitable and the benefits of sincere respect for one another unlocks untangible and endless wealth. Anyways, I am gonna try to keep the mushy stuff at bay and get into some of the more real trials and tribulations of what you come across when propelling yourself across a continent using only your own strength. There is the physical side, which if you play by the rules is nothing to be concerned with. Our bodies are capable of such feats, but it is in the mind that marathons like this are possible. If you play by the rules , also nothing to be concerned with. No tricks, just survival and brutal , beautiful honesty.
It was slow going getting out of greater east bay, I hugged the coast on Richmond Parkway, San Pablo ave, over the bridge in crocket where I met a nice old timer who pointed out the landmarks, the natives who used to worship this land and a bit about the water shed of that little pocket of California and the upcoming central valley. He also told me a story about this place just up the road (The camel museum?) about a business venture involving raising camels as a more cost effective means of transpiration and ranching than horses. The camel ranch didn’t last, and into antiquity it goes. Resting on the side of the road, baking in the sun , and old stable next to a new wind farm filled with an old dream. Still, true story.
I traveled south to Belicia, through Fairfield and into Rio Vista, north through Stone Lakes Natl. wildlife refuge and into the next “city”. The city of Sacramento.
Sacramento is located in Central Valley and it one of the large agriculture zones on our country. It was once called (some still do) the fertile crescent and the Sacramento river has been nicknamed The Nile because it is a large and crucial river to the development of the ecology and people of this area. Lets just say all this farming, the exploding population, and the drought are three key ingredients to the current alarmed state of California’s four year + drought.
That being said there is the totally impressive Central Valley Water Project that stores water from the foothills of the Sierras. Thanks to mount Shasta, Shasta Lake, Trinity Lake a system of waterways were built, during the great depression the the thirties for moving and storing water from the San Jaquin and Sacramento Rivers. Which in turn supplies half of California with it’s water supply. Underneath your feet, flowing silently is the life blood of our species. We dig and we dig and make arid lands into fertile farming meccas, yet the balance is still somehow not equal. It’s hard to control the weather, it’s hard to control what, who, when, and how people come to populate the state of California or anyplace in the world. Like most things in life, a drop of the coin. If we are going to continue to want to feel free, I think the awareness level must rise. Now it’s about conservation methods, and the fact that we are living on borrowed water, and we should be respectful of that.
I will conclude this journal entry now, from the safety of a four walled dwelling in Reno, Nevada. Intend on making an update about my journey through the Central Valley and into the Tahoe National Forest. I am looking forward to sharing about that part of the ride. It was trying, lots and lots of climbing , bumps in the night and long trains of thought through Donner Pass , an old route who’s legend makes the imagination flourish. I’d love to continue , but there are many more miles to travel and I must go.
Accompanying this web journal is my actual journal, which contains more of my personal thoughts and poetry throughout this adventure. For another time. Perhaps if the attention still remains on this endeavor , I can can more in depth into some of my personal musings, but as for now we can focus on the ride and the causes. At the end of this I really hope some kids get a huge confidence boost and opportunities to feel super loved, people struggling with depression or P.T.S.D. can get some holistic and human relief. Those who serve our country in the armed forces to feel respected and honored and looked after and maybe all that focused energy will work like a Maidu or Yokut rain dance. As much as a traveller may hope for fair weather, let it rain. I do this out of respect.
Enjoy the pictures and I must also direct you to http://www.gofundme.com/ericrideforcharity to contribute and learn more about the causes
If you want to see pictures updated in real time please check out my instagram : whereswiding
Thanks to everyone who has donated in any way to the cause, and all the great people I met along the way. Anonymous or not, the good luck and well wishes give me a crucial and untouchable amount of heart to continue on. Also, Spike @ Fritz’s bicycle shop for being the kind of guy to give me work at the shop and let me borrow his raleigh touring bike. With his support I really got rolling strong and am able to fulfill one of my dreams. Thanks Spike. I invite all my friends to check out his shop @ 328 W. Boyleston st. in Worcester Ma . Thanks to everyone involved
Of course check out these amazing causes.