Guest blog by Felice: “A change of pace… but always moving and always learning!”

Introducing my regular guest blogger, Miss Felice! This time, her take on history & the joys of traveling by bicycle. Enjoy!

Fabulous Felice - School Food Tour support crew superstar!!!

With a West Coast and Gulf Coast chapter of the School Food Tour under my belt, I was excited to seize one last opportunity to join Sara on the Tour for a ride up the East Coast. After a hectic couple of weeks of work and travel, I was keen to return to life at bicycle pace! I arrived in Charlotte, NC and collected my bike from the friendly folks at Uptown Cycles – who I must thank for caring for my precious machine. By the time I met up with Sara along the road, I had been struck by the beauty of the area – particularly the vibrant green fields and abundant blooming azaleas. And even though my nose started to instantly itch at the pollen in the air, I knew I was in for a great week of riding.

As we pedaled towards Richmond, VA we encountered many encouraging and inquisitive folk who asked some common questions: Where are you riding from? (Oregon … yes that’s right, Oregon!) Why are you riding so far? (The School Food Tour, of course!) Do you have a sponsor? (Yes – thank you John Wayne Cancer Foundation) and, What is it like? Well… the last one is a little more difficult to answer! It is especially tricky to describe to someone who will not even get out of their car to talk to you what it is like to explore the beauty of the world at bicycle pace, and how much more scenery you can appreciate compared to zooming along in a car. On my previous stints of pedaling on the School Food Tour, I had thoroughly enjoyed marveling in the natural wonders of the country – deserts, forests, rivers, mountains, beaches, wildlife and weather variations. But this chapter of the tour changed tune for me. Riding through the maze of roads in rural areas of North Carolina and Virginia I appreciated the chance to observe quaint farmhouses, grand plantations and estates, and spectacular gardens.

Beautiful scenery kept us happy during long days on the bike.

Traveling at a slower pace also gave us time to consider the area where we are riding. Since Sara and I were pedaling through a region so rich in history, we decided to learn more about the establishment of the United States of America. Being Australian, my education on the American civil war was spotty at best, so I got a crash course in US history! I was interested to learn about the numerous battles, the abolition of slavery, the secession of the Confederacy and the reconstruction of the Union following the war. The facts and figures were bolstered by some local tidbits of information that we found on roadside plaques that also gave us an excuse to have a snack and take a break from the headwind!

Using our brains while on the bike to take in a bit of history!

My favorite plaque was about the first major sporting event in the nation, horse racing at Long Island, which was the beginning of enthusiasm for sports spectating in America!

This love of sport also means that I must return to my work in the sporting arena, so I am sad to say that my time riding with the School Food Tour is over… A HUGE thanks to Sara for letting me join her on the adventure and I send best wishes for her onward journey to Michigan, and future endeavors. I strongly encourage anyone who can join the School Food Tour for a pedal, even just that final mile, to do so… you will enjoy the view of the world from your bicycle, and you might just learn something!

Thanks, Felice for the great recap of our journeys in North Carolina and Virginia. I can’t thank you enough for your dedication to the School Food Tour! -Sara


Houghton, MI – A Tour Community Making Headlines

A Tour community makes the news! HUGE props to Houghton, Michigan for its recent passage of a Complete Streets Ordinance. This new health statute is an exciting step forward for an unpretentious little community in the almost entirely rural Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Houghton also happens to be my hometown (Go Gremlins!) and still holds a dear piece of my heart. I have watched cycling bring this quaint midwest college burg alive over the past 15 years. Thanks to the diligent efforts of a handful of bike-minded (hah!) individuals, Houghton has been designated as a ‘Bike-Friendly City’ by the American League of Cyclists and is also host to many popular mountain biking events during the summer. I am so proud of my hometown and my dear friends who have led the healthy living charge there through their passion for promoting cycling. The School Food Tour can’t wait to complete the ride in Houghton!


On a side note, I am still totally in love with DoSomething – an organization dedicated to involving teens in changing their communities. They’re offering Be Amazing Grants of $2,000 for young applicants who are “inspiring people to act big”.

Obama Foodorama – 2011 Projections

Obama Foodorama just posted a great roundup of expected Executive and Legislative Food & Ag priorities for 2011.

I particularly relate with their anxious anticipation of the release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines… Um… it IS 2011 now, right? I’m crossing my fingers the new regs will make it into the public’s hands this month. Expecting more Fruits and Veggies and Whole Grains, oh my!