Friday, February 19, 2016

A Brand of One

When blithe spirit Sarah Bellums breezed through our lives — we were blown away.  She stopped for a visit and an overnight while on her epic bike journey 1113 miles from San Luis Obispo to Portland. All of her worldly belongings are stored in kitty litter buckets on a 1974 Schwinn bike that she has embellished with crocheted plastic bags.  We were touched by her exuberant smile and her fierce determination to traveling as a model for a zero waste lifestyle. 

She is going fossil fuel free — would not even to get in our in the car to "run to the grocery store." She gave up the possibility of buying a car for a different kind of life on the road.

On our excursions out to the beach we see the streams of bike groups whizzing out in a peloton, French for platoon. While we are loathe to criticize anyone, for what we do is a form of madness, but we do find the bike wear loaded with advertising logos, a mystery. Folks wearing, for free, and, at  their own great expense, moving billboards. We call them the "Peoples Lycra Brigades" that swarm Sir Francis Drake Road on the weekends. These moving placards advertising bike gear are an enigma, outfits riding from Fairfax out to Point Reyes Station and back again on Sundays. And the $4000 bikes…!!!

Of course, we love the cream-rise of excellence as the pricy bikes attest, but we like Sarah's style. She's an advertisement for her DIY lifestyle, for if the "60's" were anything, it was an era of do it yourself. Sarah, wears life simply. Her tool belt is fashioned from pockets from a pair of old jeans. And the bike itself —talk about reduce, reuse, recycle! The mud fenders are made of plastic water bottles. One can buy a set of panniers for $300, or you can do like Sarah and repurpose a pair of kitty litter boxes and take something wasteful out of the garbage stream. And the bike! Not exactly made for hill climbing but it get's her there. 

She likes her fellow travelers who are going somewhere, but the weekend warriors in their tight flocks, out for speed and competition, who yell at her to get out of the way, make her sad. For Sarah, the journey is truly the destination. Gives the heart a lift to encounter one like her. She is totally hand-made and a brand of one.