Posted by: twistsoffeet | April 27, 2011


They call me crazy for this.

Even if most people who know of my upcoming adventure support me and my decision, there are those who are either envious or consider me a little bit “off my rocker.”  They say, “How could you even think of doing this at your age and with your health conditions!?”

They tell me I need to take a gun because they are certain that people will try to rob me– or even worse kill me. I am told that I need to locate every campsite between here and there, so I can stay in a nice safe campground full of people and RVs every night.

Most do not believe in the kindness of the strangers I will meet, and instead think that in this age and this economy, everyone will be cold towards me.

They do not understand that many people ride bicycles cross country or even around the world now days.

What I refuse to do is walk (ride) this road of life living in fear and letting that fear keep me from pursuing my goals, or more importantly stop me from pursuing my dreams. I am not going into this naively.

I understand that there is always going to be that small group of people who will take me for everything I have, given the opportunity. I know that this would absolutely be a challenge for a younger, healthier person. But then, I have this thing in me that really enjoys proving to myself that I am just as strong physically, mentally, and emotionally as someone less than half of my age.

I refuse to admit that just because of my age and health I cannot do something or even that I have lost more than a half-step over the years, as compared to my youth. I always worked hard to prove to myself that I was much stronger in mind and body when I was 50 years old than when I was 25 years old.

And I certainly refuse to bow down gracefully and retire to the proverbial rocking chair sitting on the front porch, where I am forced to watch the world go by without me participating in it.

What I call crazy is working a job for sub-poverty level wages, slaving away and exposing myself to the chemical hazards, venomous snakes and spiders and rabid raccoons, in the hot sweltering sun and high humidity. It is crazy to tear my body apart for something I have long ago given up enjoying.

And all of this in a life where I cannot afford my rent or to eat a good, healthy diet.  All, while the owner and fat cats drive their Mercedes and BMWs or other luxury autos, and I am unable to afford medical treatment even with insurance because my insurance takes nearly half my wages.

Even as I say this, I still do not believe in socialized medicine.

What I do not believe in is the greed of a few people with whom I have come into contact. Most of the members of the country club where I work would probably be appalled if they really knew how little we were paid. They would not do anything about it, though, because that would mean they would have to pay more– but they would still be appalled.

Most of the members there are self-made men or women who have worked hard to get where they are at in life, and they have earned the right to play their game and live the life they do. But I work with a group of somewhat different guys who deserve better than they get.

I know most people do not really get what I am going to do, but most still support me and think it is pretty cool– for me not them. I would rather be true to myself and do something crazy like ride my bike cross country simply for my health and the sake of a grand adventure, than to sit on my arse and begrudgingly watch the world go by without me.

I will have food, shelter, and transportation, and I will be doing this in my fashion and on my terms. I can stop and start when I please, and take a day off if I feel like it without having to call in and notify someone that I will not be in today.

I will be free and have the privileges and responsibilities that go along with my freedom. And I believe that I will be very happy living this kind of life.


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