Jeffrey tries to hide his exasperation as Joey hectors him about human limits—as if stuffed Joey knows aught of cycling or lungs.

The Seattle part of this year’s Ride was suspended on Sunday.  While we wait for that Ride to resume, and as we look forward to the Ride to the Deep South in May 2018, the world continues to turn.

Nancy flew out from New York on Monday morning, a day earlier than planned, for some San Francisco meetings.  Friend Julie retrieved her from the airport.


L to R: Nancy, Julie

Jeffrey was delighted to see Nancy.  Friends for 43 years, married for nearly 38, when Jeffrey is with Nancy, he’s home.


L to R: Nancy, Jeffrey

Jeffrey placed the folded Sprint 26 on a shelf at Julie’s and Nattie’s house.  Nattie secured it, with reinforcment in case of (no kidding) earthquakes.

Jeffrey stored the rest of our equipment as he did at the end of the 2017 California Ride.  He’ll retrieve and reassemble our gear when the Seattle Ride resumes, later in 2018 or in 2019.

While Nancy attends to business, we’ll rest in San Francisco.  We’ll spend an extra night here to wait out a snowstorm in the Northeast.  Then we three will return to New York City.

Chauffeur update:  Jeffrey breathes easily in both lungs, but only his right lung absorbs oxygen.  We guess that with each breath, his oxygen absorption at sea level is what it would be with two good lungs at 12,000’ (3700 meters) above sea level.

Until circulation to the left lung resumes in a few weeks, it is as if Jeffrey is in thin mountain air.  He tires.  He yawns.  He gets out of breath.  Easy does it.

Shortness of breath doesn’t stop Jeffrey’s talking.  He continues to explain that the right (and it is a right, not a privilege) to apply for asylum is meaningless without a lawyer’s help to present the case.  In English only.  With evidence.  On a 12-page form.  Prepared according to 14 pages of instructions.  To an asylum officer in a government office.  Or in court to an immigration judge where a government lawyer opposes a grant of relief.

To help our sisters and brothers who fear persecution and ask us to keep them safe, please extend a hand to these least among us—and consider donating to Human Rights First.

We Call It a Day and Promise to Be Back

We spent the night in a place with history.


And we met someone who appreciates an aspect of our history.


Lisa grew up in Syracuse, NY, and studied and vacationed in Jeffrey’s native Thousand Islands region.  She and her partner regularly celebrate their anniversary at this hotel.  She pursues a helping profession in the retirement field.  She spoke of how nice it is to see Muslim refugee parents walking their children to school, laughing and at peace, in her Sacramento neighborhood.  And of how sad that some of her neighbors blame local crime on “the Muslims”.  It’s no surprise that Lisa thinks asylum applicants deserve a guarantee of counsel to pursue their claims.

Leigh works at the hotel.  A bartender, we imagine he has seen and heard it all.


He asked about the Ride and gave Jeffrey valuable route advice, warning that we should stick to the coast because inland routes go through snowy mountain passes.  After yesterday’s hills, we’d been wondering if there is a better way for us to go.  Now we know there isn’t.

Our rear tire had gone soft.  Jeffrey inflated it.  He didn’t find a leak, but saw some cuts and will replace it soon.

The morning fog cleared and we set off for Bodega Bay.  What a beautiful day!


A mile and a quarter (2 km) up the road—up a steep ¾ mile hill—the breathlessness that worsened yesterday, returned and brought Jeffrey to a halt.  He waited for it to pass.  It didn’t.  We were near the top of the hill …


Close—yet too far.

… but Jeffrey couldn’t reach it.  And he felt too weak to pedal us back to town.  Uh-oh.


The descent is steeper than it looks.

Jeffrey did something out of character.  He called 911.

Three medics and a state trooper came from Bodega Bay Paramedic Rescue, the Sonoma County Fire Department, and the California Highway Patrol.  Jeffrey’s vital signs and EKG were fine.  But in light of Jeffrey’s recent medical history, the medics asked to take him to the hospital.  Jeffrey declined.  Yet he was concerned.


These fine people were provided by the community (also known as the government) to help Jeffrey, a stranger. No questions about papers or pedigree. That’s the America we love. Jeffrey regrets not recording their names.

Jeffrey rested a while at this, our closest approach to Seattle, 15500 California Highway 1.


Then we turned and made our way back to Valley Ford.

Our generous friends Julie and Nattie interrupted their Sunday hike and drove 210 miles round trip to bring us to their home, where we started this Ride, in San Jose.

Nancy alerted Dr. Shujaat, the lung expert.  The doctor phoned and told Jeffrey that the embolism evidently has not dissolved enough to restore circulation to Jeffrey’s left lung.  The lung inflates, but no oxygen is absorbed.

Jeffrey has been propelling us on one lung.

Dr. Shujaat prescribed time and rest.  The recovery can’t be rushed.  He respected our Ride attempt.  We don’t know what we can—and cannot—do unless we try.

Quotable Theodore Roosevelt (he died in 1919 at age 60) admired “the strenuous life”.

Let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out.  We like that.

Ninety percent of the work in this country is done by people who don’t feel good.  Perhaps.

Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.  That, Mr. President, is nonsense.  “To go on” requires strength.  For now, Jeffrey doesn’t have it.

We hope he’s strong enough to go on the Deep South Ride, as planned, in May.  We hope to resume the Seattle Ride, perhaps in the fall, perhaps next spring.

We’ll be fine.

We’ll be back.

Stay tuned.


Short Distance, Long Day

This morning was foggy and just above freezing.  There was frequent rain until midafternoon.  Ah, well.  We accept conditions as we find them.

Jonathan brightened our morning.  He is an engineer from Oxford, England.  He attended a Silicon Valley conference and stayed on to see a bit of California.


He and Jeffrey talked about the American and European approaches to immigration and asylum.  Jonathan said that America’s current image abroad is one of hard-right insensitivity, but the Americans he meets belie that image.  Jeffrey suggested that the problem is politics, that the U.S. government is dominated by an unrepresentative minority.  For the second time in two days, Jeffrey explained the Electoral College.

Here are some scenes from the countryside.  The white dots in the photo in the lower center are sheep.  Click on any photo to enlarge it.

Two of these photos are of vultures.  There were many more nearby.  A coyote . . .


. . . and a powerful stench suggested that these animals had gathered to feast.

Wyatt is an artist in Point Reyes Station.


He was about to paint a mural in connection with a conference on sustainability and happiness.  He and Jeffrey talked about compassion for immigrants, and the importance of the arts.  More art, more artists, less cruelty, perhaps.

Kenny, a Marin County deputy sheriff, pulled over to chat.


Kenny is kind.  He doesn’t like that asylum applicants are unrepresented, that ICE and The System break up families and send our neighbors away.  As a good officer, though, he thinks laws should be enforced until they are changed.  But Jeffrey pointed out that our government has become incapable of reflecting the will of the American people: thus we are stuck with bad laws that (e.g.) hurt the “Dreamers” (unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as children) and give civilians easy access to military-grade weapons.  Real police like Kenny use common sense when enforcing laws; for example, they don’t issue tickets for driving 59 mph in a 55 mph zone.  Fake police—ICE agents—enforce immigration violations with zero tolerance.

Jeffrey was tired and considered spending the night in the hamlet of Tomales, but after he decided to put some more miles in the bank, Nancy secured us a hotel room in the next town.  Jeffrey’s choice had consequences.  It took us two full hours to climb and descend 7 miles of hills, and to navigate a detour after Jeffrey saw TWO of these signs.


Something bicycle-unfriendly must have been over the hill.

At last we reached Valley Ford, 37 miles from today’s start, 121 miles from San Jose.

At the top of the last hill, we met Filipe, a Mexican immigrant justly proud that he learned English.  He had stopped to close a gate so a neighbor’s cattle couldn’t stray.


Filipe, on his way to work, took the time to talk.  He asked about the Ride.  He told us that Marin County is crawling with ICE agents but it is an agricultural center that needs its foreign workers.  Filipe wants kindness and common sense to be part of immigration law.  He gave Jeffrey a restaurant recommendation; Jeffrey went to the restaurant, gave Filipe’s regards to Enrique and Dolores as instructed, and refueled to chauffeur me another day.

(P.S. – We didn’t snap his photo, but Joe, a transplanted New Englander who owns a carpet company, approached us in Valley Ford.  Jeffrey explained our mission.  On the spot, Joe gave a nice donation to Human Rights First.  Our new Oxford friend Jonathan would recognize Joe as a real American.)