Archive for December, 2012

In the news in Kerala / 29.12.12


Interview on the road side.

Chapter Three: Miki’s House / 19.12.12


When riding the hills of the italian coast I reluctantly told Devin and the others that I couldnt pedal any further no matter how hard I grit my teeth or breathed through the pain. The fear of permanant injury loomed in the back of my mind and I didnt want to toy with the concequences of further strain or damage. Devin and I cycled to the nearest town and got on a train the next morning to Chiavari, Italy to meet our next host- Miki.

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The Quest for Happiness: Alternative Lifestyles / 17.12.12

This is my effort to offer additional depth to our blog. Something that goes beyond reporting our experiences, rather to reach to explore the depth of reflection that our experiences inspire (when interacting with all our previous experiences and education). In short: what do I think about all day while riding my bicycle week after week? Here is a peek, though you may need several sittings for this to soak up all the links I sprinkled in.

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India Morning / 15.12.12

I woke this morning as the sun came up, around 6:30, and decided to walk. The small path by our hotel led into the palm trees, and wound around the streets of the village just off the beach area. It was good to get a sense of this place beyond the tourist-focused hotels, shops, and restaurants. People were getting ready for the day; smoke was wafting around corners to sounds of splashing water. A man was gathering coconuts. I heard a noise and looked up. His partner was up the palm tree with a machete, chopping. His feet were bound together with a frond, and with this he pushed his body up the tree, 25 feet off the ground. Goats moved along the road, and cattle egrets pecked at bugs on the animals. The day was already feeling warm, and the smell of India was unmistakeable–thick and lush and inhabited.

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FBR part II / 11.12.12

Fueled By Rice has spent over a week in the city of Istanbul, enjoying mountains of baklava, heaps of kebabs, and oceans of tea. At this time however, this great crossroads of a city marks a transition for our group. Devin and Tori will be returning to the USA as Kallie, Lindsey, Peter, and I fly east to India. FBR India will gain one more friend, Steve, and proceed as five. FBR Devin and Tori will spend some time in New York and then return to Michigan. It has been a wonderful, trying, spectacular, laugh-filled, stressful, amazing, painful, and miraculous journey so far. I have been privileged to share the road with this team and learn from them, and this continuing on is with some sadness as well as anticipation.

Part One of our journey is closing, Part Two is opening. Thanks for journeying with us! Please stay posted for more pictures, stories, and reflections as they continue to bud and blossom…

For the Environment: an examination of our stated purpose / 06.12.12

“We are biking for peace, simplicity, and the environment

Our actions and decisions affect the world in which we live.

A couple weeks ago in Selcuk, Turkey (where ancient Ephesus is located) we found ourselves riding in a car. Riding in a car is a strange experience after spending so much time on a bike. The tug and resistance that hills offer to a biker’s muscles become little more than a little revving and lugging of the engine in a car. Our speed is barely checked as we whiz up mountain curves! And the speed itself is a bit dizzying, after finding a comfortable 20 km/hr pace (12 mph) to be normal. (Okay, downhill once we did hit 70.4 km/h (43 mph), but that is probably not recommended). So cars are sort of an exotic, new experience all over again. But this was no ordinary car. This was Falco’s car.

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Staying with Adam / 04.12.12

After we were towed up the hill by the kind truck driver (see previous post Hitching a Ride), Kallie and I felt confident that it was going to be a good day. And it was. We made it into Fethiye and met up with Adam, who took us back to his place and showed us our room–a large bedroom with a double bed and attached bathroom. Yes, the shower was hot. After some introductions and showers, we made our way into town to find the friendliest kebap store owner and the makings of a home coffee roasting operation.

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Indian Visa in Istanbul / 04.12.12

Our experience at the Indian consulate in Istanbul resulted in a lot of scrambling, anxiety and running to copy centers to print off extra information. We had a hard time finding application requirements for a tourist visa off the consulate website, so thought we would share what we were required to have (Dec 2012). As an American, here’s what you need:

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Hitching a Ride / 01.12.12

On our way to visit our friend Adam in Fethiye, we stopped at a yacht town called Gocek. Our hotel owner told us the rest of the journey would be more or less flat. “It is thirty more kilometers, and mostly flat,” he said. Well, by now we should know not to trust drivers for elevation stats, but nonetheless we set our expectations to FLAT TERRAIN. The first long climb felt twice as hard as usual, and we convinced ourselves that that was it and it would be flat from here on out. As we approached the second large climb Kallie began moaning and I was trying my best to get our heads in the game. Hills are significant on a bicycle–especially a tandem with a loaded trailer, and our legs were tired. “Get your head in the game!” I said to Kallie, unhelpfully. (Biking teaches you some good and bad communication techniques for marriage).

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Final push to Istanbul! / 01.12.12

Lindsey and I crossed into Turkey from Bulgaria two days ago in Edirne. Our route from Plovdiv Bulgaria to Edirne is the only part of this trip that overlapped the first trip. We connected with Durukan in Edirne, who was a key connection on our first trip our first night, who introduced us to Volkan and his family (now living in a different part of Turkey), who wound up hosting us for a week while we waited for Nakia’s Bulgarian visa that us Americans didn’t have to worry about. Durukan graciously came through again, this time finding us an amazing and generous host, Ahmed, who is a chief on a container ship and is only home for one month in four. Lucky us, this is his time home! Thank You Ahmed and Durukan!

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