The Journey


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Day Seven

A standard part of 4th grade education in California is a visit to a Mission. This is from a few days ago at Mission San Juan Obispo. 
But that was four days ago. Today I finished the last 20 miles into King City in 1:45 hours. Tomorrow I am trying to do the 59 miles into Paso Robles. I picked up a used local paper today and read that the AIDS Lifecycle Ride started today in SF. They will be spending the night in Santa Cruz, and tomorrow in King City. I will beat them (I hope) to Paso Robles but after that they are traveling many more miles per day than I could hope to do. Good for them.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Day Six Farming for the Environment

This is a rest day and tomorrow will be a short ride with some climbs. The Salinas River Valley is just gorgeous. Farming of various vegetables and fruits over great expanses. Acres of food for the multitudes. If we are going to address the concentration of carbon -C02- in the atmosphere then we need to also address our means of agriculture. Science has shown that climate changes have caused drought that have consequences including destabilizing governments. The Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa are suffering horribly right now from these effects. Climate friendly agriculture also retains more moisture in the soil making it drought resistant.

All electric vehicles and solar powered electric grids are not sufficient solutions to a stable planet, one where we can live thrive peacefully. The atmospheric carbon, already up there, will continue to disrupt our lives for many decades into the future. But there are proven means for removing the CO2

The Marin Carbon Project has shown one method of sequestering atmospheric carbon. Other farmers have used large amounts of compost to increase soil carbon. In a way it is fitting that fossil fuels, derived from life forms of eons ago that are now gaseous and in the atmosphere, can be returned to the soil through farming, a process that we all need to survive. 

I have a backyard farm, 300 square feet. I can barely grow enough for a meal.  When I look out at the Salinas Valley I am in awe of their ability to produce food. I am told that when I get to the Mid-West I will see whole states of one crop. I am told and most believe that this form of agriculture is required to feed the people. Our government subsidies this belief through the budget process, the farm bill. But farmers who have grown food on land made unproductive because of desertification have shown otherwise. Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser of the Singing Frogs Farm, recipients of the Leadership in Sustainability Award in Sonoma, are demonstrating a method of both reducing GHG emissions and high productivity*.

These are not simple easy changes. Millions have starved when means of production have changed. But millions will also starve when the oceans rise and flood the rich food producing deltas of the world. Once food secure countries are now struggling to feed their people and this is causing upheaval in their societies and for their neighbors. If we plan to address these issues now,
we might have time to reduce the devastating effects.

*updated 5-31-15  

Friday, May 29, 2015

Day Five

I rode through the very beautiful Salinas River Valley, from Salinas to Soledad. But the Motel was in King City another 20 miles south. I called for help and Kevin gave me a lift.I will go back to Soledad to continue my journey. Tomorrow I will not ride,but spend sometime writing about what I have seen and those whom I have met.

Today was 39 miles in 5:00 hours. Until the morning, good night. That's a total of 210 miles 5 days.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Day Four Post

Today's hard riding but it will be easy to post.
I'll stop at a internet coffee house tomorrow before I get to my motel room, because the connection is very slow to extremely slow.
Today I was inattentive to my route, made a wrong turn and added 10 miles to my ride. 49 miles in 7:30 hours.
But for the post I'll let someone other do the talking. Godfrey Lee of the Oakland Post
Godfrey Lee's Report

A reader who liked the message and is producing a Peace T-shirt, that I need to check out, sent me the link.

Dan Monte is raising awareness of climate change and peace with a cross-country bike trip from San Rafael to Washington, D.C.

Early on Memorial Day, the San Rafael resident started his trip at the Civic Center Lagoon where his friends and supporters wished him well and came to see him off.

Climate change “is only intensified by war, and that there is no solution to climate change that does not include peace,” Monte wrote in a letter about his trip. He believes that America still has a choice to find solutions to the consequences of climate change, or to continue to wreck havoc on the environment through war and fear.

The U.S. Department of Defense has said that climate change poses a serious national security threat. Yet, American military operations have greatly contributed to the climate problem, and is reversing our progress on improving environmental standards, said Monte. Raging war is extremely carbon intensive.

If we are serious about reversing climate change, we should then stand up against the fear mongering and propaganda supporting war and reject militarism, Monte said.

“We should also face our fears and seek for peaceful alternatives other than war,” he said, “And we should demand that our leaders not dominate others for their resources through war.”

“Climate change is the real threat to our security,” said Monte. “Environmentalists need to assert that there exists no military path to climate security.”

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Day Three report

Made it to Gilroy today
42 miles / 6:45 hours
Too tired to post more

Update for second day

Second day update
I didn’t take any photos today. the day was interesting however. I handed out 6 flyers, Why I Ride, to folks along the way. Folks were very helpful today. The first twenty miles were guided flawlessly by google maps. Head south, keep the Bay on the left, use a route parallel to El Camino. As the Peninsula nears the end around Mt View directions change. What I think of as north-south is by compass west-east. And the main traffic arteries also change orientation. Needless to say I got quite lost. 

I spend a lot of time in coffee houses with free internet and power sources. A guy asked about my ride, where I was headed. He then told me about a GPS button he wears when he does his off-road motorcycling. It allows his friends to track his position. 

A senior citizen took sympathy on me when she saw me on the side of the rode, maps in hand. She got me back on track. Google maps has a preference for scenic routes far out of the way.

Shortly there after another bicyclist asked me if I had a pump for her flat tire. She is here from Spain reporting for EFE on Silicon Valley. I gave her a flyer and we talked about my ride and her job. She said she would let her friends back home know about my journey. And then she taped a short interview, mostly of me talking of my ride.

The next person I met helped me find my way again. I was about out of steam and 13 miles from my motel room. I had just fallen off the bike trying to take a very tight turn. Only a bruised knee. I landed mostly on my backpack. 

The next two who got leaflets were young women, one at the front desk and the other at the dinner. They both were amazed that the old man in front of them was thinking of riding across the country. Young folks, according to most polls, have very different values than the ret of us. They are more concerned about the environment, they will have to live in the world as climate change does its havoc. They are more egalitarian. I hope they can be more peaceful in a manner that puts a brake on the established militaristic ideology that has taken hold of America. 

Fear is a powerful motivator, and it will be used. Will they ask of alternative actions that can be taken to solve the perceived threat? Will they examine the potential negative and unintended consequences? Can they figure the ulterior motives that is driving us to wage war? As a senior I can add perspective, but the world is very much different than in my youth. Young folks will have to have the solutions. They are faster bicyclists and they are faster thinkers, to destinations and solutions.  

First Day

Marin is a great place to get acquainted with a bicycle. For most of my ride leaving Marin I was on designated bicycle paths. Here is a picture from the Golden Gate Bridge leaving Marin

Riding in SF is much different. I had to learn quickly how to be traffic, a bicycle amongst motor powered vehicles. I knew I could do it because two weeks ago I rode around SF Bay for a test.

And here is San Mateo county, in a small town near the SF Airport. This first day of my ride I traveled 41 miles in 7:45 hours that included 1,300 feet of climbing. 
I spent the night with a friend from my childhood. 50 years ago he had a 39' Indian Motorcycle. It had a half rear wheel fender that included the license plate holder and rear tail light. One evening we rode that thing to San Jose and back, I on the license plate holder. My butt hurt for weeks after that. Spending 7:45 hours on a bike seat, in the saddle as it is called, reminded me of that ride.

What a great send off

Family and Friends Send Me Off
Ready to Ride

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Second Day Ride

I arrived at my destination, a Motel 6 in San Jose
40 miles/ 6:30 on the bike
A great day that I will write about after I sleep and eat

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why I Ride

Im Bicycling for Peace and Environmental Justice.
I will be leaving Marin CA for Washington DC on Memorial Day. I view this as a necessary pilgrimage for me. I want to raise awareness that climate change, which threatens our civilization, is only intensified by war, and that there is no solution to climate change that does not include peace.
Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.”

New parts getting ready to ride at The Bicycle Works in San Anselmo, CA
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fifth Assessment Report 2013

This is the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a demarcation notifying us that industrial warfare can end civilization. Clearly we the people of this earth are at a critical juncture, whether to work in peaceful cooperation to solve the consequences of climate change or whether out of fear we wreak havoc through war. Polls show we have collectively lost trust that our good intentions are the leading motives of our leaders’ actions. My hope lies in the faith that we can change this and that in other countries there are people such as us.

But we are accustomed to viewing issues as independent of each other. War and the environment as not connected. And yet our Department of Defense has been telling us for many years now that climate change is a serious national security threat. Indeed it is a global security threat that is destabilizing our world. We must understand that military force forgoes the international cooperation needed for solving our climate problem. War reverses all of our progress on improving environmental standards. It is extremely carbon intensive. Our task is to stand firm against the evangelists of war and to reject their fear mongering. The rejection of militarism is necessary - it is the only course towards climate solutions.

getting help from Jimmy at Marin TV

The effects of climate change are not limited to melting Arctic ice sheets.
Climate change drought is causing civil strife and provoking war. A multi-year drought in Syria caused the migration of the rural population into the cities and threatened the stability of their imperfect government that has turned into ‘a major civil war with international involvement.’ Scientific studies report that in Sub-Saharan Africa there is a 30-year correlation of climate changes ‘with an increase in the likelihood of civil war.’ Additionally food shortages caused by climate change have been found to be a contributing factor in the Arab Spring uprisings. Scientific American, March 2, 2015

The world population is on course to increase 30% in the next few decades. Many countries are now incapable of producing enough food for their current population. Overdrawn aquifers and drought have depleted once abundant land. Additionally sea level rise will diminish many productive river deltas from food production.

Americans have a special role to play in world affairs.
The US accounts for nearly half of all military spending worldwide. Our leaders are correct in telling us that we are the strongest military power on earth. What they leave out is that this great force is limited to destruction and chaos as evidenced by its recent use in conflicts from Afghanistan to Iraq from Libya to Syria. We have given the whole of the 20th century to perpetual war. How much time can we give to peaceful solutions, to negotiated solutions?

Marin County, CA - Golden Gate Bridge

It takes significant fear-mongering to turn people towards war. The images of the World Trade Towers falling and the beheadings of innocents are such propaganda. These are real events, horrifying, and they terrorize us. What we fail to see is that our interventionist policies and militaristic actions are part of the cause and are not the solution. It is our responsibility, if we are serious about reversing climate change, that we face our fears and question closely what alternatives there are for this violence. What outcomes are forgone by following the path of war? What are the unintended consequences? What can be gained by peaceful initiatives? International cooperation, the hallmark of peace, is necessarily part of the solution. We cannot wage war or threaten to do so and at the same time expect to receive the assistance we need to reverse the level of atmospheric greenhouse gases.

We can chose leaders that have a track record for constructive action.
We have to demand of our leaders that they abandon acting like 19th-century imperialists, militarily dominating others for their resources. It doesn’t add to our security and in fact it puts us in greater jeopardy. And it is completely unnecessary in a global economy. We need to end war as it is the antithesis of the peaceful cooperation we need. Climate change is the real threat to our security. Environmentalists need to assert that there exists no military path to climate security.

Dan Monte

I will be posting at: <>, and linking to my
Or give me a call 707-393-1948, I’d love to hear from you on my journey