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 (http://news.fiu.edu/?p=116), we played at Churchhills with Raffa and Rainer (www.myspace.com/raffaandrainer), at the LunaStar Cafe (www.lunastarcafe.com), at the Black Mangrove Collective (www.myspace.com/blackmangrove) and at the Unitarian Universalist (UU) church in South Miami. We did workshops also with the Pridelines Youth (the Queer Youth Center-www.pridelines.org), at the Firefly during the bike collective workshop (thefirefly.info), and with the Green Sanctuaries committee at the UU (http://uumia.org/). 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!