Archive for October, 2011

Pedaling Like a 24 Year Old

Monday, October 17th, 2011

I am paid compliments on many occasions as I travel on The Kindness Bicycle/Bus Tour. Most of the compliments relate to promoting One Million Acts Of Kindness and also raising awareness about Domestic Violence and Childhood Sexual Abuse. I have now pedaled well over 5,000 miles and am finding it to be much easier than at the outset. When you have pledged a goal of miles to reach, you are obligated to do so. Any previous exercise goal I have had in my life, to accomplish toning my body, was never met. When I signed on to riding nearly 9,000 miles on The Kindness Bicycle/Kindness Bus Tour, I never gave the idea of getting in shape, a single thought, it just happened; I was forced to get in shape by default. Anytime a guy my age has his ability compared to the physical attributes of a twenty-four year-old, I am going to tell the world. I however, after spending two of the previous four days, completing Century Rides, I feel just a bit older than twenty-four. Father time never stops his eternal march, even for a moment, and to whomever paid me the huge bit of flattery, much gratitude! You know who you are.

100 Miles for Defending the Defenseless

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

10-16-11Until the beginning of my travels on The Kindness Bicycle/Kindness Bus Tour and talking with Domestic Violence Advocacy professionals across this country, I had never before heard the term “Elder Abuse” used. It was a shock upon hearing it for the very first time. I had to ask myself, did I just hear that! It has bothered me since and have now heard the term dozens of times. Today I decided to do something about it because I believe that most people are as naïve as me, when it comes to this issue. I decided to call attention to the tragedy taking place in this country with respect to the elderly, by riding The Kindness Bicycle 100 miles, with a very visible sign on the front. The results of my 12 hour ride were astonishing; I never before received so many ovations from complete strangers. For a person to clap their hands or verbally respond to me as I rode by shows a large sector of our society interested in protecting seniors. This is very encouraging, to say the least, but people need to get involved in this issue, across our nation.
Because of the large number of baby boomers reaching retirement age, this epidemic will increase in numbers over the next couple of decades. All of us will know someone or be related to someone who will be abused. The general public needs to be fully aware of this issue to stop this existing immoral behavior and impending social epidemic. With the wealth of information and a lifetime of experiences, seniors are this country’s most valuable resource. They deserve our total respect, it even says so on the side of The Kindness Bus.
For information on elder abuse; visit the National Center on Elder Abuse website at; or you can call to receive further information on elder abuse at; (855)500-3537

“Does It Go the Other Way for This?”

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

10-15-11I love Saturday mornings in Boulder; people flood the streets with friends and family and head out to enjoy the town, and if the weather is good, as is the case most of the time, they come out in droves. Saturday, the Farmer’s Market is the place where most people stop to shop with the other thousands who are looking for fresh produce. For me, it is a huge captive audience I have a chance of talking with.
I took a break from my short ride today to visit this captive audience. The Kindness Bicycle is quite a sight as I position myself to be seen by as many people as possible. Great conversations ensued, prompted by the signs which caught the eye of the viewer. One young boy of 10 years of age or so walked by with a quizzical look on his face. He walked by a few more times, each time looking like he wanted to ask me a question, which he finally did. “Does it go the other way for this?” he said. He was asking in response to the sign, “Boys should never hit girls.” Apparently, he and his sister walked by a little earlier and she pointed it out to him. He was relieved when I told him his sister shouldn’t hit him either as I showed him the “People shouldn’t hit people” sign. He went running off to tell his sister.
This afternoon, I took a walk up the Flatiron trails for a view of the city and a much needed soothing relaxation break and reflect on all the goodness in my life and in this world. I met former teachers, Beth and Clara on my way back to The Kindness Bus. They loved the idea of students embracing a lifetime goal of kindness. Beth is going to be active in promoting the idea to schools.

Recoup and Regroup

Friday, October 14th, 2011

10-14-11I have discovered, that the day after a Century Ride, I need to take the day to recover and, at my age, make sure everything is still in working order. Just as important, I need to recoup my strength for another Century Ride this upcoming Sunday. Taking the day to myself, I used the time to organize the interior of The Kindness Bus. With the return of Bogart, I had to make way for his sleeping area which I have been using as a storage area in his absence. I am given so many items as I travel and have to find space for the items which can be challenging as there is precious little space in my 84 square foot living area. Most of the items I receive are books which I read as time presents itself. One of the most creatively fun items I was recently given is a mobile which I hung above my bed. It helps to bring out the inner-child in me and also inspires me with the words that are written on the panels; dreaming, enjoyment, fulfillment, together, dancing, more, laughter and love.

Century Ride

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

10-13-11Needing to average one Century Ride per week for the remaining nine weeks of The Kindness Bicycle Tour, I am going to try to ride nearly every nice weather day as they occur, in case the weather gets inclement in the months of November and December.
“Don’t let anyone else get hurt” are the words spoken by a 12 year old I met last month which still stick in my mind; It is for her that I rode these 100 miles today. Raising awareness by having a custom sign on The Kindness Bicycle had a huge impact on all who viewed it as I rode past. I received more positive well wishes than any other previous time. I hope the signs are a deterrent to anyone who would ever consider sexually abusing a child.
Jeff Hartmann a professional cyclist called out my name as I rode back towards The Kindness Bus to refuel my body. I met Jeff at the Attention Homes benefit this past weekend he was interested in my mission and a wealth of information on keeping hydrated and nourished on these longer rides. A musician and songwriter, Jeff works with students at Boulder High School inspiring them to find their passion for the good they can do for others. He is changing the future of many kids for the better.
Holly and Kara from Atlanta stopped by The Kindness Bus on one of my short breaks and inspired me with their kind words.

Getting Them Off on a Technicality

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

10-12-11A Criminal Defense Attorney in Boulder County, who was sitting near The Kindness Bus when I got back from my daily ride, questioned the sense of my mission. “Why are you doing this?” Why these two causes?” I answered that I am trying to raise awareness in men with the slogan, “Be a man, don’t raise a hand, stop Domestic Violence.” “How will that help?” he retorted. I gave an example of a man who expressed to me that by him seeing the signs on The Kindness Bicycle, it got him thinking of how he acts toward his wife when he has had a bad day. He said that it really got him thinking that he shouldn’t do what he does and how the signs can be a help to him and other men who see them. The attorney then said, “He’ll just beat his wife the next time he gets drunk.” Dumbfounded is an understatement as to my reaction. I was going to excuse myself from the conversation, but pressed on. I talked about four women dying every day in the United States due to Domestic Violence and the Childhood Sexual Abuse statistics, he dismissed them as if they were just numbers and questioned me again about why I am on my mission. I should have realized at that point that nothing I could say would make him understand what I was doing.

Undaunted, I brought up my twelve 100 mile rides to honor individuals and how I am soon going to be riding for a 12 year old female sexual abuse victim who told me, “Don’t let anyone else get hurt.”. Again, no emotion. Then something interesting happened. I used the phrase, “people who work in the industry,” as I was telling him of how a young woman I had met a couple of times, had taken her life because  her parents were selling her in the sex trade business over the period of many years. I believe by my using the word “industry,”  it hit a nerve with the Criminal Defense Attorney and that I was suggesting some are paid very handsomely by getting them (perpetrators) off on a technicality, enabling them to abuse again. Not having any sympathy for any of the victims in our conversation, only for my using the word “industry,” I decided it best to end our conversation. I knew from the beginning of my 10 year project, some people just don’t get it.  Happily, most do.

A Two Hour Act of Kindness

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Aaron owns a local McDonalds in Boulder, Colorado. He says that seeing The Kindness Bus gives him a good feeling. He loves it even more when it is parked in his parking lot. He gave me permission to leave it in his parking lot, during my trip to Cleveland for Bogart’s return to The Kindness Bus Tour. Aaron called me about a week ago to say that he wished to talk with me; we finally found time to meet.
The Kindness Bus has inspired Aaron to think about the good he can do for those in need. He is a very busy man and it has been a great reminder for him during his hectic schedule. Aaron has teenaged children and wants them to see all the messages on The Kindness Bus. He is a role model in action.
Aaron was driving with his family recently when they witnessed a fourteen year old girl crying by the street corner. The girl only spoke French so she was unable to tell Aaron what the problem was. It was discovered after a while that she was only in this country for a few weeks and that somehow she was separated from her mother and couldn’t find her way to her new home. The entire episode of questioning the girl and driving her to her mother took two hours. The lesson in kindness was witnessed by Aaron’s children and the jubilation shown by the mother upon being reunited with her daughter will not be forgotten by all parties involved. Aaron is a role model in action.
Today’s weather, as is supposed to be the case for the next several days, was perfect for The Kindness Bicycle Tour. I am loving this beyond words.