adventures with Henk the Buell

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Celebrating people, ideas & things that make the world a better place. Kitchen Chemistry, Social Alchemy, Adventure Activism.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm leaving this Sunday for another epic solo two-wheeled adventure, this time from Los Angeles, California to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. It's just over 6,000 kilometres if I go the direct route. But I never go the direct route. Over a month, I expect to log another 20,000 kilometres with Henk the Buell.

And this time, it's not just purely for the adventure of it. I have a goal. This time, I'll have many angels with me - mine and Suzanne's.

I've formed my own bike gang called "Suzanne's Angels" - Women on the road for Women on the street - in response to a friend asking "What charity are you riding for?"

A bit leery of charities, I've always been more likely to give food or a few bucks to a homeless person. I like to know exactly where my donations are going.

I believe in acting locally, whether it be buying from local farmers, supporting local businesses or helping your neighbour.

Suzanne is a homeless woman I've become friends with who lives in her truck with her four adopted cats. Although she's turned her truck into a funky cabin and lives her homelessness as art, with as much dignity as is humanly possible, it's a constant struggle. She sleeps with one eye open to the dangers of the street, and sometimes feeds her cats better than she feeds herself. Find out more about her at

I'm fortunate to be able to choose homelessness for a month to pursue my passion. I'll be riding in solitude toward the midnight sun in the wind and the rain, camping under the northern lights, sleeping on a gravel bed with a fleece sweater for a pillow. For me, the idea of homelessness for a month is bliss. But I have a home to come back to - a safe place with a warm bed and a cozy duvet and a supportive partner and a kitchen and a shower - things I need to leave occasionally in order not to take them too much for granted.

I've set up "Suzanne's Angels" as a group on Facebook, as well as a blog at Anyone (or group) who would like to help me help her get a roof over her head can leave their pledge of a penny per km (or more, or less) on the Facebook wall or in the comments section of the blog. Or email me directly at

My goal is to return to L.A. with a total of $1 pledged per kilometre for Suzanne. I'm already one fifth of the way there!

I'll be posting regular blogs along the way, with photos and video from my helmet cam, so stay tuned, and join Suzanne's Angels!

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