During the week we were at Interbike nine people were murdered in my hometown (that I know about) and a friend of mine is missing… Welcome back home, right?
I have no idea how many times we were asked during this massive convention about our motivation for riding around the world on our bikes, having no home, spreading the word of an ideal for having peace in this world. Surrounded by hardcore cyclists from all over it actually sounds like the most obvious thing to do: leaving everything for living the dream of cruising around on a bike, can any cyclist out there think of anything better?
However, in that ambient of passion and adventure, it’s easy to focus only on the bright side, on the thrill, the challenge and the fun. While that is definitelly a major motivation and it IS incredibly fun and exciting, Pedaling for Peace is for me a desperate measure.
Better said, a measure not to become desperate.
When I joined this adventure I received all kind of comments from my friends and family. Many of them, actually, not very encouraging. They were scared and worried imaging little me riding across wild Mexico. I was scared and worried too. I am.
One friend told me that it is not possible to create peace by riding a bike, that if it was so easy the world would be different… Hmm…
Well, I know that. I never thought otherwise.
But I also know I can’t sit still and carry my everyday life while people are killing eachother on a regular basis for money and pride. Let this be my tool for rebeling from a society where disfunctional is normal. Let this be a peacefull mean for change, so while most likely we won’t get to experience peace in the world, maybe we get to find peace within ourselves.
I am not there yet. At all. I am angry. I am scared. I think about my missing friend and am filled with impotence. And the biggest challenge, the most important one is snapping out of it. I refuse to feed this masive state of fear that covers the world.
So we post our little recipes, we smile to people around us while riding, letting them think we’re silly, we plant a garden here and there and maybe at the end of the day, we can sleep knowing we did something. Because as far as I’m concerned small actions matter. And I believe the biggest change can be done with the small action of being happy and at peace.
I believe a smile is more powerful than a gun.