Goodfluence Tour – Month 1 in Review
I am happy, healthy, and free.
This is how I often feel when I’m riding my bike, especially on cross country trips like this. The Goodfluence Tour is an adventure in simple living, serving others, and in general just being a good influence on the world around me.
I’ve been planting wild flowers across the nation and I’m helping people to start their own gardens and grow food. Check out the freestyle gardening page to learn more and get involved. I’m also inspiring people of all ages to live happier and healthier by teaching them how to live more sustainably and wrote this lead-by-example guide to help you too.
This blog is a recap of all my Facebook posts from the first month of the journey. Some of it is journals of the adventure itself while other entries reflect my perspectives and thoughts inspired by life on the bike. From my home in San Diego to Far East Texas. I’ve loved every minute of it and I hope you’ll gain something from this experience as well.
June 4 – Day 3 – Jacumba, California
The first few days of riding were no small task after leaving the beach with sandy feet and heading straight up a small mountain range. I’ve made it over, and now have this huge expanse of desert you see ahead of me with temperatures around 110 expected for the next couple weeks of riding through CA, AZ, NM, and TX.
I’ll be smiling though, because I’m so in love with this earth and the life I have.
June 6 – Day 5 – Algodones Dunes, California
The permanence of our modern conveniences is an illusion. This paved road leading me through the desert is merely decades old, yet the ancient terrain surrounding it is older than the human mind can comprehend.
The thought that society will go on as we have the last century is delusional. Imagine what life was like for the Native Americans that roamed this land before we changed their world against their will. In the grand scheme of all time, the human race, and especially any one society, is as impermanent as a plague of locusts.
Only in our minds are we the center of the universe. Only in our fickle imaginations does the earth revolve around us. Yes, the human race is quite an important race but most of the importance lies in our minds. In truth we are no more magnificent than the rabbit on the roadside or the fox in the woods. All beings are equally important in the mind of the earth.
The truth of millions of other species can be found by immersing yourself in raw nature.
I urge you to return to the wild.
June 7 – Day 6 – Highway 60, Arizona
108 miles in 108 degree heat! That’s a new record day for me, both for heat and distance on the bike, and it had no shortage of reasons to give up. I started at 5:30 AM and by noon the heat was too much for me, so I spent 6 hours in a little restaurant. At 6:00 I jammed out another 70 miles, barefooted through the cool desert night.
I’ll arrive in Phoenix tonight after another 80 miles of pedaling and will continue eastward Tuesday morning after a few days of rest.
Overall I’m tired and sore but my body is still highly functioning and I’m impressed with what it can endure.
June 8 – Day 7 – Thoughts in Phoenix, Arizona
Convenience is not king. Unless we’re talking about a tyrant king that’s destroying the lives of nearly everyone around him. Then convenience is the king of all tyrant kings. A major key to my awakening was realizing that if something was convenient it meant I was outsourcing my burden elsewhere. So when something was easy, I would ask myself why it was so, and if I didn’t know why I would seek out the answer.
Let’s take transportation as an example. When you drive a car you simply have to adjust the angle of your ankle and you find yourself traveling at speeds faster than any human could ever walk or run. When you use your own muscles to move yourself, you feel the energy you are exerting, of course. As you can see, there is a lot of convenience in driving, which means your burden is being placed elsewhere. When you burn fossil fuels you burden the habitats of nearby animals, the health of people breathing in the pollutants, and the citizens of the countries we destroy to get those fossil fuels, among other burdens. All of our conveniences, from on demand electricity and water from the tap, to packaged food from far off lands and the garbage cans we toss the wrappers in, have their burdens placed somewhere.
If you want to live a life that is beneficial to earth, your community, and yourself, I highly recommend you open your eyes to the conveniences you partake in and take proper action to live in the manner you desire.
June 9 – Day 8 – Phoenix, Arizona
Hey, Phoenix, your dumpsters are full of good, healthy food!
Last night my new friend Shelly Wh from Phoenix Urban Foraging and I scored about 100 pounds of fresh produce at one store in less time than it would have taken to pick it off the shelves. I had to dig through the mounds upon mounds of food to get at what I wanted. We had so many choices that I felt picky as I picked through it. This feast you see before you is a small bit of what was actually in the store.
Apples, nectarines, peaches, bananas, bell peppers, Asian pears, plums, pistachios, mixed nuts, trail mix, oats, onions, potatoes, sweet corn, organic Portobello mushrooms, bagged tea, spinach, lettuce, grapes, cherries, papaya, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cantaloupe, and watermelons were what we took home.
If you want to eat food for free, then go dumpster diving!
If you want to fight against a wasteful society, then go dumpster diving!
If you want to save a ton of money, then go dumpster diving!
And if you want to get free food to give to people in need, then go dumpster diving!
But if you don’t want to go dumpster diving, then just be a part of the solution by telling your grocery store you’re watching them and that you’re going to punk them if they throw away good food.
June 11 – Day 10 – San Carlos, Arizona
This is Flo, an Apache women I just met on the San Carlos Indian Reservation in Arizona. It’s women like her that make my heart melt for the human race.
Her message to you all today is very simple.
“Be nice to everyone.”
Rob and Flo
June 13 – Day 12 – New Mexico
This weekend I challenge you to go out for your longest bike ride ever and meet strangers along the way!
For me it’s Goodbye Arizona, Hello New Mexico! Riding with my new friends Kira and Adin who I met in the desert yesterday. Much love to you all!
June 14 – Day 13 – Silver City, New Mexico
The toilet is a nice convenience that many do not have. Remember that the next time you sit on your porcelain throne.
June 15 – Day 14 – Las Cruces, New Mexico
I’m on FIRE and Mother Nature is on my side!
Yesterday I pedaled 138 miles barefoot on my bamboo bicycle, 100% fueled by natural, unpackaged food. That’s a new record for me by 30 miles! It’s exciting and reassuring to see what the body can do when you have a friendship with nature. Thanks for providing, earth!
June 17 – Day 16 – El Paso, Texas
You can only be as poor as your mind allows.
June 20 – Day 19 – Kent, Texas
Hello to you all from desolate Texas!
It’s been a challenging few days but I feel the freedom coursing through my veins. Yesterday I rode alongside a nice tornado for about 5 miles and couldn’t pull my eyes off its magnificence. The rest of the evening was full of strong headwinds, storms 360 degrees around me, and lighting shooting through evening rainbows.
Today I took a naked rest in the high altitude pine forests and burnt my pelvic region a fair bit.
I have no rain fly for my tent so I’ve been at the mercy of the rainy elements during my slumber. It is all so magical, and I am so blessed and happy to have a life full of challenges rather than stagnation and monotony. The earth provides me with so much to experience and contemplate.
This week has also been huge in my personal development in becoming a more happy, healthy, and free human. I’ve canceled the last credit card to my name, abolished my last reoccurring bill, and switched to a credit union. I am transitioning further into a life without money, and am so elated for the true freedom and purity this will hold.
I just want to spend my life in the service of others helping them to be happy, healthy, and free. And that is exactly what I’ll be doing.
June 23 – Day 22 – Del Rio, Texas
Would you pick me up?
I’ve cycled close to 10,000 miles in my lifetime and I still suck at patching tubes. Yesterday I ran out of tubes and patches in a desolate part of West Texas and after a few hours with my thumb up caught a ride to Del Rio where I spent the night in the back of a moving truck. Things were looking smooth after the bike shop this morning, but a mile later the tube blew hard and the challenges continue. It sure has made for some fun, but I’m tired out and I want to get up to Austin for a good rest.
So anyone heading from Del Rio to Austin or San Antonio? There is no bus from here and Amtrak does not take bikes. Any advice or a ride would be stellar! Otherwise it’s thumb back up, I guess.
June 24 – Day 23 – Del Rio, Texas
I decided action is the solution and I’m turning my hiccups into glory. Last night I humaned up, did some work on my bike, and have crammed out 70 miles since. I’m going to blow away my old record today and finally achieve my long time goal of pedaling 200 miles in under 24 hours.
June 25 – Day 24 – Medina, Texas
From broken down to broken record!
The elusive 200 mile day still twinkles in the distance but I did pedal 158 miles yesterday, a new personal best. One thing I’ve learned from bicycle touring is that I can’t choose what day will be a personal best. There are just too many variables: wind, hills and mountains, smooth vs. rough roads, gear problems and weight, and fatigue from previous days to name a few.
The elements weren’t exactly for me yesterday, and when I turned north into Texas Hill Country after 110 miles of riding, more challenges were thrown my way. Big hills, headwinds, rough roads, and the hot sun sent me stumbling to a shady tree where I gorged on healthy food and napped away the heat.
But there was one element that helped me pick myself back up and go for another 50 miles. That element was you. I publicly said that I was going to pedal 200 miles and the only reason that I came close is because you read my post and that held me accountable. Whether or not you think you deserve it, I thank you. You help me to achieve new heights and be the human that I desire to be. You help me to achieve nearly every big goal that I dream up.
If you have goals, make them visible. Right them down and look at them every day. Share your goals with others to help you stay committed. And create goals that not only benefit yourself but the earth, your community, and yourself. When you live a life for others then others will live their life for you too.
My day ended at this creek where I nourished my body and soul with the clear water, green canopy, and starry sky. I spent 15 hours by the Medina River rejuvenating before setting back on my way to Austin, TX where I’ll arrive tonight.
Be the you that you desire to be, no matter how goofy or radical that may be.
June 26 – Day 25 – Austin, Texas
In Austin, Texas I joined up with the Food is Free Project for a seed planting bike ride around the city. About 30 people came out and we freestyle planted veggies and flowers around the city. We planted a thousand sunflower seedlings and tossed about 400 seed bombs loaded with seeds that will grow into free food! Afterwards we hung out at the Food is Free Garden, gorging on gleaned watermelons from a nearby farm and this dumpster score from a health food store. It was $200 worth of wasted food, but when you’re resourceful, Food is Free!
June 29 – Day 28 – Somewhere in Texas
Ain’t nobody got time fo dat!
I choose to live in a manner that is beneficial to the earth, my community, as well as myself, and I feel real good about that. If this heavily marketed and profiteered god does turn out to exist, then I think he’ll understand why I chose to spend my time doing good for the sake of all beings rather than worshipping him and following his words that are all too frequently corrupted by the human race.
Much love to all – no matter of religion, race, sexual preference, social status, political affiliation, or financial situation. Much love to all creatures on earth. Let’s all love each other and be nice.
Hug the next person you see and tell them you’re happy that they are alive.
June 30 – Day 29 – Washington, Texas
This is why it’s a good thing to run out of water in the countryside, because you meet sweet dudes like this guy. His name is Scales and he was born, raised, and lives today in the rural area of Washington, Texas.
It sounds like he was born sometime in the 1920’s. In 1935 he left home to work in Houston so that he could buy a tractor. Around 1950 he returned home and started growing cotton, corn, and hay and his uncle gave him a cow. He still lives in the same place, and today owns 80 cows. He runs this little tire shop where I met him, and lives a nice country life. He seems like a real healthy man given his age.
I asked Scales if he had a message for people my age. He said, “Don’t be spendin’ too much money. You’ll get yourself inna trouble.”
Much love to you all from Scales and I!
July 1 – Day 30 – Trinity River, Texas
I feel so alive that I couldn’t possibly feel alone.