Why am I doing this? (the Release into the Wild ride)
Apart from the obvious answers that it seemed like a good idea when I thought of it and nothing yet has persuaded me otherwise, and that I think it’ll be fun and a bit of a challenge, there are others layer of reasons.
Being paid to stop working for pay seems like a good time to take a step to one side and consider things (42 aka life, the universe and everything) – a journey for meditation on my connections to the world around me, my relationship to the web of life. After Release into the Wild as a solo journey, the forthcoming ride On to Bonn for COP23 will be a collective enterprise whose end-point is unknown but likely to be as surprising, energising and empowering as the 2015 Pedal to Paris.
Also over the last six months I have been a bit involved with a group attempting to provide a home in our town (Launceston) for a refugee family, and maybe more than one, from the various crises playing out across the Middle East and Africa that are driving people to our shores.
Launceston Refugee Support Group (LRSG) started with a group of people feeling that the official government response at all levels to the refugee situation that they (and thus we) are somewhat responsible for creating is totally inadequate and frankly inhuman.
Following the example of our neighbours in Bude, who have now successfully resettled their first refugee family under the community sponsorship scheme, we have been acting on two fronts – both providing some measure of aid and relief for those trapped in northern Europe (mostly around Calais), and also raising resources to be able to resettle a family here.
Refugees are driven by extreme circumstances to flee their homes and make long and arduous journeys to a distant place where they have some connection and hope of refuge. One of the barriers is the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean in overpriced unsafe open boats controlled by organised people-traffickers. They then proceed on foot and hitching rides, for those with English connections, towards the channel coast.
Well my Release into the Wild ride reverses that journey – although I am not going the whole way down to Greece or Italy – so it seems appropriate to ask people following my progress to make a small contribution to LRSG’s fund-raising activities.
You can find details here [potential crowdfunder link ] and more about LRSG on their website and Facebook page. There are also donation details on the website which saves the 9% card and payment processing skim if you are happy to make a direct transfer. Let me know if you do.
Those who know me will know that I very rarely respond to ‘sponsorship’ appeals unless I have a personal connection; so I am only asking you to support them if you have any connection Launceston or refugee support – perhaps this will prompt you to lend a hand.
I’m doing this ride on my own account anyway as a personal pilgrimage and voyage of discovery; if you’d like to come with me virtually by following this blog, then if you enjoy it make a small contribution to LRSG along the way.
Or not, as you wish – I’ll never know. I aim to be charting my progress here starting on Sept 18th – hope you can join me.