The Cultural REcyclists participated and helped organize various activities in Pittsburgh before journeying onwards to Cleveland. Before Amanda and Will returned from their family gatherings, Tina, Kevin and Charlie helped put together another Transition Pittsburgh Gathering. Instead of Frick Park, we decided to change settings and go to Schenely Plaza. For those who don't know Schenely Plaza is a rare phenomena in cities, because it was a parking lot transformed into a beautiful park. (Though the park is privately owned, so there will be no ball playing on the grass!) Around 1pm we set up a free books blanket, and two tables filled with the immense amounts of dumpster goodies which we picked up from CVS and Trader Joe's (including apricots, bananas, fig newtons, etc.). As more people showed up semi-spontaneously, the gathering morphed into whatever the participants decided. Activities included free tai chi with a teacher who was nearby, conversations about fracking and Marcellus Shale (You too can have flammable drinking water!), hula hoop lessons, free massages, and all sorts of other things. We firmly believe that gatherings like these allow people to reconnect with themselves, eachother, and the beautiful Earth which gives us life!
We do not have the time to track all of our adventures here, because the public library in Oberlin closes in 20 minutes, but we made various webisodes on our youtube channel: Youtube.com/user/CulturalREcyclists.
We made a webisode about the free bike co-op program in the East End called Free Ride, and also checked out a Squirrel Hiller named Maren's household designed to maximize food production and minimize waste and energy usage. It was very inspiring to see what happens when people take action to transform the area they live in very creative and practical ways.
All five of us coalesced and left Pittsburgh four days ago on June 5th. We biked out of Pittsburgh through Neville Island and saw the disturbing situation there with factory after factory after factory. Our eyes were sore to see so much pollution and dreariness. We next stopped in Sewickley and serendipitously met two gentlemen on their porch who are working to protect 1000 acres of beautiful forest, and also interested in the Transition Town movement. As we cycled towards Cleveland, we stayed in the backyard of nice family who cooked delicious mac n cheese for us. The next night, after a generous free meal at The Hot Dog Shop, we slept on farmland which had been turned almost as hard as concrete. Due to the monoculture farming techniques, the soil is drained of nutrients, unlike permaculture, where the soil is improved.
We then biked 57 miles to Lakewood, Cleveland and arrived at Charlie's Aunt and Uncles house, where we spent two nights. The whole family was very hospitable and we greatly appreciate all the love, food, company, and support which we received there. While in Cleveland we visited the Rock N Roll hall of fame, and also a magnificent Bike Co-op. Thursday is bike night at the bar Now That's Class. One of the bike co-op volunteers invited us to come out with them, because if you bike you can claim a FREE beer. Needless to say, Tina is not one to pass up a free beer. The rest of the crew didn't join, but Tina had a great time. She went to another bar with dollar beers for cyclists. This is where she met up with Ben who is starting a co-housing project in Cleveland. She also got to try his homemade mead.
We are now in Oberlin Ohio, and staying at a friend of Tina's tonight. Now that our whole bikemadic tribe is all together again, we are ready to leave our bioregion and venture into the midwest of this beautiful continent. We are learning wonderful life lessons every single day! We are giving and receiving encouragement everywhere we go. We wished probably 500 people a Happy Thursday yesterday, and we are very grateful to all the people and non-people who allow us to have happy days everyday. We received specific encouragement today from a woman who gave us free cookies at Hippie Cookies in Cleveland to "Keep doing what your doing, we need more people like you guys!"
Thanks to all readers and supporters. We all encourage you to have a happy friday and find your niche and live it to the fullest!
Sincerely, The Cultural Recyclists, Kevin, Tina, Will, Amanda, and Charlie