Posted by: Mark Wollemann: On the move | June 13, 2016

Bittersweet beginnings

no peds on GG Bridge

My last ride before the XC trek took me across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Oregon trails come next, starting, well, today.

I’m riding my bike across the country.  If you’ve been reading along, you know that already. The journey starts today (Monday, June 13) near Winchester Bay, Ore. Beyond that, though, Melody is joining me on this trek to provide support – and to bring her considerable storytelling skills into (mostly) rural America to spark a conversation about what makes us tick. How do we find joy in our lives? When should we chase a dream? What makes us feel alive?

Maybe, during this 11-week (or so), 3,200-mile journey we’ll learn a few other things. Why do we hate? Who should we trust? How much more can we take?

I could offer a theory or two, but it won’t mean spit. To answer these questions, we need to talk to people to find out what’s going on in their lives, in their families, in their hearts and souls.

Listen, I’m sick of reading about mass murders. I’m tired of hate-mongering and  fear-mongering. I’m angry that the political and economic elites pit poor folks against working folks. I’m desperately sad that we succumb so easily to that manipulation. But I’m also tired of the same old people spinning the same old bullshit. Thoughts and prayers. Angry diatribes. And yet day after day, week after week, year after year, the story remains the same.

Why? Well to me it’s clear: Nothing changes because we’re expendable. Those who need us to be their cannon fodder always win in the end. And we always lose when we play their game. So I’m changing the game. At least for this summer. I’m climbing on my bike. I’m going to pedal. And Melody and I are going to talk to people. We’ll share those stories on our website or on a barstool somewhere near you (preferable).

And those stories will be true; they’ll be real. This summer, we’ll sweat, we’ll laugh, we’ll cry and we’ll listen. What comes after that? Who knows? But first things first; I’m climbing on that bike tomorrow and I’m going to ride as fast as my chubby little legs can propel me. If we’re passing by a neighborhood near you, come along for the wide.

 

 

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Responses

  1. Mark, as always, your writing moves me. My guess is you’ve either already started pedaling or you’re about to start. Either way, I’ll be hitching a ride on your bike and eagerly awaiting your updates. May the wind always be at your back and may you and Tune meet a good share of the great people who have already made this country great.

  2. “I could offer a theory or two, but it won’t mean spit. To answer these questions, we need to talk to people to find out what’s going on in their lives, in their families, in their hearts and souls.” I desperately want to hear these stories, Mark, and to understand what’s so broken in people’s lives that they’ve resorted to anger and suspicion and hate. But along the way I suspect you’ll also find some stories of redemption and hope. I look forward to those most of all. Buen camino, amigo!

  3. Good luck!

  4. Well said, Mark.

    I thought the below article is also pretty thoughtful and even handed about all of this.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2016/jun/12/orlando-shooting-reaction-us-gun-laws-islam-homophobia

    Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse any typos.

    >

  5. Buena suerte, amigo.

  6. Good luck!!!

    – – Jay Weiner Speechwriter | Office of the President | University of Minnesota | umn.edu jweiner@umn.edu | o. 612-626-4496 | m. 612-718-8109

    >

  7. Bon Voyage!!!!
    On your great adventure.
    Enjoy the ride…… Get it?
    Enjoy the ride😀🚴


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