Archive for August, 2015

August 27, 2015

Greater Liberty Riders in Nepal

by Ed Chasteen

In April this year a series of earthquakes did great damage in Nepal. Beginning June 20 we began our ride to Nepal. We completed the 7,711.82 miles to Bharatpur, Nepal on August 1. We settled into a virtual village of our own design on the outskirts of Bharatpur. From here we will ride to other places in Nepal. We want to see the country. We want to meet the people. We want to be useful.

We chose to place our virtual village near the city of Bharatpur because this is Krishna Acharya’s hometown. His wife, Anita, also grew up here. They both now live here in Liberty. Krishna is founder and president of Everest Outreach, a 501 c-3 non-profit designed to provide needed services to Nepal. Krishna’s brother, Khem, is a PhD chemist and head of a school in Bharatpur.

As we visit places and meet people we will discover why we have come. To begin, I asked Krishna to tell us about some of his favorite places. We will go there. Our bodies and our bikes will be here. Our hearts and minds will be there. Today we visit Pokhara. Here is what Krishna says: “Pokhara: Almost 54 Miles from Bharatpur (my home town). It’s a valley where there are couple of lakes. One of the beautiful mountains is “Fish Tail” (Mountain’s shape is like fish tail). You can see the mirror of that mountain on the Fewa Lake. Boat ride in Fewa lake is really good. Bike ride around that lake would be really awesome but never did it.

“This link has some pictures:”

http://www.molon.de/galleries/Nepal/Pokhara/

August 13, 2015

Billy Yellow and Pedalin’ Prof

2015 by Ed Chasteen

Billy Yellow is a Navajo shaman. He rises early every morning and trots across the dark Arizona desert to a plateau where his chants coax the sun to rise and the day to begin. I never met Billy Yellow. I read about him in a cultural anthropology class I taught at William Jewell College years ago. He was old then. He’s likely dead now. I’m sure he could explain how the day began in the eons before his birth and how days will begin when he is gone. I wish I’d have had the chance to sit and talk with him about this.

At least once a day for years, I have ridden my bicycle to some small town cafe. Breakfast is my favorite time, when the day is just beginning. I can feel the spirit of Billy Yellow and almost convince myself that my coming ushers in the new day. To come with no fanfare and find a single person and say, “Tell me about your town,” then listen. Twenty years have passed since I left my college, the one I came to straight from grad school, from which my three children graduated and where my daughter now teaches.

Because it’s only two miles from my house, the only one I’ve ever owned, where I’ve lived for almost 50 years, most weekday mornings find me at Ginger Sue’s, “where friends come to eat”. I can be there soon after they open at 6:30 and sitting at Table 1, just inside the door. Three high tables span the big window onto the street. Everyone entering and leaving Ginger Sue’s walks by Table 1, prelude some days to joining me for breakfast; and if not, leading to a brief description of their day.

Billy and I never met. He never knew I ever lived. But he and I both rise early each morning in our little place on the planet to help the day begin. Others have done this before us. Others will do it after us. They and we are links in an unnamed chain that causes community to cohere those who might otherwise remain isolated individuals.

Mill Inn, Fubbler’s Cove, Catrick’s, Sarah’s Table, Country Cookin’, Cook’s Corner, Lowman’s, Harmer’s, JJ’s, Old Crockery Inn, Roxanne’s, Mary’s Kitchen, Dotson’s, Clem’s, James Kennedy, VFW Hall, Fannie’s, Ruby’s, Rosie’s, Red Rooster, Willow Spring Mercantile: Other small town cafes no more than 25 miles from home. Arriving to each by bicycle, appetite for food and fellowship honed razor sharp, becoming over 30 years an occasional regular, no one notices Billy Yellow with me on my bike or sees him as the third person at table with us.

The check when it comes does not reflect his presence. I wonder, though. Had I not met Billy Yellow in the pages of that anthropology text book, would I have come here this morning? By bicycle? If so, how would I explain to myself why I did it?