CRAN Credits, Lauren’s Wrap-UP & Getting Our Story Straight

One week ago, Parvati and I landed back in Berkeley, safe and sound.  And all week it’s been that fun mental game of, where were we one week ago??

Riding beneath the Big, Big Sky

Riding beneath the Big, Big Sky


Oh right!  The giant fields…or the great expression on the cow’s faces….


Outta my way, I've been wrestling wind allll day!

Outta my way, I’ve been wrestling wind allll day!






or the smell of the alfalfa…or the morning air right after the rain in Halsey…


Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?


And then two days ago, I smiled remembering those of you I had the great pleasure of actually SEEING at the finish line and celebrations!

After a week of iceberg lettuce, Tom met me with spinach and arugula.  He's dreamy that way

After a week of iceberg lettuce, Tom met me with spinach and arugula. He’s dreamy that way

This message is for all of you.  Your support, offered in many ways, has been a source of encouragement, reassurance, and inspiration. The CRAN Credit reel (below) includes each one of you.  I hope you’ll take a few minutes to review the list for two reasons:

1) to acknowledge that you played a part in this ride, a carefully, creatively designed action to increase awareness, focus attention and empower humans to act on behalf of life and creation, and

2) to celebrate our success!  In a little over two months, we raised nearly 10k.  It’s true!  The fundraising thermometer on my Climate Ride page is hovering just under $10,000.  This didn’t happen because large funders or private companies stepped-in (not that that would be a bad thing); it happened because so, so many of you gave what you could…which, together, becomes a LOT!

At the end of my Finish Line presentation and Q&A last week, the final question was perhaps the best one, and for me, the most difficult.  It came from the back of the room, from a face I couldn’t see, and the voice asked, “What will you do now?”


By Day Four, I’d begun fantasizing about Iowa, then Illinois…Indiana….

For a few days, already, I’d been cogitating on this.  After acting on a dream, planning the ride, raising the funds, executing the logistics and pedaling the 485 miles, what would I do now?   After a long moment of silence I said, “I will keep doing what I’m doing, sometimes not very well, but I will keep doing it…and I hope we can do it together.”  I was referencing the three practices I’d mentioned in my presentation; the same three I’m going to re-cap now, in my final CRAN message, to be sure we’re getting our story straight.

Let’s remember: the story we’ve been hearing, that we need to, “save the planet,” is a flawed story. Our hope now is to tend and tell the NEW story.  The new story is that we need to save LIFE (ours and the miraculous, interdependence we share with all the species and earth’s resources).  Here are three practices that I believe can help us tend our story:


Build Intimacy.  Start where it's simple...let it ripple from there

Build Intimacy. Start where it’s simple…let it ripple from there



Practice One: This is a Love story! 

Build Intimacy.  An age-old human story involves fences and defining each side.  In the saving life story, we’re all living and we need to have conversations about the universality of this.  Perhaps this is best done by talking about the beings we love (pets, land, grandchildren, trees, and so on), and then working to care for and preserve them.


Parts of the new story aren't glamorous.  They're necessary, though, and require our patience

Parts of the new story aren’t glamorous. They’re necessary, though, and require our patience




Practice Two: We’re ALL protagonists in this story. 

Begin Again.  Tell it Like it Is.  The familiar story is about an economy built on More, Growth, and Obsilescent.  This story is NOT about recycling.  Driving a Prius is NOT enough, and neither is riding a bike.   The new story needs us to talk about what trying something unfamiliar feels like.  Can we tolerate uncertainty together?  Can we explore a new definition for “growth?” The new story is about implementing safer, saner ways of consuming what we need without hurting ourselves and future generations.





Practice Three: Play.  Use your voice.  Express Yourself

Our new story is rooted in Regenerative Humility.  With care and practice, and support from our communities, we can source from a place that’s regenerative — I call it God.  In this place, I put less of my interest on changing the world, and more attention on how the world changes me.

Climate talks while pedaling through the sandhills.  Unforgettable

Climate talks while pedaling through the sandhills. Unforgettable


On day three of my CRAN, I had the rare gift of riding 50 miles with another cyclist (I saw 5 total!).  When I told him why I was riding, his words about our situation were, “There is no hope.”  Perhaps he’s right.  The Western Shelf of Antarctica is falling to sea and new fires are burning every day in the Southwest.  Nevertheless, Regenerative Humility keeps me curious.  It frees me to move and act without the guarantee of success.





There's No Place Like Home (and I don't mean Kansas)

There’s No Place Like Home  — and I don’t mean Kansas.  That, Silly, would be CRAK!

Friends!  We are mammals, human mammals that create.  Our life depends on it.  WHAT we create is part of the story we’re reconstructing.  I have no clue how this story ends; what I do know is that our next chapter is happening and it needs each one of our co-creative acts to set the story back on course.   Thanks for sharing your voice and support!!!  And speaking of support, this is it!

My Last Call for CRAN donations.  Do I Hear 10k???  You can make a secure online donation NOW by clicking on the ‘Support Me’ button, on my Climate Ride website page. You’ll automatically receive an acknowledgment and I will be notified by email of your support. Thank you for your help!



Acupuncture, Massage & Bodywork Miracles

Laura, Gonzalo, Sylvia, Bruce & Barb

Above & Beyond acts of Cheerleading

Amy & Ellie (card & artwork), Cathleen (traveling from Toronto), Heather (faithful FB & blog commenting), Jules & Sukha (text photos), Ed (phone call), CR (good luck bracelet), Phil & Annette (CRAN mala beads), Lane (traveling from KC)

Bike Case & Bike Rack

Kevin W and the Geggs Family

Bike Maintenance & Safety Check

Paul at Polkadot Bicycles

Donations over $150

A surprisingly, wonderful number of you

Donations of every amount, given with appreciation

So, SO many of you

Finish Line Celebration Event

Betsy, Laurel, Kim, Robyn, & the Zanders

Helmet Cam

Margo D

Lodging & Accommodations

Tom P

Pace-setter, Equipment Consult, Bike Fit, & Luvvvv

Valentino P

Prayers and Good Thoughts, Blog Readers & FB followers

More of you than I even know, and thank you so very much

Press Release & CRAN Promotion

D2 Infinity, Kim, Betsy, Robyn & Nick

Route Mapping

Barb B

Support and Gear (SAG) Master & Photography

Laurel VH-P (da mama) & Misty (da car)




Lauren’s CRAN: This Barn. That Thing? (and the Finish is where it Starts)

Since my first or second post, you’ve been hearing about my fascination with BOLD Nebraska’s response to the Keystone XL pipeline. BOLD Nebraska is a grassroots collaboration of ranchers, farmers and Nebraska natives who believe there are other ways to fuel our future than mining the Canadian tar-sands for oil, and transporting it to refineries in Texas.


This Barn, Road Rd 22, Nebraska

This Barn, Road Rd 22, Nebraska

Last Fall, in response to proposed pipeline routes and legislation, BOLD Nebraska built This Barn.  I have been looking forward to seeing it for myself and made sure my CRAN route would get us close to the right spot.  Parvati’s thin tires aren’t too friendly with gravel roads, it so happens, so SAG Master (Mom!) played chauffeur for a quick detour. Time was of the essence and to be sure we didn’t drive in circles, we pulled alongside two farmers talking by their tractors.


This Barn’s roof 🙂


“We’re looking for BOLD Nebraska’s Barn,” my Mom said.

“Oh, that thing?” one of them said.

This Barn.  That thing.



And there it is: the teeter-totter on which so many climate conversations lie.  I’ve had 450 miles to ponder this.  In some moments, it’s “game over.”  I don’t have the courage or energy to be curious.  There are other moments too, however, when Grace descends and the capacity to hang out for a few more sentences appears.


Build Our Energy sign at This Barn

In a few hours, I’m going to ride from the outskirts of Lincoln, into the City where I grew up.  I will be met by members of the village that raised me.  It marks the “Finish Line” for my CRAN.  For the past two days, I have been pedaling slower, not wanting it to end.  I am savoring these HUGE skies, brimming with cotton-candy clouds, these green, green fields and redwing blackbirds dancing ahead of me on the wide swath of road-meets-horizon.  Out here, pedaling my prayerful pilgrimage, my purpose has been clear, guided, exquisitely simple.  Ironically, the rubber meets the road, when I get off my bike and attempt to talk about why I did this and what I’ve learned.


Left turn to Lincoln!

I pray for the courage, the clarity, the command of language to share this story in a way that might invite others to share theirs.  I pray that each of us has the patience and perseverance to bring curiosity to the conversations that might initially ring, “game over.”  I pray that, together, we can begin to create a new chapter in our story on this planet…and that we might take delight in the creativity that has been given to us through birth.


Lauren and Parvati, enjoying a different kind of spin


May our capacity to innovate and care for one another and this great spinning home of ours be fueled by great sky, deep ocean, strong mountain, fresh breeze, cool grass, and the spirited animals everywhere.  Amen!  See you at the Finish, where it all Begins….

P.S. If you haven’t made a donation and want to, there’s still time.  Whaddy say?  Finish line together with 10k?  You can make a secure online donation NOW by clicking on the ‘Support Me’ button. You’ll automatically receive an acknowledgment and I will be notified by email of your support. Thank you for your help!

Lauren’s CRAN: Why Do I Care?

Two days ago, I was on Day Three of my Climate Ride Across Nebraska (CRAN).  Maybe it was the 57 hilly miles of headwind,

Hwy 81 S, Nebraska

Hwy 81 S, Nebraska


The Pioneers named this river and the sandy hills surrounding it, "Dismal."

The Pioneers named this river and the sandy hills surrounding it, “Dismal.”

or maybe it was the tepid response I’d received in the North about why I was doing this, or maybe I was feeling the ancestral energy left behind by the pioneers who had attempted, in far worse conditions, with covered wagons (for gosh sake), to trek the sandhill terrain I’d been pedaling across for the past 72 hours.

Whatever the reason, by the time I turned East on Hwy 2, my mind was a tornado and my heart a jumble.  Hwy 2 marks the place where the ranches and rodeos, meet railroad and industry.  The trains barrel by on the tracks nearly every 20 minutes and every second or third one is filled to the brim with coal.

Train, along Hwy 2, Nebraska

Train, along Hwy 2, Nebraska










For a few hours that morning, I had the morale boost of a riding companion (I’ve seen a total of 5 cyclists this week!).  It was a gift to share conversation and humor as we both leaned in and howled at the wind.  My new friend, it turns out, is a scientist, with advanced degrees in conservation.  When I shared how much I was looking forward to seeing the Nebraska State Forest (I would be passing it that afternoon), he mentioned that all those trees, hand-planted in the 1920s, were wreaking havoc on Nebraska’s water table.

Oh, Noooooooooooo!!!!!!

I really didn’t want to hear that.  Nor did I want to be reminded of my dependency on coal in a steady train-after-train succession, and NEITHER did I want to puzzle any more over what I could ask or say when I’m talking with others who don’t believe there’s a problem with the way we’re using the remaining resources on this planet.

In that moment, clipping along the highway shoulder at a steady 14 mph, I lost it.  Tears ran down my face, sobs unlocked the knot in my throat and I wailed loudly as another train roared past.  “Why Do I Care So Much?” asked the voice in my heart?  “Hmmmm, Right,” said my head.  “Why do I care?  And, would it really be fair to think that others do NOT care?”

I mean, let’s start with you.  Do YOU care?  And if enough of us care, why isn’t change happening faster?

Flowers in the wind, Sandhills

Flowers in the wind, Sandhills


Global warming isn’t going to stop because we reuse our bags and ride bikes (great things, of course – keep doing them, start doing them, don’t stop doing them), AND change is going to be fraught with complexities we don’t want to hear and will find overwhelming.

It takes courage to stick with it.  I shrink away a lot.  It requires vulnerability to feel the grief and of what humans have done to our Earth home.  I look the other way sometimes.  When we vow to do this together, sort of like working with that damn headwind, we set a pace for one another, resisting the seduction of becoming complacent.

I think that’s part of what my CRAN is about.  I’m looking for ways we can ban together, use our voice, and foster change.  One way to do that, is to support others who are organizing this effort grassroots to grand, all around the globe.  Thanks to so, so many of you, we have raised nearly $9000 to divide between my three chosen beneficiaries.  My ride, however, is NOT over.  If you haven’t made a donation and want to, there’s still time.  Whaddy say?  Finish line together with 10k?  You can make a secure online donation NOW by clicking on the ‘Support Me’ button, on my Climate Ride page. You’ll automatically receive an acknowledgment and I will be notified by email of your support. Thank you for your help!


Getting my Kicks