27 August 2008

What: A Bike Trip

I am going to ride my bike from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean over the United States of America in an effort to raise money for a scholarship set up for reservists working with Christian Peacemaker Teams.

Be sure to donate.

Who: I Am Adam

I am a 26-year-old guy originally from Rochester, NY, and currently based in Chicago, IL. When I moved to Chicago in 2006, I became interested in both peace activism and bicycling, the two important ideas behind this trip. I am a vegan of four years, and I look forward to the challenge of remaining vegan on my trek through the South.

Don't forget to donate.

When: Gimme a Length of Trip

The trip will start on September 16, 2008 (or the 17th if we run into some pre-trip snags). I predict we'll be traveling at a rate of about 70 miles a day. With about 3200 miles to be covered, we are looking at a trip that will last between six and seven weeks, meaning we will probably end sometime in early November.

N.B. When I am on the road, my ability to get on the World Wide Information Superhighway will be limited, but whenever I happen upon a public library with access to the WWIS, I will do my best to update this.

Have you donated yet?

Where: The Southern Tier

The trip will start on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in San Diego, CA. We will roughly follow the Adventure Cycling Association's Southern Tier Route. While that route ends in St. Augustine, FL, we have not chosen an exact ending location yet. We just know that our trip will be ending in the Atlantic Ocean, "the one on the right."

The states we expect to hit between California and Florida are Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, maybe even in that order.

All the cool kids are donating. Are you?

Why: The Overall Explanation

Starting on September 16, 2008, I will be riding a bicycle from San Diego, CA, to the East Coast in an effort to raise money for reservists working with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), an international organization set up to support teams of peace workers in conflict areas around the world. Riding with two friends, I will be traveling through the southern states (Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida), camping along the way. The overall journey should cover over 3200 miles in about seven weeks' time. All of the costs of the trip (food, bike repair, medical bills) will be covered by us, the riders. All donated funds will go into a scholarship for CPT members who travel to locations of extreme conflict.

Christian Peacemaker Teams offers an organized, nonviolent alternative to war and other forms of lethal inter-group conflict. CPT provides organizational support to persons committed to faith-based nonviolent alternatives in situations where lethal conflict is an immediate reality or is supported by public policy. CPT seeks to enlist the response of the whole church in conscientious objection to war and in the development of nonviolent institutions, skills, and training for intervention in conflict situations. CPT projects connect intimately with the spiritual lives of constituent congregations. Gifts of prayer, money, and time from these churches undergird CPT's peacemaking ministries.

CPT maintains teams in Colombia, Iraq, Africa Great Lakes, the US/Mexico Border, and in Palestine/Israel. Joel, a good friend of mine, is a CPT reservist that has gone on numerous assignments to Hebron and At'Tuwani, both in the southern West Bank of Palestine. It is because of his efforts that I was inspired to raise money for CPT.

On his most recent assignment this past July, Joel and another CPT member were escorting approximately 15 Palestinian children from their cave homes in Tuba and Magaer Al'Abeed to the elementary school in At'Tuwani. The children used to travel alone, but because of repeated Israeli settler violence against them, CPT members learned that the only way to ensure that the children would get to school would be to provide them with escorts. Midway through the walk that day in July, a masked man from a nearby Israeli settlement began hurling rocks at the children from a hilltop. The other CPT member took the children and ran from the site, while Joel attempted to capture the settler on videotape. The settler realized he was being filmed, so he began hurling rocks at Joel while the children escaped. When Joel was hit in the leg, he found himself unable to run away fast enough from the attacking settler, who was now running toward him. When the settler caught up with him, he began beating Joel on the head with a rock and the camera he had grabbed from his hands. Joel screamed for help, forcing the attacker to run quickly back toward the settlement, unfortunately still with the camera. With his glasses broken and blood in his eyes, Joel managed to limp back to Tuwani. He escaped the incident with what amounted to cuts and bruises, but this was very frightening for everyone involved. In the days following the attack on Joel, there were several more attempted attacks on the children. It is horrible to think what would happen if Joel and other CPT members had not been there to protect the children at all.

Joel is not paid for what he does with CPT. In fact, reservists are required to raise their own money for traveling to the locations where CPT does its work; in the case of those traveling to Palestine/Israel, reservists are required to raise $2200. While a lot of reservists belong to large church congregations that can easily raise the money for them, there are some, like Joel, that do not belong to a congregation and thus must solicit donations on their own.

CPT has a scholarship fund set up that helps certain reservists in need of financial assistance pay for half of the overall trip costs. I have decided that all funds raised for my bike trip will go into that scholarship fund, so people like Joel can continue to help offer a nonviolent alternative to lethal conflict.

To donate, please see below.

How: Ways to Donate

I am hoping a wide variety of people are able to donate to this cause. Maybe some people who don't even know me will want to shell out some cash. But how will they know that what they give to me, a stranger, will eventually make its way to CPT? Well, I'm giving y'all several choices for donating. Bear with me here.


Online donations are pretty popular due to their simplicity, so I want to give people that option. With PayPal, you would be sending me the money. At the end of my trip, I will be forwarding all the money collected to CPT.

With each donation you make, PayPal charges a transaction fee of 2.9% of your donation plus a fixed $0.30.

If you are interested in CPT receiving from you a "convenient" amount of money (with respect to our base 10 counting system) but hate math*, use the following conversion table:

To donate with PayPal, click on the "Donate" button below. This will take you to PayPal's website.

Note: If you don't have a PayPal account, look to the bottom left on that page to where it says, "Don't have a PayPal account?"

*Speaking of math, I actually had to look up the integral and derivative of ln(x) with respect to x this past week, because I couldn't remember them. I have a bachelor's degree in math and a master's degree in engineering. Oops.


Want to make an online donation without it going through me, a stranger? Then visit my Firstgiving page. Here, you bypass me and can rest assured your donation is making it to CPT.

With each donation you make, Firstgiving charges a transaction fee of 7.5% of your donation.

To donate with Firstgiving, visit the website below.

UPDATE: Because Firstgiving charges 7.5% of the donation, I don't really want people using this option anymore. The only people that have used it thus far are people I know (???). So use one of the other two options. If you are still afraid of me stealing the money, mail me a check, as only CPT can take that (unless I legally change my name to "Christian Peacemaker Teams").


For those of you who don't want to use the internet to send money, there is always the option of sending a paper check via the United States Postal Service. This has the advantage of no one taking any percentage out; all money you give will be received by CPT. If you would like to do this, please make your check payable to Christian Peacemaker Teams and send your donations to the following address:

Coast to Coast for CPT
c/o Adam Cz
1340 W Winnemac Ave
Apt 3E
Chicago, IL 60640
United States of America

Let me know if you have any questions by sending me an email (to avoid bots finding my email address, I am doing a slight change to it that I hope you can figure out): adamcz /dot/ com /at/ /gmail/

Thank you so much for donating! This should be an exciting trip.