Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Being in Gainsville kind of feels like being at home. Our friend John let us overrun his house and we have been cooking, relaxing, and biking the town a bit. Today we played an event that John organized in the park called punks in parks III. It involved many bands in the park with a family friendly atmosphere and free child care to support punk parents; tasty food by food not bombs, a bike maintenance workshop and much fun. The event had many amazing gainsville and beyond musicians including the Gainsville Liberation Orchestra
Dirty Fist , Lars Din,
Kiiks, and Rio De la muerte. Such great music- and if you are in the area many wil be playing at Fresh Fest in Tallahassee in a few days. (we will be too!)

Dirty Fist


The Gainsville Liberation Orchestra

St. Augustine and on photos!

Riding up the east coast we broke 1,000 miles!
We yelled in celebration and took a picture to remember that we made it this far!

Our show at art of coffee in cocoa beach.
Though it was an intense show and a long
hectic day of biking we made it through.

Justin and Patty

We biked a long two days then played a show and did a workshop on community organizing at Loose Screws in St. Augustine. An interesting city, we met so many amazing people - mnay thanks to kris and terry for organizing and hosting the event. If you are ever in St. Augustine go support loose screws, this amazing music store/ video rental/ awesome used clothing store and space for music and political activism- everything that was needed in the community has a space at

at loose screws.

next we made it to Jacksonville where we did a workshop for little kids, and one for teens at the main Library. At 3 years old, it is one of the coolest libraries i have ever seen (and i've seen my fair share) The children's section had a theater with a mechanical owl that tells stories, fun animal shaped furniture, and a hallway with 3d blades of grass that you walk through. If I were a kid in Jacksonville, it's the only place I would hang out. The little kids played rocking' drums and percussion with us and the teens did some spoken word etc. with us. A shout out to the Zombie house for giving us a place to stay and cook, and the great game of scrabble with the home made board.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

image updates! - Lake Worth

From the Soma center in Lake Worth- a little pocket of amazingness in south east FL.
If you are in the area both people and the food are amazing. also be sure to check out everglades earth first and the incredibly important work they are doing. It's crazy to be here and realize how integral the everglades are, what a unique eco system and how quickly we are killing them and turning them in to enclaves of gated communities of nasty new housing.
At the SOMA center

hearts and spokes! lylee

Thursday, February 19, 2009

freak out in fort lauderdale

ft. lauderdale, fl

i woke up early and decided to go exploring. we had made camp the night before in a lovely cabin in Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, thanks to art's friend Ranger Mark.

i wandered a bit around the well-worn paths, checking out the local ecosystem. even though i've been in florida for weeks, the life here still overwhelms me with its beauty and bio-diversity. i climbed a banyan tree (my favorite) to get a glimpse of the inland water way, and my eyes immediately fell on the parade of skycraper hotels and luxury condos that lined the shore of the atlantic. behind me, the small river-way glistened, and i thought about what Mark had said last night about the dwindling size of the park. over the past 60 years, the profit-driven forces of development have come at the park from all sides. as i sat in the tree, avoiding spiders i had never seen before and trying to tune out the passing car traffic, i had one of those freak-out moments.

you know what i am talking about? a moment when you really really think about the state of the world, and it overwhelms you to the point of tears. this happens to me every time i come to florida. i am sitting in a tree near a beach that will almost definitely be under water within my lifetime, and i can clearly hear the pounding rhythm of construction in the distance. they know, and they continue to build their waterfront empire. we know, and we continue to drive cars, eat food that's transported from thousands of miles away, and stand by while the next racist genocide unfolds in the form of the climate crisis.

this might sound like paranoia or dooms-day preaching, but unfortunately it's science. most current predictions show that if we continue to consume fossil fuels at the staggering rate that we are today, both south florida and shanghai (which has a population of over 20 million people) will be underwater within my lifetime. beacause of the lag period between CO2 burning and greenhouse gases causing global warming, it's possible that even if we stopped all emissions tomorrow, much of the damage may have already be done, and it may still be too late for the everglades, for the oppressed communities of miami, immokolee, for the seminole nation, and even for the developers who are causing the problem.

around the globe, indigenous communities are already suffering the most from the climate disasters we have already caused through consumerism, colonialism, and related oppressions. in "alaska," indigenous folks are literally losing their land to the climate crisis, as ice melts and traditional methods of food production begin to fail. other land-based communities have already been entirely displaced by rising sea waters and it is estimated that over 150,000 people are already dying every year as a direct result of human-caused climate change.

the crisis is here today, it's not something of the future. to an extent, the media and government are beginning to acknowledge the weight of the problem; there is so much talk about "going green",and "eco-friendly" products line the shelves of every well-lit supermarket and department store. unfortunately, we cannot purchase the solution to this problem. every quick-fix "solution" that we have been offered has failed, or was never designed to address it in the first place. we are bombarded with false solutions like carbon trading, "clean" coal, nuclear power, carbon sequestration, and genetic engineering (follow the links for more information about these destructive, profit-driven industries). it is important to realize that these solutions are not only false because they scientifically don't add up to reducing emissions, but they are false because they fail to address the problem at its root.

consumerism and capitalism are inherently unsustainable. they are systems based on the premise of unlimited growth, and we live on a finite planet with a finite amount of life that these systems view as "resources." even if there was a magical, fossil-fuels-free way to power the society that we have to today (which there currently isn't), it would still be an unjust, unsustainable, and ever-expanding human empire.

the reality is that we need to drastically rethink the way that we live. since there is no sustainable way to power this market-based economy, we need to create alternatives if we are going to survive. communities everywhere are organizing to take care of their basic needs: food, water, shelter, transportation, safety, etc. the less we are dependent on corporations and the government to provide these things, the more likely we are to survive the next disaster, and the greater power we have as communities to resist the industries and institutions that are destroying the planet.

Ft. Myers---->Miami

Hey folks! It's finally an entry in the blog from Art! (or is it the mysterious Misshapp Hazzard mentioned on the posters?) Well, I wanted to tell y'all about headwinds- they suck! Everyone was all chipper in Tampa during a group check-in, and I was thinking- just wait til the headwind hits us. Florida doesn't have much in the way of hills, but riding for three full days straight into a 19MPH wind while crossing the neverending gorgeous everglades was brutal. It was certainly worth it though- every bit harder we have to pedal, the more delicious our bean burritos that make up 4 of our 6 meals a day are. We camped out at Collier-Seminole State park, which squeezed us in despite already being full, and at Midway in Big Cypress, which was quiet and cozy. We also began our trek from Ft. Myers to Miami by stopping off in Naples and picking up Erin Ryan, who made us vegan amazing smorgasborg and spouts galore!

The Tamiami Trail, route 41, is loaded with great trash! I stop for all the good stuff, and got us two new pairs of high fashion sunglasses, three hats, a few more bungees, a huge rain cover bag for my bike, and one for just my panniers. Something about biking by makes me obsessed with trash and picking everything useful up along the way. We saw loads of wildlife, but we weren't allowed into Shark Valley because the Park's rules are that you have to pay $5 per biker or pedestrian to get in, while you can drive a car in with as many people as you would like for just $10. What?? We tried to reason with the person at the entrance, but it was a no go. What strikes me also is, who but a few rare long-distance bikers would ever try to go in without a car, except also the local populations, which I believe are all part of the Miccosaukee tribe. The whole thing strikes me as backwards, car-centric, and probably racist.

Anyways, onto substance- We made it to Miami, to my house (Paradise!) Well, not quite paradise, but it sure was nice to have a space we could really totally shamelessly take over and spread out and have laundry and internet and a wonderful man to cook us delicious meals. Thanks Luigi! Hmm... how to tell a story but not give too much boring detail? Well, we've had 8 workshops and four shows in the five days we were in Miami- putting on over a hundred miles getting around town. we still haven't had less than a 20 mile a day. oops, a little overbooked. We went to two schools for adjudicated youth, who were amazing, we visited the university kids at FIU and played at the Wednesday Organic Farmers market (, we played at Churchhills with Raffa and Rainer (, at the LunaStar Cafe (, at the Black Mangrove Collective ( and at the Unitarian Universalist (UU) church in South Miami. We did workshops also with the Pridelines Youth (the Queer Youth, at the Firefly during the bike collective workshop (, and with the Green Sanctuaries committee at the UU ( We made a (mostly) local foods dinner for the Pridelines crew, and servedup some more love at the UU. We capped the week off with a small but fun Queer Youth Dance Party at the UU, where we also made smoothies from (mostly) local fruit. So many thanks to all the amazing support we got from these venues and people and to everyone who came out to the shows.

Also a shout out to Tim at the Saturday Coconut Grove Farmers Market- he gave us a bunch of awesome, unique fruits for the smoothie shop- ugly lemons (isn't ugly fruit always the tastiest?), banana bunches, oranges galore! Tim also runs his car on veggie oil and brings diverse fruits to the market. And to Rachel at the FIU Farmers Market, who gave us the biggest bag of awesome organic produce ever!

So much of what we are talking with people about is the connections between so many oppressions, and the way they link with climate change. It's been inspiring to see how all of the really diverse communities respond in almost the same way to this message- they all agree. We must build more diverse movements, we must take the time to listen to all of the people working for social change, and we must bring our voices and strength together! It can be depressing to think about all of the interconnnected attacks on our individual freedom and on our environment, but when you are out fighting against it, you are taking the first step towards defeating that depression and towards building the strong communities that will define us and bring us the joy and the resources to survive.

And if you're on a bike it's even better! Endorphins are my friends, make them yours too! Thanks to so, so many people who helped organize things and who made us food!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Don't worry- the alligators didn't eat us

Some images of us biking during the epic 90 mile day from tampa to Lakeland.

...if it weren't for the alligators I would sleep out in the woods...
Hi everyone, Lylee Here-
I know you may be wondering if we even made it through the Everglades- sorry for our long lack of blogging it's been quite a busy week or so since we were in Tampa, and every so often when one of us thought to put up a post it was mentally too exhausting to go back to Tampa, to write our updates in order. So here is a beginning attempt at what we have been up to. Photos, video clips, and many stories to come.

We left Tampa and biked down to Sarasota where we played a show at New college. Art and I went thrifting and set up shop screen printing a batch of shirts, finally getting to use the screen and ink that we biked 500 miles around Florida only to be extra weight.
The show at new college was a benefit for the local radio station WSLR
check them out, they are doing amazing things. A local organization for bicycles and alternative transit in Sarasota tabled too- they are doing good work around making Sarasota an easier place to bike and walk- good luck! it was really scary to bike there. Cars were some of the meanest we've encountered yet.

from there we spent a long day of biking but I think we had pretty good weather. We rolled in to North Ft. Meyers only to see that the North and Ft. Meyers are separated by water and many huge bridges connecting the two. Our group was split up in to two and as Shannon and I approached the bridge in to the city, exhausted from a long day in the middle of traffic, we get up to the bridge and see a busy 4 lane with no shoulder and a sign that reads "no bikes, or pedestrians" so we detour a few miles and find another one that will let us through. Eventually we finally make it to our friend Nate's house who lets us overrun his abode with cooking, sleeping, games of poop smoothie (like charades but more fun)

We are being fed Tostones (Fried Plantain= yum!) and guacamole- and food comes before everything these days, so I must pause, but more updates soon.
hearts and spokes!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tampa: Community, Farms, Media, and the Superbowl

Hey everyone, evan here. someone accidentally gave me the password to the blog, so i'm writing a post!

We left Lakeland, escorted by our new friend Dominique, a UCF student who recently started a project rebuilding bicycles for migrant workers. On our way out of the city we rode past some lovely strawberry farms and stocked up on "fuel" at a local produce stand. We also cycled by a number of trailer parks where mostly latin@ folks live, people who come to florida looking for work and face extreme exploitation at the hands of large-scale agriculture and other industries.

After our 85 mile day from Orlando to Lakeland, the 40 mile ride to West Tampa felt pretty easy. The weather was in our favor and we rolled into town in time to buy some much needed guitar strings before dark.

We pulled in to the Sweetwater Organic Community Farm after sunset, and really didn't get to see the amazing set-up until morning. For us northerners, it was so exciting to see fields of greens in February!

Sweetwater is both an urban farm and a community space that encourages radical sustainability and movement building. Rick Martinez, who started the farm in 1995, was an incredibly gracious host and a wealth of knowledge about organic farming, community organizing, healing spider bites, and so much more. We stayed in his amazing house that he built on the grounds of the farm, which also boasted a stage, greenhouse, and 250-family CSA (community supported agriculture.) Check out for more info about the farm.

Small organic farms like Sweetwater are essential to community's basic right to good healthy food. Especially in these uncertain times of climate change, rising gas prices, and the economic crisis, community farms are not only an important resource but they are necessary for survival.

Since some other shows in Tampa had fallen through, Mark and Joenell set up three events for us at the Farm, and we were lucky enough to spend two nights there. Our first night we played around the campfire for a great crowd of folks from Tampa, Clearwater, Orlando, and beyond. Some unexpected friends showed up, which was a lovely surprise, and it was so nice to be outside in the crisp "winter" air.

In the morning we split up to get some tasks done, had a healthy check-in, and got ready to perform at the Sunday Farmer's Market at Sweetwater. The whole place was bustling with activity, over a dozen vendors selling an array of local wares. We bartered some CDs and t-shirts for some tasty veggie-burgers and smoothies and had a great time playing a bit of a folkier set for the folks who were coming to pick up their CSA, plus a bunch of young folks who came out too. Community Supported Agriculture is a way of directly investing in farms, and a way for farmers to support themselves outside of the traditional market system, and to connect with the community of people who they are feeding.

After the market, we set our sights on my bike, which had finally arrived thanks to the amazing folks from Campus Peace Action at UCF, who brought it to us after liberating it from the evil clutches of the U.S. Postal Service. Art put it together with ease, while i mostly stood by and gawked at his bikey wizardry. One of these days i'll learn to change a flat tire, but fortunately i haven't had one yet.

So apparently the Superbowl is in Tampa at the beginning of February, which neither shannon or i realized while we were booking the tour, which i guess tells you something about us and the amount of friends we had in middle school. Our sunday evening event was billed as an Anti-Superbowl potluck, which attracted the attention of the local Superbowl-crazed media. A reporter from Channel 10 showed up and seemed genuinely interested in what we were up to. Given the mainstream media's track record of twisting stories, tokenizing social movements, and brutally misquoting activists, we were understandably skeptical of the whole thing, but we were pleasantly surprised by the coverage. Check out the video here, featuring interviews with us, Rick, and some music from me and Shannon.

We jumped at the chance to be interviewed, knowing that the story would air right after the Superbowl, when tons of people would be watching TV. I made sure to mention critical current issues, and was really surprised that the mainstream press was willing to print the words "genocide in Gaza." Because of imperialist and Zionist interests, the corporate media rarely portrays any critique of Israel's constant assault on the indigenous people of Palestine. More information on the struggle and supporting the resistance in Palestine at:

After stuffing ourselves with delicious local, vegan, organic food, the camera left and the crowd thinned out. we had a really nice time playing a few quiet tunes around the fire, passing the guitar around and swapping stories while most of the country remained glued to the TV-set.

Sweetwater was truly an oasis in the midst of the overdeveloped west coast of florida, and the fact that it's such an amazing place probably contributed to our lateness in leaving the next morning. I think we all felt pretty lucky to have the chance to visit such radical and vital spaces all over the place, and carry with us some real hope. Not the electoral hope that they're selling us on TV, but the real hope that lies in communities organizing to take care of their own basic needs of food, water, healthcare, and resistance.


Tuesday, Feb 3rd, 2009
Sarasota, FL @ New College of Florida
Benefit for WSLR Community Radio and the Alliance for Responsible Transportation
2pm Climate Justice Workshop in the Fishbowl, Hamilton Center.
7pm Concert in Teachers Auditorium, Hamilton Center Rm 8.
Contact Isabel: 240-479-1267

-evan g

Update from Shannon

We are having a relaxing evening in Ruskin this evening just south of Tampa. We haven't posted in a few days because things have been quite crazy, so I thought I'd try to catch up a bit. Lylee has more rad photos to come very soon!

Here is a little overview of the last few days:

We had a fabulous time at Tent City on campus as UCF. I learned that Jane could be a scream along. Art arrived after biking solo through the dark 20 miles from the train station to the college on the craziest road- a fast and scary and sooo under construction sans shoulders road with big concrete barricades! Then Evan and I broke over a dozen strings in a little over an hour on three different guitars.

We played the next night at the Dandelion Cafe ( 618 N Thornton Ave (407) 362-1864) and had some of the tastiest vegan food and met some of the sweetest people you will ever meet. If you are ever in Orlando you should drop on by and meet these folks and eat some tasty, tasty food! Major thanks to Mujahid for biking us through town and helping us navigate the bike trails and road of Orlando.

We intended to leave UCF early the next day and get a jump start on our trek to Lakeland. Between pouring rain and last minute tasks, we only made it about 20 miles to our friend Jason's house. Art and I hit up the post office to do some last minute mailing. After dripping all over their floors and standing in line for about an hour, the crankiest postal worker ever glared at me while weighing and stamping a million packages of cds and posters. We busted out of there to get Evan and Lylee and move my car to a safe spot for the duration of the tour. Since we are on a gas fast- ie. we are not taking rides or using vehicles on the tour, I couldn't turn the car on. Instead, I put it in neutral and everyone pushed it into our friends driveway where it will live for the next five weeks. It was a lot of fun. We also pushed the car that was already in the driveway out and then back in behind mine. It was a lesson in the things wetake for granted and how much fun it can be to do things together. We had a delicious dinner made by Lylee before we headed out, about 10 hours later than planned...

We hit the 100 mile mark on the way to Jason's house to sleep before heading on to Lakeland the next morning. We all shouted out "100 miles" in jubilation and then the crank arm/pedal fell off Evan's borrowed bicycle at the same time. It was pretty laughable. We didn't have a spare bolt or a socket wrench and it was late. Luckily Jack is out walking his dog at 11pm at night and we went over to his place and got the bike all fixed up.

After 4 hours of sleep we were up bright and early and ready to head out for our first long ride, about 55-60 miles to Lakeland.

We actually biked 85 miles on our first day by accident after neglecting to check the milage from our route with the milage google gave us for a different route. Who would have thought that the scenic route with a bike trail would have taken us 30+ miles out of the way? I realized it when we reached the 55 mark and still had about 30 miles to go. It was not a good moment. We all fell off our bikes during the last couple of hours. We would stop and someone's legs would go jelly and they'd fall over. It was a bit ridiculous. We finally arrived a bit late after getting pulled over by the local police and forced to ride single file on a road with no shoulder because the cops didn't know the bike law. We played a show at the UU Church in Lakeland that same evening even though Evan and I were exhausted by the time we finally rolled up!! Lylee and Art were pretty sleepy as well but I think they got in a few minutes of shut eye between songs:)

The best part about all this craziness was that everything seems easy after that. I had a little bit of trouble with my knees (even with the fancy new and amazingly wonderful Surley Long Haul Trucker donated by Shifting Gears Bicycles in Bemidji - founded by Diane Pittman, CONTACT: 9180 Goodnuff LN NEBemidji, MN 56601-7080 (218) 751-8134.) I could not have done that on my old bike without serious injury! A little bit of rest and arnica and my knees have forgotten all about that day. Evan had to ride it on his borrowed single speed because the USPS "lost" his bike in the mail. It finally arrived in Tampa, but I was amazed at the hills he handled with the single speed. I definately also got booty sores from sitting in the saddle for so long without building up to it - a first for me. Lylee hooked me up with some great salve and I have some other herbs with, so I am almost all healed up by now. I wouldn't recommend anyone do 85 miles on their first day, seriously not the best idea:) But we lived to tell about it and we are vigilant with mileage now and checking things like wind direction and speed.

much love and more to come,