This blog has been created to document the planning and execution as it is happening, a bike ride across the USA for charity. I will update it on a regular basis to keep people informed and a tool for myself to keep going. Namaste.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Resistance

I want not to be where I am. But I also don't want to ride in the conditions beyond the walls in which I sit. Strong winds will be in my face all day if I choose to ride. Par for the course? Pretty much. There certainly are days in which we must make the other choice of not riding. And really we can do whatever we want, I can do whatever I want. I guess the question is what do I want more? I can hang out for another day in Ordway, CO or venture on 60 miles east which I am more inclined to do.

Considering all the rest I have just come off of, I want to ride, but I want the conditions to be up to me. HA!! Never have I experienced so much as I have teaching yoga and riding a bicycle across America, to adapt and be flexible and open to what comes your way.

I am in a cool house or trailer. This woman names Gillian, from New Zealand, houses cyclists for free. She has a couple of trailers on her property specifically for people like me. We have use of shower, laundry, kitchen and can hang out with the myriad of pets roaming around....goats, ducks, chickens, dogs, horses...unfortunately no pigs :(

Amongst the all of the people that live here and are visiting, I feel a bit lost and alone. I am excited to be heading back east. Through my travels, i certainly have to realize how much I enjoy living in the Northeast. With all the green, trees, mountains, oceans, lakes.....it really has so much that I love, not to mention the love of family and friends.

Til Next Time....until then ride the wave....

In Peace, Light and Love

Meaghan

Thursday, July 22, 2010

On the road.....again.

I have left Denver. Day 4 and I have decided to take a rest day in Pueblo with Ann, Pat and their 2 girls Molly and Alison. Sam from the Yogaslackers put me in touch with these fine folks. There house is AMAZING. Apartment really in this old bldg (which they own) in downtown Pueblo, CO. A yoga teacher and a pilot, solar panels being erected on the roof as we speak, 2 beautifully intelligent and funny girls...another example of a model family.

This was not the only inspiring homestay that I have had. Just 2 nights ago, I made my way to CO Springs to stay with the Elias Fund family. 2 young guys began this organization originally helping one Zimbabwean gardner put his sons through college. Soon becoming their passion and hopefully their lifes work to help struggling families in this country to give their children an education. Many of you, who know me and were at my fundraiser may recognize the bracelet or necklace that you may be wearing now that is so beautifully inscribed...."if you are strong, I am strong". This is a sentiment that is widely used through Zimbabwe. This is the family that I stayed with. Although I did not get to meet Eric and Scott....the founders....their parents and other brother Luke opened their home and hearts. Margie, the wife, mother and now dear friend of mine, well lets just say we could still be chatting at the kitchen table and not miss a beat :) Check out www.eliasfund.org

And I must not fail to mention my lovely friend Michelle who picked me up from Telluride and brought me to her apt 30 stories high in downtown Denver. A friend, where picking up right where we left off, had many great laughs and conversations. To top it off, my friend came out to visit from the east coast and had one of the best days of my trip tubing down Boulder Creek.

I am back on the road, with a renewed sense of focus. I begin my journey back east tomorrow. I have headed South the last few days, but knowing that I am heading back to the east coast has me brimming with excitement and nerves! I am not sure whether it is that I am getting closer to home, more familiar territory or that I soon have to figure out where my place in the world is going to be once I conclude my ride. The latter part does have me all to concerned as I feel that with living that question I will live myself into the answer. If that makes sense, it does to me and guess that's all that really matters.

One thing I know...I know what I want and I know who I am. I guess that's 2 things. And when I feel lost or alone I am quickly reminded that I am loved, usually by some divine intervention. The surest thing to getting what we want is to give it. The ccol thing about our friends and family, people we love or hate....they are mirrors for us. They show us where we can grow and expand. Many times it is the people that frustrate us the most we have the most to learn from. Take it with open arms, like a good friend. Welcome it all, the good, the bad, the happy, the sad, the laughter and tears. For we could never know sadness without happiness and never know laughter without tears. Ride the wave....

In peace, light and love,

Meaghan

www.ridethewaveofchange.org

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rest and Re-Group

I sit 30 stories up in downtown Denver with an amazing view of the mountains to the west. A little jazzed up due to the 2nd cup of Folgers coursing through my veins. Not sure how much longer I will be drinking the Joe for, but I like it. :)

Telluride, CO....one of my favorite places I have come to realize. This small town is perched some 9500 ft in the mountains. It is nestled so neatly among even taller peaks that rise up to over 13,000 ft in some cases. To add to the majesty of the town, there is a sweet waterfall that can be seen from almost anywhere in town called Bridal Veil Falls. My only regret is that I have not had the opportunity to hike among the beauty as I was busy getting my yoga on throughout the weekend.

Since last Wednesday, upon arriving in Telluride I have felt more balanced than I have in a while due to a more regular yoga and meditation practice. Although I have been a bit nervous about taking a bit over a week off of riding my bike in fear that I am going to lose the rhythm of riding, it was a fully conscious decision. My intention for this was to practice a lot of yoga and take some time to re-establish my focus for why I am riding my bicycle across America.

A frequent question that I have been asked is what has been the most challenging part of the journey? It certainly has left me with some food for thought. I didn't have to reach too far to find the answer. It certainly has been the balance of riding all day and putting in the work to raise money. Now that I am on the road and the challenge is realized, it has given me a platform to work from. I asked Shyam Das, the Bhakti Yogi that I was blessed to meet and hang out with, what his message was if he had one. As he scoured his mind to find give me an answer, he replied very simply to associate myself with people who can help me expand and grow. With that being said and something I consider myself fairly good at already, it has left me thinking a bit differently regarding what it is I am doing.

Standing in the present moment and reflecting on what has occurred, the moving forward has revealed itself through the people I have met and the impact they have had one me. I am going to continue not only to reach out to yoga studios to teach and spread my message, continue sharing my story with folks I meet, but also to reach out to newspapers and other forms of media. After all, what is the point of having a focus if you can't keep it?

What is that saying?, if you have time meditate and if you don't have time meditate even longer. Something like that. In between my riding and sharing my story I will continue to find my balance to what has helped me get here in the first place, my yoga and meditation practice. I have found that this gives me the source of power, strength, courage and connection, not to mention brings more clarity to the things that are most important.

I am heading up to Boulder to explore and meet up with an old high school friend. I will be there for a couple of days and before I head back to Denver. My ride resumes on Monday the 19th where I will be heading south for 2 days before I head east to come back to the east coast. It feels like a new journey all over again.

If you know of any yoga studios, newspapers, radio stations, tv, any contacts that are interested in a yogi cycling across America for peace, change and a sustainable way of life.....share them with me. :)

We are all capable of effecting change. We just need to believe that we can. Whether we know it or not, we effect the lives of people around us everyday. So why not make it positive and from the heart?

All my love and devotion,

Meaghan

Friday, July 9, 2010

You don't know what a "flat" road is until you are on a bicycle :)

It's funny, when people are explaining to me the profile of the land that lies ahead, I have realized that their perspective is from a car. It is so different, as I am sure some of you know, that when you either run or bike a road that you have driven often that all of a sudden you are so aware of the subtleties of the terrain.

I landed in Telluride, CO on Wed the 7th. I will be here for the weekend immersing myself in yoga, kirtan, good food, people and high altitude mountain air. It feels good to be here and to take this break from riding. Although I am a bit nervous that I am going to lose my rhythm of the ride. The week and half that I am taking from riding is with a firm intention to rest and regroup to return to my ride with a renewed focus. Stay tuned.

Man the bagel that is toasting smells goooooo-ooood.

Grand Junction, CO is where I spent our independence day with a frien ind that flew in to keep me company. We decided to stick around and watch the parade before venturing off to see the fireworks. A parade is a great way to see the culture of a place. People are walking with pride with what they enjoy and believe in. I am still processing a sign that read "Grill baby grill!".

From GJ, 120 some odd miles to go to get to Telluride and 3 days to get there had me moving at a pretty leisurely pace. Delta, CO with a sweet yoga and meditation practice on the Gunnison River was Day 1 followed by a ride through Montrose to Ridgway State Park where I lazily napped in the sun and swam in a mountain lake only to be concluded by a sunset meditation and hot cocoa.

The nearer I got to Telluride, the more excited I became. It was a trip riding past the Montrose airport. Last year the same time I came in on an airplane and was shuttled up to Telluride. To come through on a bicycle only a year later....I was beaming with such feelings of awesomeness. A year ago today I would have NEVER thought I would be doing what I am.

1800 or so miles and 2 flats. One pretty much right after the other. Not bad. My friend Jason from the Yogaslackers asked me what the worst thing that has happened in the last 37 days of my life on the road. An to be honest, I could not really think of anything. Everything that I have experienced so far....headwinds, emotional, hormonal, fear, self doubt, flat tires,....all has just seemed par for the course. He luaghed and said...."you still have 2 months." We'll see. It's not so much about what happens, but how I choose to react to the situations that I come up against.

I have met a couple of other riders. One on the morning of my ride to Telluride, so we rode together for 30 or so miles. The other we both met as we waited out a thunderstorm. Both guys I was certainly impressed by for very different reasons. Joe the first guy I met, riding his bike across America, was carrying what looked like 5# of gear on his bike. I was blown away and feeling a bit like a hoarder with my 60 + lbs of gear. Niall, gentleman #2. Come to find out he is a very courageous, funny, brave 17 yr old riding for charity to raise money and awareness for clean drinking water. Just one of his hilarious stories included exhausting all tubes and patches to repair a flat. What is one to do when you are in the desert with nothing to be found for miles?.....stuff the tire with sage brush, what else!? Best of luck to both!

Most recently, since arriving in Telluride I happened to be in a cool corner of the local coffee shop reading away when I was graced by 2 gentlemen drinking chai trying to navigate their way to their home for the weekend. Apparently I looked as though I knew my way around, maybe only slightly better than them. As we got to chatting and exchanged intro's i learned that I was sitting with Shyamdas and his friend. Shyamdas has spent and spends a considerable amount of time in India reading and translating sanskrit, teaching yoga, bhakti yoga (devotional chanting), among many others. He is one of the presenters for the yoga fest. They invited me along, or rather snagged me to help them find their way to where they were going. upon arriving at their home, they fed me with food, water, conversation and love!

Everyday, more and more, I find myself becoming more open to the day and who and what it is going to bring. It is almost too overwhelming if that makes any sense. Balance and listen or listen to find balance.

Alright, I am going to go play with the Yogaslackers for the next 4 hours. www.yogaslackers.com

In peace, light and love,

Meaghan

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Leaving Ken, New Friends and Finally, I have cried :)

Setting out last Monday seemed like a whole new adventure as Ken and I parted ways in Jackson, WY. The day was the hottest yet. I had only planned on riding another 35 mi to a small town to camp. Upon arriving, I learned that there was no camping, was gifted 3 chocolate chip cookies by some passerbys (4 gifted cookies for the day :) ), and that there were 3 other cyclists down the road.

Leaving Ken and the Grand Tetons had me feeling bittersweet. The Tetons along with the Clearwater River in Idaho was among the most majestic experiences I have had. A new friend, which I have been making lots of, Maggie Connolly found me and Ken a place to stay at the foot of Grand Teton herself, reaching over 13,000ft at place called the Apline Climbers Ranch. There i rested for a day practicing yoga and sunbathing streamside. Having to leave this amazing place and my dear friend....who in their right mind would want to leave all this fun? But the show must go on.

And it did. I rolled up on Charlie, Spela and Andy. Kind as they were, they invited me not only to tag along the next 40 some odd miles but to stay with the family who was to be hosting them. Happily I obliged even though that was putting me at riding 100 miles in a day, something I said I had zero point zero interest in EVER doing. Onward I went to the Sheppard family who fed and watered me both dinner and breakfast.

I felt like we were the Breakfast Club, the 4 of us. We spent the next 4 days riding together through windy ass Wyoming and into Utah.

There was one day that I planned on taking an alternate route down the one side of the Flaming River Gorge and they were to be taking the western side. 10 miles in and I felt defeated, broken, emotional and lets see heavy hearted, down in the dumps. I couldn't get my shit together. Tears were streaming down my face, my bottom lip quivering. I missed my friend Bunk, my heart was longing, a friends email, the 35 mph headwinds slapping me in the face incessantly.....what else could you put onto the top of this day....oh my feminine hormones at their peak. Screw it I says to myself after 4 hours of riding and only making 17 miles. I threw in the towel, hitched a ride and nurtured myself for the rest of the day with soothing conversation with a dear friend, swimming in the lake and yoga practice....all of which grounded and rejuvenated me.

It turned out that my new friends decided to take the same route I did and rode a grueling 12 hours in the same ferocious weather I so readily through in the towel to. I commended them and shared my site. I was happy to see them and have their company once again, for the next day and half anyway. We parted yesterday in Dinosaur, CO. They are headed east to Steamboat Springs and I to Grand Junction.

Today I head over Douglas Pass. A 3000 ft climb and 72 mi before I see another town. My first day completely solo...or so I think. As I have witnessed and learned and has become more evident on this trip is that the road before me is unknown. More than ever, be open to the day and all its elements. I have met good people on this road. This road that I have chosen has gained a new focus and understanding, one that has more faith in people, in kindness, in love and heart than I ever could have imagined.

Ride the wave of change.......

In peace, light and LOVE,

Meaghan