Charlie's arrival and the Westward Wheels departure

Charlie arrived in New York two days ago with a cheerful smile and pre-Disneyland boyish excitement. It ignited my spirit as usual and we jumped right into the routine of endless jokes and philosophical questioning but this time with a goal in mind. With only one week to capture a perspective of New York and a spirit of the people here, there isn’t much time for messing around. Not to mention we are about to bike 4,500 miles.

New York is an amazing city, I’ve had the pleasure of living here for the last four years and I get to share some of my experiences and the passion in this city with my best friend. Looking at the heat rise up off the pavement, the shuffling feet and endless servicemen and women of this city I can’t help but to think of what it takes to keep it all going.

I have heard of the city compared to a parasite in nature. The city latches on to its host, our mother earth, and begins to absorb its nutrients. It pulls water, food and energy from miles around to keep it happy and leaves nothing but waste for the host. It poisons the host’s systems and eventually breaks it down as we are seeing all around the world. In thinking about the city this way, I am still hopeful that this relationship can turn symbiotic.

I think that this is what Charlie and I hope to learn. How can all of us as individuals work together in our communities to live a lifestyle that is helpful and not harmful? While also having the free time to pursue our own passions. Hopefully we get some good answers from our peers as we come across them, day by day, hour by hour, in the hills in the cities and in the plains, our counterparts can help us learn to live well for ourselves and for others.

We begin our journey on Monday, June 1st and we are preparing until then.

-Noah