Passion for Pedal Power
My guest today is cyclist, Vernon Huffman.
Joan Brunwasser: Welcome to OpEdNews, Vernon. You're involved in something called Bike4Peace. I'm sure many of our readers are not yet acquainted with it. What can you tell us?
Vernon Huffman: Bike4Peace was started in 2005 by my friend Ron Toppil. Ron is a Veteran for Peace. Bush had recently initiated war for oil. Peace vigils were springing up all over the country. Ron decided to bicycle with others from town to town across the USA, linking together peace-loving people while demonstrating a simple sacrifice - giving up cars - that could save soldiers from sacrificing their lives and those of innocent foreigners. Ron had been promoting the bicycle as an effective tool for people in recovery, providing affordable, reliable transportation and regular exercise. Bicycling across the country from the Left Coast to Washington, DC, seemed like one step toward national recovery from oil addiction.
JB: What a great idea! What have you done to familiarize the public with Bike4Peace?
VH: Since then, Ron and I have each cycled coast to coast three times with additional trips involving dozens of cyclists, including Cindy Sheehan and Cynthia McKinney. I cycled for peace and sustainable lifestyles through 33 states in a ten-year period. Of course, we meet and talk with lots of folks on each trip, many of whom host cyclists in their homes or join potluck dinners to welcome them.
We got some media attention, especially on the 2007 ride with Michelle Darr and her three daughters. She would just walk into a newspaper, TV, or radio station and announce "We're cycling across the country. Want to do a story on us?" Often, they would.
We've had a few web sites, most of which are gone, but I still maintain Bike4Peace.com. I'm working on a book called One Thousand Miles Past the Last Gas Station - the story of Bike4Peace.