I have attached the blogs of the previous days. Our activity is being coordinated vigorously by an amazing gentleman whom we discovered in Canton, connected by our Tiles master Lars. This is John Stone who is creator of "HeArtscommingtogether" and pioneer in Photography & Journalism, a driver of Love train & Free hugs and many more! He is helping AIDS Ride 2008 to a great extent all the way we are hiting. Please meet this amazing guy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blogs are attached down, read and enjoy
Our stay at Gurudwara was so cool but hurting. Unlike anyother Gurudwara the Priest can't use his power to offer shelter for a stranger. This was something wiered. And it annoyed me when the priest says, we got to out and pitch our tent that night after all hospitality given by the same, like food, shelter during the day, bathing, Langer etc. This shows the people are out of the charity mission unlike the other Gurudwaras. One contradiction what I also found was that we are the first person to stay in the Gurudwara but the President, Dr. Bandra told me that it's a small set and lots of stragers and truck drivers are always accommodated. This was pretty much in contriduction!
Whatsoever, I told them boldly that we got permission from Dr. Bandra which the priest was ignoring as he did not get any message from him, where he failed to do his proper work!!!
1st July 2008, Tuesday
Total Miles covered: 88 miles
Problems faced: Dog Menace, Very Hot day, Hitch Hackers threat
Started our journey from Gurudwara by 9am after calling to Ganya and his friend from Channel 3. All calls were hopeless though. We started for the day. Giri was so missing his family. He wants to argue with me for the phone call what he wants to do whilst I have only 3.6 dollars in the phone and we have 6 dollars in the pocket! I kept silent saying no to the phone call due to the critical situation. Then we happen to meet the Bobby very good Channel 3 media guy who did awesome coverage of AIDS Ride 2008. However, we were missed after the final shot and could not collect any business cards as we planned L.
Well, we covered 30 miles all the way in the city on Walnut groove road and Union Avenue towards the 70/79 & the Crump Blvd further on highway from the bridge, then broad view road connecting the West Memphis in Arkansas. The bridge we cross before actually divides the Tennessee and the Arkansas. We were glad to step in the new state and felt the coverage satisfactions! It was so long time to catch the 79 route from that we really had to look the map couple of times more. However, we could get in to it. Before that Mr. Khalid the Deli shop owner donated 20$ and gave us good food and drinks we need. He is from Palestine. We were completely satisfied and full to hit the 79 all the way to Chatfield 10 miles, Huges 6 miles, Brickeys 8 miles, 24 miles to Marianna. Altogether covering 88 miles approximately.
One weired thing was that nights journey in a statutory warning area that was written, "Penintiary Area', Beware of Hitchhikers". We actually did not get the meaning of that and were scared after crossing Brickeys. The time was so dark, we were with torch, the dogs chased us but narrowly saved ourselves. We hold the guts continuing for all the 204 miles with a non-stop hit, until the destination of the day was reached.
2nd July 2008,
Number of miles covered: 77 miles
Problems confronted: Hot day, ride in wild Forests
Started from Marianna covered 20 miles to Monroe, met Stacy, a restaurant manager who gave us complete and rich food to ride and cover a great distance. Reached Monroe, 12 miles to Clarendon, 13 miles to Ulm, 7 miles to Stuggut, 8 miles to Humphery, 7 miles to Wabbasekha and 10 miles lastly reached Pine Bluff, the destination of the day. The last 20 miles was freaking as usual, riding in wild life refuge/forest area at the bank of the rivers. During nighttime we pretty much do non-stop 10 to 20 miles with a continuous biking! We happen to meet Tempa a lady from Stuggart who narrates the minimal schooling, lack of transport, mosquito menace etc. It's so surprising that GFATM works only for developing nations but indeed there are people from developed nations like in Americas needs the same attention!!! The reason because lots of factories are in the city limits which are throwing off the chemical wastes in the city canals and lots of swamps and putrified flora across the canal and the linked path were so much noticed. People hardly talk about AIDS except what they have learned in schooling!!! I hardly notice any USAID branch working in the deep Americas, unlike NACO or SACO in India!!!
Total miles covered:
3rd July 2008,
Total miles covered: 89 miles
Started 7 am from Pine Bluff from a Motel where we pitched our tent called America's Best Inns& Suites. There was a receptionist who was so amicable and helped us find a place to halt for the last night. As we started from Pine Bluff hitting 79 covering 8 miles to Watson Chappel, 20 miles to Risen, 9 miles to Kingsland, 7 miles to Fordyce. We covered 4+3+15 miles tracking on 167 from Fordyce and then reached the Hampton and 16 miles to Calion a non-stop peddling. The day was dawn and the got ready with flash lights and torch and covered 12 miles to El Dorado by 9.30 pm. Today our rate of riding was 10 miles per hour on an average. We got great lunch offered at Fordyce, I forget to collect his name. And we lastly pitched our tent at a Gas station in El Dorado suburbs. There was no good sleep infact, lots of sound and running trucks and parking trucks with their engine on through out the night, very suffocating and hot to lay down. We then removed the cover of the tent for more ventilation which was better actually and able to take a nap at 3am!!!
4th July 2008,
Total miles covered: 65 miles
Problems confronted: Numerous hills, bad road texture, Dog menace, and very hot climate, a ride across National Forests
Started at El Dorado, 9.30 am at a Gas station. We have met few young ladies who were working in the gas station helped us pitch our tent last night. These ladies Buggsy, Nikki, Mariah and Sheryl were so nice to us and one of them Vikki saw me wearing a formal shoes was upset and she immediately visited a shoe mart 5 miles in downtown and brought 2 pairs of shoes for me and Giri. It was so touching and pleasing. They all quoted me to marry a "Black American Women if I like one" as they noticed me as single. It was a nice experience and back on roads biking 19 miles up to junction city on 167, then happen to ride on 79/ 9 Highway, passing Summerfield 12 and 15 miles to Homer. We met a couple of families in Homer and interviewed to openly talk about HIV/AIDS and what they know about that and how close is USAIDS/ UNAIDS helping different communities in these towns and villages. I learned that the intensity of the activities is not that much because every one have access to HIV info during their schooling, I wonder how much they update them selves does matter a lot of how much they are open about it what it matters. Those families were blacks and they are pretty bold to talk about AIDS and Sex, unlike Whites from the towns and villages who are introverts. Therefore, they are fine. And covered 19 miles to Minden, we were attacked by Dogs just before reaching this city. I really wonder the owners of the dogs just leave them out on public is unfair. This is fifth time we were encountering such dog menace that I forgot to mention in previous blogs. We reached 8 pm in the night and happen to meet couple of Boys and Girls who noticed us riding long distances were so pleased to offer us food, immediately taking dollars from their purse and offered us Hot dogs and drinks.