• Mission

    To raise support and visibility for AVODAH, the Jewish Service Corps, while becoming an agent for social change over 3,100 miles of biking.

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    AVODAH is an organization that provides an opportunity for young people to engage in social justice work while fostering Jewish values. We Corps member live in an intentional Jewish community while engaging in work for social change.

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MAP Across America

Have any questions or comments?
Email avodahcycle@gmail.com

Tallies and Finales

Hello again, a few months later, a few more experiences, a little more biking. Check out the updated photos!

Last week, I had the opportunity to revisit my AVODAH presentations. The interns at UW Hillel have meetings every week and occasionally bring in speakers from the community. I retold my story and this time, shared photos of the bicycle journey now completed.

I still feel as if there is much reflection to be had…but before we move on to new activities and the NEXT thing in life, I wanted to share a few final numbers with you from the journey:

3,176 miles of pavement, gravel and dirt crossed from D.C. to Newport Beach, CA

72 days crossing

14 states traversed

5 nights of paid lodging (i.e. 67 nights we stayed with friends and random hosts)

11,312 ft.  Highest elevation at Monarch Pass, CO

13 flat tires

16 planned speaking engagements in 9 different states

Over 300 people spoke to about AVODAH

Thank you for everything. I may continue to post as new reflections emerge, but for now, just remember, that ANYTHING is POSSIBLE!!! 🙂 Your next adventure is right around the corner. Try to continue being part of something that is greater, something that perpetuates the creation of positive action and energy.

Chao.

Another Great Article in Jew-ish.com

http://jew-ish.com/index.php?/stories/item/3797

 

Best quote from bathroom stall in Colorado

“Knowledge is the best gift because it is weightless.”

True, true, especially when every ounce counts. Anyone have any weightless knowledge to offer??

Appreciation

One of the most difficult aspects of having multitudes of random assistance and generosity is how to show your appreciation. Note to all of our random hosts out there: Please know that we could not have completed this journey without your help!

How can we show our appreciation and not feel like we are taking advantage of others?? More importantly, after an initial thank-you note, is there a way to maintain a sense of appreciation? Is it important to keep in contact with those who in an instant, and if only for an instant, offer their trust and goodwill?

Maybe  I should send nice, deep fried latkahs to all our hosts in the mail…:)

Rushing towards Instant Gratification

I want to expand upon the idea of instant gratification now that I finally finished reading “Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abbey, which in fact is a mandatory reading for those in the 4 cornered states.

Abbey describes in detail, Arches National Park, in SE Utah and the beauty of the silent landscape; about the sand and stone and lizards. About how things move slowly and how the tourist industry has rapidly led to exploitation of the landscape. More people=more pollution=faster deterioration

While biking, especially in the Southwest, I realized that

a. First and foremost, driving or flying would have been a lot faster

b. Time does not rush, it is humans that rush. Rushing through projects, activities, is solely a human concept. Things may move fast, it is not natural. Nothing, NOTHING, in nature, truly rushes, even water moving fast. In the SW USA, the arches, the grand canyon, the buttes, the mesas have taken hundreds of thousands of years to form. The grooves we see today were started by water flowing before humans were in this part of the world.

3. Even on a bike, I moved fast (at times)

We expect that everything moves at our pace, instant email, instant message, instant arrival, but it is not natural.

On another gratifying note, we expect to instantly be comfortable…If we are hot, we turn on the AC; cold, turn on the heat. This is not possible necessarily when you are outdoors, or indoors with no electricity.

Slllllllllllooooooooooooooooow down. Take time to realize how fast you are moving (especially while zipping down the highway!).

Bike songs

When you are sitting in the same position day after day, hour after hour, the only thing that can constantly move is your mouth. Hence, when you run out of things to say, there are a monumental amount of songs that you can adapt for your own experience. These are what I came up with, specifically when bored by corn, or exhausted in the Rocky Mountains:

 

Up on the mountains (Down by the bay)

Up on the mountains, where the aspen trees grow,

Back to my home, long way to go

and if I bike, bike, bike,

my mother would say, say, say

Are you ever going to get to west,

wearing your warm vest,

down hill all the way..

 

Going on a bike ride (bear hunt)

I’m goin’ on a bike ride, goin’ on a bike ride, I’m not afraid

I got my water bottle and my gloves and my bikes shoes too.

OH NO, here comes another MOUNTAIN.

Can’t go around it, can’t go through it, gotta go over it….

 

I’m goin’ on a bike ride, goin’ on a bike ride, I’m not afraid

I got my GPS and sun glasses and spare tires too.

OH NO, here comes another WIND STORM.

Can’t go around it, can’t go through it, gotta go over it….

 

I’m goin’ on a bike ride, goin’ on a bike ride, I’m not afraid

I got my rain jacket and tent and Cliff Bars too.

OH NO, here comes another SEMI TRUCK.

Can’t go around it, can’t go over it, gotta pull over and let it pass by….

 

I believe I can bike (fly)

I believe I can bike,

I believe I can pedal faster than a tyke

I think about it every moment past, present and future,

I believe I can touch the ocean tide

 

I believe I can bike,

I believe I can climb that pike

I think about it every moment past, present and future,

I believe I can’t survive a hunger strike

 

In addition to these GREAT songs, I also had a daily tribute to Julie Andrews, learned how to beat box the entire alphabet and recounted entire services. Just passing the time….:)

AVODAHcycle in the News

Apparently, many newspapers are small enough that they do not post articles online. How old fashion…:)

Hence, I have searched for a scanner, and settled on my phone with a camera to take pictures of the printed articles, which the reporters sent to my home. The first is actually a like to the SF Jewish Weekly from a few weeks ago. The second two are from the Omaha Jewish News and Red Rock News from Sedona, AZ. Enjoy!

http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/59881/cross-country-biker-recounts-many-peaks-of-fundraising-ride/