1 2 3 4 what are we fightin’ for?

Today’s ride was 70 miles of rain.  Thank you Vittoria for the Open Corsa Evo KX tires- awesome in rain!!  Eric bit it pulling in to lunch, but recovered in seconds and got the style points for the day.
On to the main thrust of this post:  affordable housing.
In our presentations, we rattle of some figures and show a rather self-congratulatory video.  Yes it’s bad that 96 million (i.e. 1 in 3) people in the US spend more than 30% of their income on housing.  it’s a travesty.  It’s an indictment of the government that spent more than my entire tax burden last year on a single depleted uranium APFSDS tank round.
We’re supposed to be pedaling to end poverty housing.  we are building some houses, but we’re not really raising awareness of the issue- we’re not saying "vote LBJ for president" or "boycott Wal-Mart" (which we are frequenting, due to budgetary concerns…)  and I think we have a responsibility to do so.  Biking across the country is guerilla theater–we are making a statement.  almost every night we give a presentation, and I personally have been intervewed for a TV newscast and two newspaper articles.  But we aren’t pushing the agenda- mostly because the agenda isn’t there to be pushed.  Yes, Eric Gioia, a new york city council member, has been living on an $8/day food budget, and was on the Leonard Lopate show (WNYC) to dramatize the issue.  our ‘pedaling to end poverty housing’ isn’t pushing any legislative agenda–as far as I know there’s no legislative agenda to push!  socialism died with of the great society plans in the jungles of Vietnam, and no one cares to even think about the people stuck in poverty at home when the government is preoccupied with war in Iraq and oil profits and the forward thinking are concerned with global warming.
what to do:
  1. vote for increases in the minimum wage, or for candidates for office who endorese that cause
  2. boycott Wal-Mart and other companies who do not pay living wages or give appropriate benefits.  Wal Mart keeps prices low and pofits high by abusing their workers–paying low wages and not providing health and other benefits.
  3. learn about the presidential candidates, and vote for whomever has the best healthcare policy.  even though the president doesn’t yield as much domestic power as you think, they still have some sway.
  4. support low cost housing initiatives.  a finger in the leaking dike is better than nothing. (especially considering the government isn’t really motivated to do anything
and a big thanks to Uncle El for shipping out the resupply, the USPS for getting it to me, and as always, to Glenn for the showers pass jacket!

90 miles of rolling terrain, capped with a manic hillclimb

The route began with a ride through mostly rolling terrain in eastern-central Pennsylvania. The temperature was much cooler than previous days, a welcome change. We were flanked on both sides of the road by fields of green corn and golden wheat, and the hillsides in the distance were covered with a blanket of deep green trees.

Near the end of the day, the main event began: a long, steep climb up an Appalachain mountainside. I had stopped in the valley to take pictures of Nate and David Mollitor, and had to chase to attempt to catch up. Nate, in a previous day’s accident, had bent his derailleur hanger, and was stuck with his easiest gear being an 39×21 (instead of his still steep 39×23). But he had a commanding lead, and I had to make an all-out effort (200-250W, 185-190 b/min HR) to try to keep him in sight. I have to say the Rotor Q ring and 27t cassette did a great deal to help me chase him up to the summit, which was capped with a breathtaking view … and a biker bar that was exactly as you would imagine it. We must have been quite a sight for the grizzled motorcyclists inside in our sleek jerseys and spandex shorts-as much as the bearded bartender and leather chaps-clad waitress were a sight for us to behold.

The church in Knobsville was a bit more conservative than the others we have stayed in–our introduction to the Burned Over District–and featured a wall-sized mural of waters crashing around a grey-haired man. The pasta dinner really filled us up, and they provided a wonderful pancake and egg breakfast for the next day’s adventures.

Dave Miller

The Chris Webber Memorial Bike Tour

Sorry I haven’t been able to get to a computer before this, but a lot has happened in the last few days.  We had orientation in Providence, did some yard work, built some bikes and rolled out.  All the people are really great, and a few are definitely pushing my fitness.  I’m going to end this with legs like telephone poles… watch out now!

I would like to publicly thank Glenn Swan for all of the high class gear, and for teaching me everything I know about bikes.  It all came in very useful as I’m pretty much the team mechanic.  Mariah, one of the leaders works at Quad Bikes and has a stable of bikes that rivals Al’s motorcycle collection.  In quantity as well as price!  But my San Lorenzo is probably lighter than anything she’s got.  heh heh heh.

Also, thanks to Mark Harrison for the sweat gutr, which I haven’t tried out yet.

AND most importantly, thanks to Howie at Rotor for the Q Rings- and I’m already looking forward to the bbq waiting for us in colorado.  mmm.  I have them in the lowest setting, and can’t tell that much difference.  I’ll try setting II soon, stay tuned

In gear recommendations so for, I’m very impressed with some Pearl Izumi full finger MTB gloves, with a light mesh cover and ventilated palm, they’re close to perfect.  they have a big crash pad under the heel of the hand, which isn’t so great, but they’re not designed for road so i’ll cut them some slack.

Bike & Build

Why am I biking across the country?

That complex is Pruitt-Igoe, one of the most infamous housing complexes in history.  Designed by Minoru Yamasaki (also the designer of the WTC) and hailed as visionary in the 1950s, by 1972 when it was demolished, it stood 60% empty, ravaged by vandals and drug dealers.
I am biking across the country with Bike and Build to give people a real place to live- a real home, as opposed to space in a filing cabinet for poor people.

Bike and Build Contact Info

How to get a hold of me on the bike and build trip:
Cell phone:  607-275-1600
we’ll see if Verizon coverage is as good as the commercials say
Email- checked every few days I hope: DaveBMiller@gmail.com
Bike & Build
Attn: Dave Miller
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