Support the kickstarter here.
Weathered Cyclist is a way for cyclists (or just people who love bikes) to raise money that goes straight back into bike-based projects.
Weathered Cyclist Founder, Ali Campbell, is currently cycling 900 miles (all on a single-speed!) from Glasgow to Bristol for Bespoked Handmade Bicycle Festival this coming weekend and raising money for The Bristol Bike Project and Glasgow Bike Station in the process! Check out the site here for more information.
Tim and Noah are in the final week of their fundraising campaign to produce a feature-length film about their two-year bicycle journey through radical subcultures of the American South, as featured in boneshaker issue #8, and they’re just over 80% of the way to reaching their goal. I spoke briefly with Noah last week, which you can read below. Check out their amazing project here and help them make this a reality!
Coming to ‘the end’ of your adventure in physical terms, must have felt hard after 5000 miles of pedaling. How were your first few weeks of being back? We spent the few weeks lounging around in the Bay Area, eating Asian soup, burritos, and reflecting on the road behind us. There was a deeply peaceful sense of accomplishment. Our skin and hair was ravaged by the desert sun and our muscles bound in knots, and we were definitely ready to start healing. Breaking down our bicycles to ship them out east and saying goodbye to each other was very difficult, but at the same time we were ready to move to the next stage with this project and our lives.
I remember reading this quote from a book called Ghost Riders, where the author talks about all the nomads he meets as ‘moving for the sake of motion’ – it’s a feeling that i can relate to enormously when I’ve been away on my bicycle for a few weeks or more – did you have a sense of that during your trip? Absolutely. When movement becomes habit, staying in one place can begin to feel unnatural. Sometimes this became an obstacle, because we would pass up beautiful situations and inspiring people because we would have our eyes fixed on the horizon. It’s been an important lesson in finding a balance between moving forward and appreciating what’s right in front of you.
Another quote from Ghost Riders, ‘Freedom is impossible and meaningless within the confines of sedentary society, the only true freedom is the freedom to cross the land, beholden to no one’. Based on your trip and the experiences it offered up, what is your current understanding of the concept of freedom? There is a profound freedom in movement. Being able to detach from your surroundings carries with it the feeling that anything is possible. It can also be confining though, since there is an equally powerful sense of freedom in developing intimacy with community and land. The purest freedom lies at the intersection of these two extremes. To be fully engaged in your immediate surroundings while not feeling trapped by them.
A quote from your blog, “This road has shown us sides of ourselves, each other, and our country that will stick with us until we die.” What were the most surprising things that you and Tim learnt about yourselves and your country on this trip? We learned that we are capable of adapting and enduring through much more than we had dreamed. Having the opportunity to push ourselves outside of our comfort zone on a daily basis was incredibly empowering, and it did a great deal to teach us to move through our fears. We also learned again and again that most people are kind and decent, and that when we opened ourselves to the world, the world would more often than not open back.
Travelling as brothers must have brought with it its own trials and tribulations. How has it impacted on your relationship? It has no doubt brought us much closer to each other-even though we hated each other at times. We learned to recognize and nurture each others’ strengths and find a shared space to collaborate in without letting sibling rivalry and ego games spoil our work. Now we can communicate our vision almost without even talking, and we know we can count on each other through even the most challenging situations.
Another quote from your blog, “Alienation and frustration destroyed inspiration.” At what points did you feel most alienated? What aspects of the trip challenged you and your inspiration most? At the beginning, everything was magical. The icy weather on a mountain, the fresh roadkill on the side of the road, even the putrid smell of a food dumpster was somehow romantic. As time moved on though, our life became routine, with the most beautiful moments sometimes fading into an indifferent blur. We would sometimes tell stories to people who would look at us with wide eyes and we would just shrug our shoulders, unimpressed by the craziness we had just experienced. Looking back, it feels silly that we didn’t cherish every moment, but it has reminded us the value of living in the moment. Never take it for granted.
Sometimes it can be hard to implement the things and feelings that you learn that feel SO important when you first become exposed to them when you have time out from your everyday existence and it can often be a struggle to weave them in to the fabric of your more structured life when you return from a trip like this. Have you found this to be the case? This is definitely a challenge, and documenting our journey has helped us with this immensely. We have so many beautiful photographs, video, sounds, and words to bring us back to those moments, and we still find new ways that the experience has woven its way into our lives today. Two years on the road like that changes you in so many ways you can’t know. Luckily we have so many new friends from the journey and have learned so many skills along the way, so the lessons from the road feel permanently woven into our lives.
You talk about the project having completely possessed you for the last two years. Could you explain a little what’s next for you both? For now, we’re focused on finishing the film and book about our journey. We would like to tour with it when it’s done, giving us a chance to personally meet some of our audience and have real discussions about the ideas and emotions our work explores. Once that’s finished, who knows… but I’m sure The Road is not done with us yet.
Get ready for the third edition of Anjou Vélo Vintage – the vintage bike ride which takes place in Saumur, France on June 22ndand 23rd. This event was a huge success last year and had 1400 participants, coming from all around the world and more than 10,000 visitors to the vintage village. This year features a unique ride on Saturday, the Rétro 1903, between Angers and Saumur, to celebrate the 100th edition of the Tour de France. Over the weekend, a vintage village will be set up in Saumur with many animations: old bicycles exhibition, bric-à-brac trade, concours d’elegance and a vintage party on Saturday night.
For more information, visit the vintage bike ride website here.