With my new bike all ready to go, I decided to make my first excursion out to the beach. Though the trip was only about 5 miles each way, I freaked out a bit and begged a friend who was a regular biker to go with me. I was a bit nervous about biking beside Los Angeles traffic and knowing which rules I had to follow, but by the time I made it to the beach I felt so free. Wind in my hair, sun on my back, and no need to spend hours looking for parking. This was great! I was going to bike everywhere. I had the very best of intentions. And then I had to lug groceries one day…so I needed the car. I had to go somewhere and NOT show up a sweaty mess…so I needed the car. Then the ultimate killer, I got a job on the other side of town…so I needed the car. Not to mention cold and rainy weather and getting home late after work. My bike began to see a lot more of my storage room than it did of the roads in my neighborhood. There was even a year or two when the bike didn’t get ridden at all. Sad to say. But the truth is, the few times I did take it out, dust it off and put air in the tires, I felt so much better about my day. I only wish I could make it more a part of my daily life.
|B2B bikes lined up and ready to go.|
Well, there are about 10 – 20 people who will be making biking their life for the next year as they take on an epic journey by bicycle. Led not by a professional biker, or an endurance athlete, but by a 70 year old man, Mestre Acordeon, who has the desire, vision and guts to organize a bike ride from Berkeley, CA, USA to Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. The Project B2B – Joga Capoeira (B2B stands for Berkeley to Bahia) bike ride kicked off in September 2013 and in approximately one year the group will arrive in Brazil having covered 14,000 miles, passing through 11 countries and while developing 4 major initiatives.
1. A documentary film,
2. A CD of Capoeira Music recorded by musicians met along the bike route,
3. A web/TV series about the journey, and
4. Shared reflections from the project creator, Mestre Acordeon.
If you are a capoeirista, you have no doubt heard of Mestre Acordeon. But since not all of the blog followers are familiar with the Capoeira, Mestre Acordeon is an influential member of the worldwide capoeira community. He has been practicing and teaching capoeira for over 50 years, has recorded multiple CDs, taught workshops around the globe, and is one of the people credited with bringing Capoeira to North America, in the 1970’s. Mestre Acordeon is also riding along with his wife, Mestra Suelly, a film crew and other dedicated capoeiristas who have made it their goal to bike along on this journey, whether it is just for a few days or to complete the trip from start to finish.
|Mestre Acordeon and his wife, Mestra Suelly|
They spoke about the freedom of biking, the joy of seeing parts of their own state of California that they never would have seen from a car or a plane and the simple zen inducing state of the rhythmic pedaling. They shared stories of quitting their 9 to 5 jobs or scrimping and saving to make this trip a reality for them, for Mestre Acordeon and for Projeto Kirimurês. Amazingly it wasn’t until the end of our conversation that they mentioned that by the first night, two of the team members were robbed. One rider lost all of his belongings, including his bike. But instead of focusing on the loss, they quickly spoke about how it allowed them to meet amazing people who went out of their way to help them continue on their journey. That is the kind of resilient spirit that is going to allow them to get past sore muscles, sleepless nights, inclement weather and whatever else a 14,000 mile bike ride may throw at you.
|Big smiles and good spirits from some of the bikers. Thanks to Diego, Keith and Peter (in the center, back row) for sitting and sharing your experiences with me.|