The sun-drenched road undulates ahead of me, the ocean glistening on my right. “Just a few miles to go,” I hear a voice say. I awaken from my dozenth iteration of this nightmare and a deep deep 12-hour sleep. My body is demanding the rest I deprived it of for six weeks.
When we passed through Northern California, signs of drought were everywhere. Among the vast imaginative Halloween decorations in the spirited town of Cambria was an ark. Posted by it was a sign, “If we build it, the rain will come.” Mendocino was parched. Shower heads were fixed to deliver very spare spray. After we cycled through, it rained in Northern California.
My friend Shelley was in Los Angeles when she felt a shaking, thinking it was her grandson bouncing on the bed. It was a minor earthquake a week after we cycled through.
In Goleta, which we bypassed because of a wildfire, the burned roots are incapable of performing their function and water glides off the burn scars taking mud with it.
The parched roots are sucking up the rain, remembering how to do push water through their xylem layer. The ground in LA is resettling. The burned roots are starting to heal.
My sunburned, chapped lower lip has healed, too. My body has soaked up rest like the parched California roots have soaked up water. The sleep has restored my body. I reassembled my bike — it was happy to have some days off.
There are no more miles to cycle to complete the peace sign. There are many more miles to go to create world peace.
On this final leg, we cycled 2082 miles and pedaled uphill 100,888 feet. I’d always taught my children to follow their bliss. My son introduced me to a new one: follow your blisters.
Here’s the track recorded by my SPOT satellite device as we followed our blisters.
I was truly honored to have the story of my brother and my mission carried by a number of newspapers.
Washington Post: Riding a bicycle and giving peace a chance, in honor of the brother she lost to war, by John Kelly, Washington DC, October 19, 2021
Everett Herald: A wedding ring and a bicycle journey close a circle of grief, by Ben Watanabe, Everett WA, September 7, 2021
The Daily Astorian: Woman attempts to set cycling record to honor fallen soldier, by Nikki Davidson, Astoria OR, September 24, 2021
Northern Light: 71-year-old cyclist starts last leg of peace sign tour around U.S. at the Peace Arch, by Ian Haupt, Blaine WA, September 15, 2021
GoAnacortes: Woman aims for third world record, by Briana Alzola, Anacortes WA, September 8, 2021
Independent Coast Observer: 72-year-old rides to finish continent-sized peace sign, by J. Stephen McLaughlin, Gualala CA, October 8, 2021
While the peace sign is completed, there are many miles to go to create world peace. Take a look at this bill introduced by Barbara Lee. How can one not support such an initiative?
Should you wish to make a donation toward peacemaking, please consider the American Friends Service Committee at afsc.org/peaceride.
© 2021 Lynnea C Salvo