San Andrés Fiesta :: Party on the Plaza!

San Andrés  Fiesta, Ajijic, Jalsico, MXOne of the things that Kai & I love about Mexico is that people here are always celebrating something. It seems like a week doesn’t go by without an event on the plaza or a parade marching through town. The San Andrés Fiesta, celebrated each year in November by the pueblo of Ajijic, is a great example.

Each year at the end of November the town of Ajijic celebrates their patron saint Andrés, who is the Christian saint of fishermen, boats and lakes. For almost two weeks the town joins together in prayer and very loud celebration.

To begin the festivities, a parade of floats, each created by different neighborhoods or local organizations, is followed by a band of drums and horns as it makes it way through the narrow cobblestone streets. Especially loud cohetes (sky rockets) follow the parade and are set off every couple of minutes. This scene plays out again each and every morning – usually around 6 a.m. –  for ten consecutive days. Cohetes aren’t just set off in the early morning hours though. They echo off the mountains around Ajijic all day long and through the evenings as well.

Each day’s events are sponsored by a local guild and at dusk the guild leads the pueblo in a candlelit parade from one end of town to the church for evening mass. After mass, families gather at the town’s plaza, where vendors sell alcohol, food, candy, and party paraphernalia (like hollow eggs containing confetti which you break open on the top of the heads of friends and family). A travelling fair takes over the main street leading to the plaza, offering children the opportunity to ride a ferris wheel in addition to a variety of other rides. Bands play on the plaza and people dance and socialize. Families spend the entire evening there until they gather for the grand finale in the church’s atrium at around 11 o’clock.

San Andrés Fiesta, Ajijic, Jalsico, MX

San Andrés Fiesta, Ajijic, Jalsico, MX

San Andrés Fiesta, Ajijic, Jalsico, MX

San Andrés Fiesta, Ajijic, Jalsico, MX

San Andrés Fiesta, Ajijic, Jalsico, MX

Each evening the sponsoring guild displays and lights a Castillo they created earlier that day in the courtyard of the San Andres church. Castillos are extremely elaborate constructions in which hundreds of fireworks are painstakingly arranged on various moving parts which are then attached to a larger frame – a scaffolding of a tower made up of steel or wooden rods tied together by twine. The finished Castillo, like the steeples of the church next to it, reaches toward the heavens and the crowd gathers tightly around its base in anticipation of the show.

San Andrés Fiesta, Ajijic, Jalsico, MX

Building of a Castillo in Ajijic, Jalsico, MX

San Andrés Fiesta, Ajijic, Jalsico, MX

Finished Castillo waiting to be lit : San Andrés Fiesta, Ajijic, Jalsico, MX

Each section’s main fuse is lit, and one by one, they twirl around and around, driven by the force of the rockets attached to them. Sparks fly out and fall over the crowd squealing with delight. As the rockets begin to slow, a brightly lit image is revealed within the center of each section. Once the final and most tippity-top section has been lit, a cornucopia of fireworks are set off in to the night sky above the church in order to officially end the day’s festivities.

San Andrés Fiesta, Ajijic, Jalsico, MX

Kids climb the walls of the Church’s Atrium to get a better view of the show. San Andrés Fiesta, Ajijic, Jalsico, MX

San Andrés Fiesta, Ajijic, Jalsico, MX

San Andrés Fiesta, Ajijic, Jalsico, MX

San Andrés Fiesta, Ajijic, Jalsico, MX

San Andrés Fiesta, Ajijic, Jalsico, MX

Our video below gives you a peek of Ajijic’s San Andrés Fiesta. Pay special attention to the lighting of the last moving part on the top of the Castillo – you don’t want to miss seeing the town’s hero of the evening!

Next Up:  Wrapping up December (and Another Year) in Mexico


From Where We Left Off

Lost Post

After an extended break from blogging, I’m sure some of you are wondering where we’ve been and what we’ve been doing, maybe even if we’re alright.

The last time we checked in with you we were renting a place in Ajijic, Jalisco, in order to take a break from cycling. We thought we would only be staying for a few months at the most but life planned something altogether different for us. For one, we ended up staying through the end of the year for a much needed reunion with Kai’s parents.

Spending the holidays in Ajijic with Kai's parents, Hans & Suzy

Spending the holidays in Ajijic with Kai’s parents, Hans & Suzy

Kai & Papa Hans catching up while walking along Lake Chapala

Kai & Papa Hans catching up while walking along Lake Chapala

Then we decided to rent a place for a few more months – partly because we wanted to try to finish our book and partly because we needed to work on some personal issues before we could continue onward with cycle touring (more on that in a future post).

Before we knew it, a year flew by.

And then we were offered a handful of opportunities that we couldn’t pass up. Like this one:

“Kai & Sheila, would you be available to pet-sit for a couple of months while we’re away?” Um. YES!

So, another year passed. Just like *finger-snap* that.

And a lot more happened too, but….

It’s a long story.

The short of it is, we’re still together and thriving. We’re still working on that book about our beloved tiny house. We’re planning to continue our cycle tour sometime in 2015. And we’re loving the lifestyle that has resulted from our simplifying and being open to the possibilities the universe reveals to us on a daily basis.

So Much to Share

As you might suspect, we have a lot to share with you in upcoming posts. Here’s just a bit of what we’ll cover:

  • Sheila’s new bicycle frame and fork from Rodriquez Bicycles
  • An ingenious addition to Kai’s bicycle transmission (of specific interest to cycle tourists)
  • Why we carry a pressure-cooker with us as we cycle-tour (Yes, it is heavy but…)
  • Our travel budget and how we sustain our lifestyle
  • A break-down of our expenses for the last three years
  • How to live rent-free while travelling
  • More details on how we built our Tiny House on Wheels (and how you can too)
  • Our S240 to an Eco-Fiesta (Ecology Party) in Mexico
  • Videos showcasing Mexican activists – from anti-GMO marches to women’s rights advocates
  • And a lot more……..

Where we left off

But for now, let’s begin with where we left off. November in Chapala. The video below gives you a glimpse of what that looks like.  If you prefer photos instead, check out our Flickr site.

So, are you still out there or did we lose you during our blogging break? Wherever you are in the world, we’d love to hear from you.


El Día de los Muertos :: The Day of the Dead

El Día de los Muertos, Chapala, Jalisco, MX 2013

Day of the Dead, Chapala, Jalisco, MX

El Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead), celebrated in Mexico on November 1st and 2nd is a ritual rooted in indigenous beliefs of an afterlife and in a belief that death is simply a continuance of life on another plane of existence – nothing to be feared but, rather, something to be celebrated.

Each year families and communities gather to remember their loved ones who have passed by creating elaborate altars inside their homes to honor their relatives. These altars are set up on tables covered with colorful tablecloths and papel picado (“perforated paper” – a decorative craft made out of paper cut into elaborate designs) and are often decorated with sugar skulls, candles, margigolds and paper mache skeletons.  Plates of favorite foods and drinks of the relative are placed around the alter, along with clothes and/or items that represent the deceased’s occupation or hobbies or, if a child, their toys.

El Día de los Muertos, Chapala, Jalisco, MX 2013

“La Catrina”, also known as death. Catrinas, in different costumes, line the streets of Chapala for Day of the Dead.

Day of the Dead, Chapala 2012

Family Altar, Day of the Dead

On November 1st, the ritual to honor the Angelitos (little angels – children that have died) begins early in the morning and you can hear church bells ringing in pueblas as early as 6 a.m., calling the souls of the departed and their living relatives to begin the ceremonies.  Families gather at the cemeteries throughout the morning to clean the grave sites of their loved ones.  They decorate the tombs similarly to the the altars in their homes, covering them with flowers, bread, fruits, and gifts they’ve made.  Candles and incense are lit, to help guide their relatives souls back to visit with them.

Day of the Dead, Chapala 2012

Lighting Candles around altars, Day of the Dead

The next morning, on November 2nd, the ritual to honor deceased adults begins.  Throughout the day and in to the evening, cemeteries are filled with people coming to honor their relatives, to clean sites and to decorate the gravestones.  They spend the day sitting around the gravestones, often sharing the favorite foods and beverages of the beloved deceased.

The Day of the Dead is not a sad or quiet ritual.  Throughout the day children run around playing, laughing and eating.  Vendors set up in front of cemetery entrances, selling flowers and a variety of foods and drink.  And the sound of music is everywhere as bands play to honor the dead.

Day of the Dead, Chapala 2012

Children with faces painted and playing music around a family altar, Day of the Dead.

Check out our video below f the Day of the Dead celebrations in and around Chapala and Ajijc and find more photos on our Flickr site.

El Día de los Muertos :: Day of the Dead from 2 cycle 2gether on Vimeo.


Celebrating Three Years 'On the Road'

Three years ago this month, after building our Tiny House, we left Vermont and headed out in to the world on our bicycles, anxious to build upon a dream to live simply and intentionally. As we put the kilometers under our wheels our lives began changing in ways we never could have imagined.

Today we celebrate not only three years of successfully navigating a new kind of lifestyle but also the revival of our blog. Thanks for hanging in there with us over the years.  We’re anxious to share more about our adventures in upcoming posts but for now we’re simply saying hello and acknowledging a major milestone for us – THREE years ‘on the road’.

3 Years



Gratitude for Community

“We are called to be strong companions and clear mirrors to one another, to seek those who reflect with compassion and a keen eye how we are doing, whether we seem centered or off course…we need the nourishing company of others to create the circle needed for growth, freedom and healing.”
Wayne Muller

This month last year we laid out several goals we wanted to achieve, in addition to cycling around the world.  This is the 3rd of 3 posts in which we review the goals we set back in June 2012 and give an update of where we’re headed next:

Post #1 = Goals of “Continued Travel Blogging” and “Writing a Tiny House Book”

Post #2 = Goal of “Planned Breaks from Cycling & Coverage of Projects Important to Us”

Post #3 = Goal of “Digital Dandies & Creating Community”


Goal :: Digital Dandies & Creating Community

First a review of “Digital Dandies” or changes and additions we made to our website.


Digital Dandies

As seen on our new video page.

We updated our Video Page and divided videos by category:  ‘Traveling Around the World by Bicycle’; ‘The Building of our Tiny House’; and ‘Community-Driven Events and Activism’.

We reorganized ‘Our Tiny House’ section by adding a ‘Tiny House Posts’ page listing our posts in chronological order, updated our ‘Why So Small’ page to explain our reasons behind building small, and spent a good chunk of time re-organizing our Tiny House categories so that others can find Tiny House specific information more easily.  We also started a Tiny House Newsletter, in which we’ll share information about our Tiny House build as well as our forthcoming e-book.

We added a SiteMap link to the footer of the website to also help folks quickly find what they might be searching for and we revamped our category list to be more descriptive and specific (found on right sidebar on journal page and posts).

We started filling out our ‘Galvanizing Hope Series‘ and ‘Turn About Series‘ posts which we now showcase under our ‘Other Projects’ menu.  We will be adding more posts to the Galvanizing Hope Series soon, as we’ve met a ton of every day people doing amazing things. So, prepared to be inspired!

And, finally, but not least, we updated both our Fundraising Page and our Sponsor Page, which leads me to the following update.


Our Latest Sponsors

We are very excited to have recently received some fantastic donated gear and clothing from a few new (and one repeat) sponsors. Check out their links below and on our ‘Thank You’ page if you’re interested in learning more about them.

Ibex Outdoor Clothing


We’ve been loyal customers of Ibex clothing for years and we love that Ibex’s headquarters is based in our home state of Vermont. Not a day goes by that we’re not wearing at least one item of Ibex Outdoor Clothing.  We consider wool clothing essential for long-distance cycle touring but the main reason we support Ibex is because they are a socially responsible business. Most of their clothing has been manufactured in the U.S. since it’s inception & they boast a goal of 100% domestic production by year 2014. Ibex generously offered to replace our very-well-worn wool clothing at the end of 2012 and since Kai’s parents were planning a visit to see us in Mexico, several great folks at Ibex went out of their way to make sure they had a box of goodies for us when they arrived. Special thanks goes out to Ibex’s Keith Anderson & Jessica Moschetti.

Our Ibex clothing drying under the flowers of Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.

At the March Against Monsanto in my RuuMuu.




My clothing must be reliable & durable and because of our extremely limited space, it must also be functional and lightweight.  When the time came to replace some of my original and well worn clothing, I searched for replacements from socially responsible companies and discovered the Made-in-USA Nuu-Muu!  I am in love with the classic styling of the Nuu-Muu and think it is the perfect piece of clothing for a global and active traveler like myself.  Since I received my RuuMuu (a NuuMuu with a handy5” deep and 4” wide pocket on the back) I wear it almost daily on the bicycle, off the bicycle and even as an impromptu swimsuit or nighttime cover-up.  I love the story behind how NuuMuu was started and I am inspired by their admirable business philosophy.


Italee Optics, based in Los Angelos, California, distributes high-quality eyewear, including the revolutionary 2.5 Eyephorics brand.  Kai purchased a pair in 2010, as part of his cycling kit, specifically for their lightness (2.5 grams!), their hardiness (they’re flexible!) and their comfort (no slippage, no pressure points!).  They seemed ideal for long-distance bicycle touring and Kai hasn’t been disappointed – he loves them!  Thanks to Steve Han, Senior Vice President of Italee Optics, Kai is now the proud owner of a generously donated backup pair of 2.5 Eyephorics.


Unique & plastic-free packaging.

Before I discovered Commando, I wasn’t the type of person to publicly discuss my unmentionables. But my Commando girl shorts changed all that.  I’ll be honest, I’m super picky when it comes to underwear, and since I’m most comfortable riding in normal clothing without padded undies or shorts (I can’t stand the suffocating feeling of those spandex diapers!) my underwear has to be breathable, durable and, for the love of all things sacred, comfortable. Designed and manufactured in my home of Vermont, USA, Commando is cutting edge underwear. With invisible edges and a nylon-spandex stretch fabric, commando feels and looks like nothing, but it is better than nothing.  Seriously comfortable (& sexy) underwear.  Thanks to Kellie of Commando for sending me off with snazzy bottoms in 2011 and for replenishing my supply in early 2013.


SWISSFLEX eye glasses, made in Switzerland, are very lightweight and flexible, resulting in unrivalled wearing comfort and ensuring no skin-irritation or pressure marks.  Several people from around the world helped to secure a donated pair of CHAMP sport activity eyewear for Kai to use during our travels.  A sincere and special thanks to Mr. Caviezel, founder & CEO of Swissflex, for approving the donation, to Annika Aebli, of SWISSFLEX world headquarters, for coordinating the donation, to Raul Paredes, SWISSFLEX distributor based out of Cuernavaca, Mexico, for preparing & shipping the prescription glasses, and to Benjamin Garcia Ocampo, of Optica Scientifica, of Mazatlan, Mexico, for receiving and holding the glasses for us.



Our Klean Kanteen bottles are extremely exposed and heavily used – quite frankly, we put them through hell and high water.  There were many reasons why we chose the Klean Kanteen Bottles in the first place: stainless steel is a safe, healthy alternative to plastic, BPA-free & leak-proof caps, the steel doesn’t retain flavors & is easy to clean, functional & large mouth openings, and they can take a beating.  We were very pleasantly surprised when Klean Kanteen’s Account Manager, Sarah Geyer, contacted us to find out how our bottles were holding up!  We told her we were impressed with the robust nature of the bottles but that we secretly coveted their new Classic All-Stainless Loop Caps, we fretted over not having spare gaskets for the lids (in case we ever lose or damage them) and we wondered out loud if Klean Kanteen’s upcoming 16 oz Stainless Steel Food Container might be usable as an olive oil container.  Within a couple of weeks we received a package full of all the goodies we mentioned above, plus a couple of their new silicone spouted sport caps!  Above & beyond Klean Kanteen.  Above & beyond!

Our bikes are loaded with Klean Kanteens. Stopping for the day to wild camp on a beach in Sinaloa, Mexico.



Creating Community & Gratitude

We are inspired and awe-struck by the amazing community around us.  Everywhere we go we find enthusiastic and generous support from people we refer to as everyday heroes.  Not only does this strengthen our hope that people around the world are just as concerned as we are about global issues, it reinforces our sense of community and gives us motivation to continue making changes in our lives.  We want to highlight some of the people who have gone out of their way to help us over the last year (this is not an all-inclusive list & if we miss mentioning you here please forgive us but don’t doubt for a moment that we aren’t grateful for you):


Basil & Alexandra from !El Tour bicycle touring company for helping us plan our initial route through Mexico & offering supportive words along the way.

Cris & Fred, for opening their home to us upon our arrival in mainland Mexico, for helping us navigate applying for visas, and for their continued friendship and valuable advice.

Cris & Fred

Cris & Fred

Sichem, for being a vibrant example of how small businesses can make a difference in how we treat the world, for helping us translate our Cumbre de los Pueblos video, for educating us about federal election and for offering us his friendship.

Sichem, owner of Suitel 522 Ecological Hostel

Sichem, owner of Suitel 522 Ecological Hostel

David and family from a small town off the Sinaloa coast, for providing us food, a shady place to rest and a wonderful afternoon filled with family and conversation.

Wonderful Family we met in Pozole?, Sinaloa

This smiling, gentle stranger, for waving us down on a brutally hot day to offer us fresh-from-the-tree coconuts:

Given a fresh, green coconut as a gift from a man harvesting.



Martha from Tepic, for reminding us that ‘family’ includes everyone around us, even those thousands of miles away that we have never met, and for being a great mama to the cutest little girl ever.

Jorge and son, for stopping in Nayarit to help me as I struggled with a flat tire in the dwindling dusk’s light on an extremely busy highway and giving me a lift to reunite me with Kai.

Maqui, unknown to us at the time, for pulling over in the evening’s rush-hour traffic and a torrential downpour to give us Bernardo’s phone number so that we could arrange to stay with Casa Ciclista folks while in Guadalajara.

Bernardo & Margarita (of Casa Ciclista), Dinner in Guadalajara at Marina's House

Bernardo & Magui

Marina & Ernesto of Guadalajara, for inviting us to dinner in their lovely home.

Marina's husband, Margit, James, Marina's son & grandson, Marina & Kai, Dinner at Marina's Home (Casa Ciclista Folks)

Ernesto, Margit, James, Marina’s son & grandson, Marina & Kai

James & Margit, for hours of endless conversation in Guadalajara and for allowing us to live vicariously through them (as we stay stationary to write our book) as they continue cycling the path south toward Argentina.

James & Margit

James & Margit

All the people who offer us smiles, honks, peace signs, thumbs ups, and even blown kisses as we cycle about:
Via RecreActiva Guadalajara
Chad & Toni, for warmly welcoming us to Ajijic, for providing us a safe haven to do our work and for supporting us with continued and countless acts of kindness.

Enrique M., a Facebook follower whom we had never before met in person, for stopping to verify our directions when he spotted us cycling on the way back from our bike overnight to an eco-fiesta.  Thank you so much for taking the time to stop and say hello.

Anna & Alex from Slow It Down Magazine, fellow global-sans-flying-travelers, for contacting us with supportive encouragement and for patiently waiting for us to finish an article for their e-zine.

Jesús López Vega, for making beautiful art, for your commitment to helping children find their creativity and for the multiple invitations to your studio to talk about art, politics, environment and life.

Jesús López Vega, beginning of mural

Jesús López Vega

Carolyn & Charles, for offering us a rental with a gorgeous view, for taking us out to lunch and for your continued supportive words from afar.

Carolyn & Charles

Carolyn & Charles

Hans & Suzy (Kai’s parents), for EVERYTHING.

Hans & Suzy chatting with Ajijic youth

Hans & Suzy in Ajijic.

Sara Satz from Ping Chong + Company, for allowing me to download a copy of  Secret Survivors (since we couldn’t order the DVD) to share with Kai, a gift we’re both extremely grateful for.

Ramona, who was vacationing in Mexico, and whom we met on the Chapala malecon, for sharing a ton of information about work exchanges and co-housing contacts around the world.

Ellie & Rich, for being awesome neighbors and helping us when we locked ourselves out of our rental unit (!) and for storing our food in their fridge in between rentals.

Doug & Gail in Ajijic, for helping us secure housing at the last minute & to Guillermo for providing us housing and being so flexible with our schedule.

Tom & Sue, for providing us refuge for a week and for providing guidance when we needed it.

Judy, for driving us and our rescued cat (now named Carlito & happily in his forever home) to the vet to get checked out.

Kai, Judy & Karlito (under the bench) at the vet’s office.

Dawn & Peter, for giving Carlito a forever home, for allowing us to cat-sit and stay in their home while they were out of town and for delivering emergency bike parts to us.

Carlito at his forever home.

Gabriela, for her friendship, for correcting our poor translation of our ‘letter of presentation’ in Spanish, for gathering last minute bicycle supplies and a computer replacement part for us in Guadalajara and then delivering it to us in Ajijic!

The amazing Donna M., for providing us much needed guidance and counsel at a time we needed it most and for couriering us important items from the U.S..

Martin O’C., a stranger we met on the streets of Ajijic, for sharing some book writing tools & publication resources with us within the first five minutes of meeting him.

All the people we’ve met through the Eco-Fiesta, the Ajijic organic market, the March Against Monsanto and the group meetings we attend for extending their friendship to us and for providing daily inspiration.

Corrine, Sheila and Ken for offering us accommodations with breath-taking views while we finished writing our book.

View from our ‘work desk’ at one of our house-sitting assignments.

Andrea & Bill, Ann, Dawn, Rebecca, Hans & Suzy, for helping us keep all our things in order back home in Vermont.

Tiny House enthusiasts and supporters, for offering comments, emails and notes over the years, for cheering us on, for joining us in embracing the simple life and for patiently awaiting the release of our e-book.

Einar M. from Seattle/Spain, Arturo from California/Mexico, Greg & family from Sayulita, Rolf from Finland and countless others we’ve met as we travel (again too many to list here), for offers of accommodation/camping when we cycle through their neck of the woods.

For all of you who continue to join us on this journey, through Facebook and our blog, to everyone around the world who left comments on our website or sent us private messages (usually when we needed it most):


THANK YOU for being such a supportive community.


Priorities & Projects


Around this time last year we reflected upon how the life changes we’ve made since 2008 were motivated by more than just a desire to fulfill a dream of bicycling around the world together (although that was a pretty big motivator for us!).  Simplifying our lives and ridding ourselves of unnecessary “stuff” would allow us the time and energy to devote to causes and issues we felt were important.  So how are we doing on that front?.



This is the 2nd of 3 posts in which we review the goals we set back in June 2012 and give an update of where we’re headed next:

Post #1 = Goals of “Continued Travel Blogging” and “Writing a Tiny House Book“

Post #2 = Goal of “Planned Breaks from Cycling & Coverage of Projects Important to Us“

Post #3 = Goal of “Digital Dandies & Creating Community“

Goal :: Planned Breaks from Cycling & Coverage of Projects Important to Us

We’ve been doing more than just cycling, writing our book and taking care of ourselves over the last year.  Volunteering our time and energy to organizations we believe in and implementing what we call “Daily Activism” is important to us.  Guided by Ghandi’s words, “Action expresses priorities”, we try to spend time on projects that truly reflect our values and support a healthy community. Here are some of the ways in which we’ve been working on that:



We attended The People’s Summit (Cumbre de los Pueblos) in La Paz last summer to help protest the G20 Summit.  Our video coverage of the event was distributed and published by the ‘Mexican Coalition against the G20’.

We honored our pledge, and had several other cyclists around the world join us, to dedicate 350 KM of our ride toward connecting the dots between climate change and humankind’s future.

We Marched Against Monsanto with millions of others around the world on May 25th, 2013.

Bicycling to the March Against Monsanto in Ajijic, Jalisco Mexico.


We founded “Vermonters Against Toxic Sludge“, a community group opposing the land application or export of toxic sludge.  The group actively works to promote safe & sustainable alternatives to our current reliance on unhealthy and prohibitively expensive sewage & septic systems.  We focus on alternatives like the Ecological Sanitation model and other models that don’t rely on water, electricity and an extensive infrastructure.

We’re also involved with many other campaigns that oppose various social or environmental injustices, like the Keystone XL pipelineexpansion of Canadian-owned mines in the sacred lands of indigenous people, and the F-35s being based in Vermont, and we’re always writing a letter to the editor, to our representatives, or to organizations that need to hear from the citizens that keep them in business.



I’m very excited to have become a volunteer for, the social network for sustainability.  Although I don’t have much time to devote to projects until we finish our book, Laura, the volunteer coordinator, has been kind enough to work around my limited availability.

In honor of International Women’s Day I volunteered to redesign and update a website for a women’s health clinic in Ajijic.  I’m also designing new pamphlets for the non-profit organization to use in school presentations on health and family planning, which will replace material that was last updated in 1997.  I’ll share the website and more information once I complete this project.

The women’s health clinic in Ajijic, Centro de Desarrollo Jocotopec.



Although we like rolling our sleeves up and giving of our time and energy when we’re able, we also believe in sharing a portion of our income with neighbors and community organizations that are doing good work.  We don’t have much to give but, in our opinion, every little bit helps.  The list below includes some of those we’ve donated to over the past year.  In an effort to spread the philanthropic spirit, we share information about organizations we give to on our Fundraising Page.  If you’re moved to do so, consider sharing your wealth with these organizations as well.


Microfinance Loans


Kiva Loans –  Make a $25 loan FOR FREE through our 2cycle2gether Kiva team today.  By doing so, Kiva will also give us a bonus $25 to loan.  This is a win-win people!



National  & International Non-Profit Organizations


Project Unbreakable ::  The mission of Project Unbreakable is to increase awareness of the issues surrounding sexual assault and encourage the act of healing through art.  Founder Grace Brown works with survivors of sexual assault, photographing them holding a poster with a quote from their attacker.

Secret Survivors :: Secret Survivors is an interview-based theater project by NYC-based theater company, Ping Chong & Company,  featuring adult survivors of child sexual abuse telling their personal stories on stage.  I watched a live streaming of the production and, as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, it was one of the most powerful things I’ve ever witnessed.

International Labor Rights Forum :: ILRF serves a unique role among human rights organizations as advocates for and with working poor around the world and is committed to ending the problems of child labor, forced labor, and other abusive practices.

Rich Earth Institute :: dedicated to advancing and promoting the use of human waste as a resource. Through research, demonstration, and education projects, REI strives to illustrate the positive effect of this approach in important areas including water quality, food security, energy use, soil health, economic sustainability, carbon footprint, public health, and emergency preparedness. :: Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you.  We gave to Literarcy Power & Help Us Grow as NonFiction Readers.

Village Health Works :: whose mission is to provide quality, compassionate health care in a dignified environment, and  in collaboration with those they serve, while treating the root causes and the social determinants of illness, disease, violence.

League of American Bicyclists :: promoting bicycling for fun, fitness, transportation and work through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America.

Re-Cycle :: mission is to collect unwanted bicycles and ship them to Africa.

Village Bicycle Project ::  supplies bikes, spare parts and tools to villages in Africa.  They also train owners in basic bike maintenance and repair, work with bicycle mechanics in their villages to improve their tools and skills, and empower whole communities by including women and girls in bicycle education.


New England Non-Profit Organizations (Our Home Base)



Vermont Foodbank :: Gather. Share. Nuture.

New England Coalition :: Originally the New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution, the Coalition was founded by several groups of citizens and scientists concerned about the nation’s growing civilian nuclear power program.

VPIRG :: the largest nonprofit consumer and environmental advocacy organization in Vermont.

Vermont Digger – Vermont Journalism Trust :: nonprofit organization whose sole mission is to stimulate and commission substantive news content from established journalists.

Local Motion – The Big Fix :: to repair the Island Line Trail which was damaged by the Lake Champlain flood of 2011.

CCTV Free Speech Fund  :: CCTV Center for Media & Democracy expands the reach of organizations by providing the channels, tools and training to get their message across and make social change happen.

Lake Champlain International  :: To protect, restore, and revitalize Lake Champlain and its communities, LCI educates, advocates, and motivates to ensure that Lake Champlain is swimmable, drinkable, and fishable, understanding that healthy water resources are essential for a healthy economy and a healthy community.

Green Mountain Club Winooski Bridge Fund  :: Working to Establish a Safe, Appropriate and Permanent Route for the Long Trail through the Winooski River Valley



Independent & Creative Projects


NerdGirlHomes :: Kendall is a high school senior fulfilling a dream to build her own house.  When she’s done building her Tiny House she’s donating it to someone who is homeless.

Janapar: Love on a bike Kickstarter campaign ::  To help Tom Allen, fellow touring cyclist, write a memoir about his cycling around the world.  A truly engaging and universal message.  Check out his book and the documentary.

Edible City: Grow the Revolution :: feature-length documentary journey (click to watch the movie) through the local Good Food movement that’s taking root in the San Francisco Bay Area, across the nation and around the world.  Also, we gave to support the open source distribution model that the movie’s fiscal sponsor, Bay Area Video Coalition, promotes.



Grassroots Campaigns


Tim DeChristopher Legal Defense Fund ::  American climate activist and co-founder of the environmental group Peaceful Uprising.  On December 19, 2008 he protested a Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease auction of 116 parcels of public land in Utah’s redrock country by successfully bidding on 14 parcels of land (totaling 22,500 acres) for $1.8 million with no intention to pay for them.  DeChristopher was removed from the auction by federal agents, taken into custody, and questioned. He served 21 months in prison, from July 2011 through April 2013, even though the government ended up ruling the entire auction was originally illegal.

“I Stand with Brad”, Bradley Manning Courage to Resist Fund :: The information that Bradley gave to the public has been a catalyst for pro-democracy movements in the Arab world, exposed the unjust detainment of innocent people at Guantanamo Bay, shown us the true human cost of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and changed journalism forever.

Tar Sands Blockade – Legal Defense Fund & Great Plain Tar Sands Legal Defense Fund::  Supporting climate justice organizers using peaceful and sustained civil disobedience to stop the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline


Coverage of Projects

Over the last year, we’ve found inspiration everywhere.  Listed below are some of the projects we’ve come upon in our travels, which we’ve either already blogged about or will blog about:


Suitel 522 Ecological Hostel :: Sichem, forward-thinking owner of Suitel 522, helps to raise guest consciousness about nature and conservation through his on-site environmental programs.   Guests are informed about food waste, conservation of resources, recycling  and more, and invited to participate, voluntarily, in any of the programs during their stay.  The goal is to give people the ability to take simple steps toward action, which will then, hopefully, spread beyond their stay to their personal homes, then on to others..

Suitel 522 Ecological Hostel, Mazatlan

Kai & I in front of Suitel 522 Ecological Hostel in Mazatlan.

We witnessed Mexico’s presidential electoral process and watched as thousands of Mexican activists took to the streets around the country to protest election fraud.  Check out the the video I captured of one protest in Mazatlan.

election fraud protests

Protests in Mazatlan. 

We rode alongside hundreds of thousands of other cyclists in Guadalajara’s Ciclovía, the ViaRecreactiva.  Our video ended up making a big impact on people and was distributed around the world by organizations such as TreeHuggerAdventure Cycling AssociationGreen Savers TV and The Pedal Collective.

Via RecreActiva Guadalajara


We plan to share other projects, organizations and inspiring people we’ve come in contact with but haven’t yet blogged about (one thing at a time!), like a young woman who started a seed-saving network in Jalisco, a group of people who after training with Maya Pedal have started a bike machines cooperative in Mexico, an Ajijic-native artist who has an amazing life story and who creates beautiful work that challenges us to think about life, politics and environmental destruction, and an ecovillage in Tala, Jalisco that sponsored an annual agro-ecological fiesta put together by a network of alternative, environmentally-minded organizations.


So, that’s the summary of how we made time for projects and issues that were important to us over the last year.

Next up ::  Post #3, covering our “Digital Dandies & Creating Community” goal.