Contrasting my prior post with this one of a more serious nature. Human trafficking. A $32 billion dollar a year business, second only to illicit drug sales. This type of trafficking includes everything from forced labor to the sex trade. Here, in Silver City, I've encountered two individuals who have sought to increase awareness of and raise money for programs fighting human trafficking in all its forms. Last year, Gen Shimizu rode a unicycle from Canada to Mexico on the Adventure Cycling Association's Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. Yes, a unicycle. On the mountain bike route. Incredible. Two cyclists that met up with Gen stayed with us, Jenny and Josh, from Bellingham, WA. I didn't get to meet up with Gen but certainly heard quite a bit about him. Here's another article on Gen and his GDMBR unicycle bike ride.
A few weeks ago, I headed out on my Vitus for a quick 20 miler. On the way, I encountered a cyclist who was doing the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, but was on Rt. 180 because of the recent rains that had impacted the Route. He was in Colorado when the deluge hit Denver/Boulder/Longmont/Lyons area. Nothing unusual with this rider. Recently retired from Los Alamos Lab. Didn't spend much time with him nor did I get photos. Heading down Rt. 180, something came into view. First, I thought someone was walking along the roadway, then it seemed as if there was someone riding a bike with these two weird, long things on the side of the bike. Coming closer, I realized it was a recumbent. A bamboo recumbent. Blew me away. We said hello to each other as we passed, but traffic was coming so I couldn't turn around at that moment. Once I did, I caught up with the rider and asked if he'd be willing to stop for a moment so I could look at the bike. Dug Shelby. From Pasos Robles, CA. As I was checking this rig out, Dug began to tell me that he was riding to raise awareness of human trafficking and trying to raise funds for organizations he knew about that helped those caught up in it. He got caught up in all of this via a trip to India as a videographer/photographer with Nick Vujicic, a guy born without any limbs and is a motivational speaker plus heads up "Life Without Limbs". An incredible human being, IMHO.
|Dug Shelby and Nick Vujicic in India.|
Dug got taken to India as a photographer/videographer by being invited by the organization, "Life Without Limbs" that was looking for a videographer. Someone who knew Dug recommended him. Voila! Life changes. Now, he's on a 5,000 mile ride across the U.S. on a bamboo recumbent. Dug is still trying grasp that fact. He also walked the Pacific Coast Trail to raise funds/awareness of human trafficking. To see some photos of his bike trip to date, check this site out.
Now, a few photos...to see more about the recumbent, built by Klaus Volkmann from Brazil, click here. Klaus donated the recumbent to Dug for his ride across America. When Dug is done with his ride, he's sending it back to Klaus, with his thanks.
|Klaus with the completed recumbent.|
|Klaus taking the recumbent out for a test ride.|
|The amazing bike.|
|Dug with the recumbent.|
|Dug seeing the frame for the first time.|
|Dug riding in the rain outside of San Antonio, TX.|
|Dug's photo of me taking his picture, upper left. Dug following me into Silver City on Rt. 180, lower right. Me and Annie of Twin Sisters Bike Shop in Silver City looking at Dug's rig, on the right.|
|Dug on Rt. 180 where I met up with him. What an unusual recumbent...!|
|Dug at the Continental Divide just a few miles outside of Silver City, NM, on Rt. 180.|
|Carbon fiber tape holds the parts of the frame together.|
|Dug and Annie at Twin Sisters Bike Shop, Silver City, NM|
Well, there are certainly enough links in this post to keep the average reader, should there be one or two, busy for a while. A very interesting, engaging, and charming person going after a worthwhile cause. Should you be moved to donate to Dug's efforts, and 100% of all money donated goes to the organizations he's supporting with this ride, please donate whatever you can. Any amount is welcomed and appreciated. For more info on human trafficking, click here.
Ok, what tune goes with this post??? Let me see. How about Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World"?? Seems like a good match...