Cycles to Peace

MrMaple and I are fortunate to know a pretty energetic and enthusiastic woman named Karen Chickering. Although I did not meet my future husband at her wedding (a post for another day,) she did invite me to sing in an a cappella group where MrMaple and I ultimately got to know and love one another. But I digress...

MapleChick (really her e-mail name, as luck would have it) has embarked on an incredible journey. Karen and friend Ellen Gurwitz, started a grassroots bike ride for peace from Southern Vermont on August 26th, and plan to arrive on GW's front step, in DC, September 9th. Below is the full text from their brochure "Cycles to Peace".

I do hope to post some updates, but until then, I believe she is still looking for places to sleep in PA, MD and VA. So if you would like to participate, lend a helping hand, gather press coverage, offer a bed, or even a home-cooked meal, please email directly here.

In the words of a mutual friend, "I'm just so impressed by [their] vision, commitment, and courage to take this trip on. Wow."

Ride on, Karen and Ellen, and may your pedals be powered by the wings of a million peaceful doves!

a grassroots bicycle ride
for peace
August 26-September 9, 2006
Vermont to DC

We believe in our Constitution, not in the unitary executive theory. We believe that by exercising our constitutional right to vote and energizing others to do the same, we can stop the Bush/Cheney war/oil machine now, in 2006.

We believe that the war in Iraq was based entirely on lies, and are not willing to be
a part of an illegal force that invades other countries at will. We believe that the nuclear option is never an option. We believe that our unilateral actions have led to more hatred of the US, and caused more terrorism worldwide.

We believe that our Constitution and our rights are threatened, and we need to act before we lose more of our rights. We believe that peace is a choice, and, by choosing to vote, we can effect changes that move us towards peace.

We believe in the Geneva Conventions and the rights of all human beings. We believe that democracy cannot be delivered at the point of a gun.

We believe that freedom cannot be defended abroad while being denied here at home. We hope, by riding and talking with people enroute, to encourage more people to believe in their voting voice and their power to change our world, one vote at a time.

  • We start from Bennington, VT on August 26,
  • heading south and west to Route 22 in NY, to Millerton,
  • with a possible detour to the World Peace Organization's headquarters in Wasaic, NY
  • then following the route laid out by Adventure Cycling Association, southwest through New York State
  • the Delaware Water Gap Nat’l Rec Area
  • thru SE Pennsylvania
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • and on into DC
  • ending up at Lafayette Park...
where Cindy Sheehan and others are setting up
Camp Democracy at Fort Fed Up.

We plan on cycling a modest
50 miles per day. (yes, you can!)


And here is more info about their journey:
Democracy for America
Veterans Against the Iraq War

LATE BREAKING UPDATES: The following updates have been forwarded by family and friends!

"She is accumulating some wonderful stories of people welcoming the trio of riders (She and Ellen have attracted a third rider named Pat (I think) who started the ride and intended to only ride the first 3 days - - but it looks like they are going to get her to go the whole way with them!)

I heard a great story about being caught in the rain on Monday - - - and pulling into a diner where the waitress gave them towels to put under their chairs to soak up the puddles - - - and the owner making up a special mexican hot chocolate especially for them - - - then giving them a ride in a van w/bikes the last 15 miles to their endpoint for the day. Karen, reluctant to NOT bike every mile, finally agreed to accept the gracious offer."

Also, LIVE from Karen on the road...

"I'm ensconced at the library, checking first with the gmail account, and it looks like we have another couple of nights lined up. one is near Glyndon, so if we can push on a few extra miles on Tuesday, we'll have a free bed, dinner and breakfast. the other just came through our hosts in New Paltz, who contacted anyone they knew in the DC area. I'll call them when I have cell service outside, but that could be the answer as we get to the northern edge of DC on Thursday."

"I don't think we'll be quite as isolated as we've been the last couple of days anymore. after I leave the library, I'll....walk back out to the Mohican Outdoor Center. unless I get a ride along the way, I'll have walked about 7.5 miles today, about 5 of those uphill! that's my day of rest! Then a swim. (and the kayaking this morning through lots of water lilies and with a beaver swimming nearby on a very still pond) ...there are signs all over about rattlesnakes and bears! I'd prefer not to meet either. checked the kayaks carefully this morning before getting in, but I think it was too chilly for them to want to hang out there. "

"The offer of housing near Silver Springs, MD, is from someone who is hosting the monthly church meeting on "peace issues" the night we'll be there. How's that for timing?"

"We were riding through the rain with smiles on our faces (the terrain was easy, it was warm, the rain was moderate..."

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