Our Route!

Our Route!
Charleston, SC to Santa Cruz, CA: May 26 to August 14

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For an detailed interactive map of our journey, click here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Newberry, SC

Written on June 1st...

First of all, amazing ride today. We went through sleepy rural roads, weaving through wide green pastures and friendly waving Southerners. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. Part of this pleasure came from my engaging company. Determined to slow down in the morning, I spent the morning with Bryant doing some final Columbia perusing (including His House thrift shop with only $1 clothing). A Northern Virginia hipster and "a man of God," I've treasured Bryant's laid back attitude, shared quest for self-improvement, and Smiley face cycling socks. Eager to finish early and arrive in Newberry, I took a brief lunch and joined up with Sarah, a bike-addicted sophomore of Hampshire College. Discussing her college experiences and future international work aspirations, the miles flew by. We arrived first at the church, meeting a welcoming staff eager to make us comfortable.

Sauntering around Newberry, we came upon a small monument for Calvin Crozier. Reading the vague inscription, it seemed this town was celebrating the life of a man who killed black Union soldiers in 1865. I was horrified, my mind running down a trail of assumed racism. To clarify, I quickly headed to the public library. A moment of research clarified my leap in judgement. Crozier had killed black soldiers who were mistreating a woman, and when the town members blamed an innocent local black man, he stood tall and took the blame, admitting his guilt and assuring his death. He is a honorable hero. Why do I share this? So you are aware of the power of preconceptions and how it colors your perceptions. Never truly experiencing the rural South, my mind jumped to the negative, painting a picture from anecdotes and SNL jokes. Don't do the same.

On a more upbeat note, I really enjoyed strolling the town Rachel, a fellow rider hailing from Michigan. She is an aspiring special education teacher, which I can't help but admire, and admitted daredevil. Cliff jumping, sky diving, bungee jumping...she's done them all multiple times. The list of fantastic, engaging riders keeps growing and growing.

I have photos! You can see them here.

This post is dedicated to Eranda Jayawickreme, a teacher of mine from the University of Pennsylvania Psychology Department. Both in Political Psychology and Positive Psychology, Eranda introduced me to fascinating new topics and encouraged student interaction. Outside the classroom, we found similar interests abound, frequently bumping into each other at lectures or Clark Park farmer's markets. I consider him a friend and thank him greatly for his donation.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the kind words! Great to hear that you're having a blast so far :)


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