Broken Arm – Journey on Pause

November 16, 2012 in Ramblings

I thought I posted this entry back in July (sorry!) but the puncture wound on my hand from the accident was getting infected and Frank urged me to go to the ER and get it checked while in Santa Barbara. My arm was also hurting pretty good…so I took a cab to the ER. Turns out the x-rays clearly showed that my arm was actually BROKEN. The ER doctor placed my arm in a cast and I was forced to pause the journey. I flew back home to Pittsburgh to heal and my bike was placed in storage in Ray’s garage (THANKS RAY!) I’ve had the cast off now for a couple months and my arm feels pretty good overall. I will be flying back out to CA in April to continue the journey…through Washington and Oregon then into Canada! So stay tuned…more to come!

Mexico Update

June 12, 2012 in Ramblings

I have been staying with Monty, one of the guys from for the past week or so planning my Journey to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. I have contacted churches, scooter clubs, motorcycle clubs, motorcycle touring agencies and a host of other businesses and organizations. In order to enter Mexico safely, I need resources…in the form of Mexican Citizens who are willing to guide me, provide me low-cost or no-charge places to sleep, help with maintenance on my bike and preferably even ride with me to help me reach the Basilica. After literally dozens and dozens of phone calls, nothing.
I have that support group in the United States through the men and women of, fellow survivors, and supporters …and that is what makes my journey possible. I will loose that support once I enter Mexico. After repeated attempts, I cannot secure any assistance in Mexico.

I have been told time and time again since my journey started that Mexico is extremely dangerous…especially along the border. I thought it was over-exaggerated by the media until I spoke with the US Embassy in Mexico. The Official that I spoke with implored me not to enter Mexico on a 50cc scooter and ride 1,500+ miles through the country. He said that recently, he had to travel from Mexico City to the Texas border and had an armed escort of 50 men in armored vehicles. I said “Is it really THAT dangerous”? He said “YES, it is”.

He did however offer his assistance…I may be able to take a flight into Mexico and stay with him. He said he would get me to the Basilica safely. I spoke with him on Friday…this is now Tuesday…and I have not heard back from him. I emailed him yesterday and called him today with no response. I don’t know if he got busy or maybe changed his mind. So, I am headed out in the morning towards Brownsville Texas. I don’t know what I am going to do now…it’s time for some serious prayer.

June 7, 2012 in Ramblings

Ok…gonna spin these difficult emotions into something good and remember why I started this journey in the first place!

The little guy in this pic is Connor. I met him and his family at a campground on the way to Corpus Christi.

I pulled into the campground, paid for a nights stay and rode directly to the bath house to wash the road grime off of my hands and face. As I was walking back out to my Ruck, this little kid was sitting on his bicycle, next to my trailer. As I recall the conversation went something like this:

Me: Hi.

Connor: Hi. (reading my sign) 10,000 miles…that’s a long way.

Me: lol…yes it is.

Conner: Why are you doing it? (I am not sure he understood the “child sexual abuse” part)

Me: Well…(thinking about how to explain it to a young kid)…I am doing it to protect little kids. I don’t like to see kids get hurt. I am riding to collect money so I can give to to charities that help little kids.

Connor: Oh. So come meet my Dad. (I thought that was pretty funny…just an “Oh”…then on to other things)

I met Connor’s family. His Dad’s name is Chad, Mom is Lindsey, and his little sister is Malory. They were an AWESOME family. They invited me to eat dinner with them. Lindsey had prepared some ribs (yum!) and Chad smoked them in a big metal smoker. While the ribs were cooking, Connor and Malory helped me set up my tent… they are really bright kids.

Later, Chad gave me a donation for the Journey…I hadn’t noticed but Connor disappeared inside the family’s travel trailer. He came out of the trailer waving a $5 bill. He said “Here, I want you to have this”. I was taken completely aback. I never had a child donate to the Journey. I was speechless. I almost started to cry. I said “Connor, buddy I can’t. Why don’t you save that and buy something for yourself”. I looked at his dad as I was saying it. His dad jumped in and said “Connor, yes, why don’t you save it”. Mom jumps in and says to me and his Dad “Let him do what he wants”.
So Connor looks at me with a firm determination and says (placing the money in my had) “I want you to have it”.
WOW. Man, I was choking back the emotion. This little boy saw the value in what I am trying to accomplish and wanted to give me his money to support that cause…and $5 is a lot of money to a kid. Think about all the cool trinkets and candy you can buy with 5 bucks! THANK YOU CONNER FOR YOUR BIG DONATION!

Later, I bought a half gallon of chocolate ice cream and he ate half of it…hilarious!

June 3, 2012 in Ramblings

Latrobe, PA to the Mexico border. 2,300 miles, one blown engine requiring an engine replacement, one blown rear shock, one faulty coolant line, one flat tire, 1 verbal warning from the police without a ticket, 8 cans of Vienna sausages, 8 bouts of upset stomach :) , approximately 28.6 gallons of fuel dedicated to the actual journey, 10 gallons of fuel dedicated to riding with friends I made along the way, 12 gallons of coffee consumed from various coffee shops…and a lifetime of real friendships and irreplaceable memories :)

May 29, 2012 in Ramblings

This picture really affects me. Note that the heads are facing backwards. Internally, it evokes the feelings I felt when my parents refused to help me or let me get help after the abuse. The barbed wire fence is the barrier between us since that time. I don’t want that fence to be there anymore but I can’t figure out how to take those chain cutters and cut through. I love my parents very very much, but 30 years later, I can’t make any sense of their conscience decision not to help me after the abuse occurred. They made a choice and that choice was not ME. Their bad decisions actually caused me far more damage than the abuse itself. NOTE TO ALL PARENTS: Don’t ignore child sexual abuse if it occurs in your family. Ignoring it or burying it will cause your child FAR greater damage than the abuse itself.
When I told my parents about this journey, I lied to them. I lied about the function of the charities I am riding for and I lied about the specific cause I was riding for…I made it sound like I was riding for domestic abuse and child abuse…(not child SEXUAL abuse). I was SO ANGRY with my self afterwards. Why did I lie? Why have I been protecting them ALL THESE YEARS when they did not protect me? I keep using the excuse that they are getting up in years and I don’t want to open this can of worms at this late stage of the game. I don’t want to hurt them or make them feel bad. I am doing this at my own expense…and it continues to actively damage me. I probably haven’t done them any favors either. The fact that we haven’t talked about it in 30 years has caused them damage as well.
I am not angry at them anymore…I quietly forgave them years ago…so it’s not about anger. I’m just hurt…and damaged. I just want to know the TRUTH. Not some crazy, insane lie like my mom gave me 30 years ago. I don’t care how UGLY, or DARK, or SELF-CENTERED the REAL TRUTH is…I just need to hear it.
I have been seeing counselors for many years and they tell me to forget about the choices that my parents made and focus on moving forward…but the truth is, I can’t. That might work for some people but it has not worked for me. I know in the deepest part of my heart that I will be stuck here as long as I continue to live in the darkness of the unknown.
I am sitting here…fearful of pressing the “PUBLISH” button…fearful of what people will think when they read it…and fearful that my parents might find this and read it…but this Journey is NOT about fear…it is about life, and love, and COURAGE. So here goes… [PUBLISH]

May 29, 2012 in Ramblings

I arrived in Houston Texas yesterday afternoon and the local Ruckus Crew greeted me! They met me about half way and escorted me into the city! Left to right: Mike, Mickey, Brian, and Mal. They took me to an art studio that manufactures giant heads of presidents. WOW!

The Houston sky line! Beautiful!

This building is beautiful…I *think* it has something to do with ventilation for the subway system.

This is Kalvin. He is a security officer at the city park we were in. I was taking pictures of the kids splashing around in the fountain and he approached me and said “I’m sorry sir, you cannot take pictures of the children in this park without their parents consent”. I apologized and erased the pics immediately. I told Kalvin about my journey and ask him about the park’s policy on photographing kids. He said with all the issues on the Internet (especially), the park has a no pic policy for kids. I think that’s awesome. It’s great to see that level of awareness on the city level. Some person that was involved in child advocacy did their job!!

BOOMBOX…a metaphor for my Journey

May 13, 2012 in Ramblings

boomboxI think the word “BOOMBOX” is a great metaphor for my journey. First, I collect boomboxes. I have a bunch of them. They make me feel good. Really good. I never had a “real” boombox as a kid…so as an adult, I collect them. It’s a small way to take care of that 13 year old kid inside of me.
Second, music was one of the critical things that helped me manage all that pain growing up. It gave me a safe diversion and a safe release for the pain of being molested. My favorite bands were (and still are) The Go-Go’s and Missing Persons. It’s a long story for another post, but I actually got to speak to Dale Bozzio (the lead singer of Missing Person’s) a couple years back via a phone call. I was walking on air for a week!

My new friend Josh in Charleston SC and I were talking about boom boxes and how much they meant to me. He asked if he could do some artwork on my bike and my helmet. I happily said yes…so here’s his awesome interpretation of my FAVORITE Boombox – The Realistic SCR-8:

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Forgiveness in a Starbucks

May 8, 2012 in Ramblings

I CONSISTENTLY meet the most amazing people in Starbucks!

I was returning Journey from Silence emails and a lady ask me about my t-shirt. Her name is Jayne Michelle (

We started a conversation and she told me she is a corporate trainer and a professional speaker. As our conversation progressed, I told her what happened to me as a child. She mentioned forgiveness.
I thought to myself…”I cannot forgive this person for what they did to me”. She proceeded to tell me that forgiveness has nothing to do with the other person. Forgiveness does not let them off the hook for what they did. The forgiveness was for ME. It releases me from the pain. It allows me to say “I will not give this man another minute of my life”. It allows me to release myself from the anger and pain of the abuse. She said that once I make that decision, I may not feel the forgiveness right away, but it will come. Freedom comes from the conscience decision to forgive and the feeling will follow.

Part of that forgiveness is based on the question “How much am I worth to myself today”?

Six months ago, I did not know the answer to that question. Today, I do.

Self-Esteem and Child Sexual Abuse

May 7, 2012 in Ramblings

I feel a little awkward sometimes about being so transparent throughout this journey. Sometimes I feel embarrassed or even ashamed. I made the difficult decision for complete transparency so survivors and supporters would have a sense of what is inside someone who has been through child sexual abuse. I wanted other survivors to be able to say “I feel exactly the same way”! and supporters to say “I understand it so much better than I did before”.

One of the biggest challenges I struggle with is self-esteem. For 30 years, it was LESS THAN ZERO. When I was abused, something was taken from me. I am still struggling to fully discover what that “something” was.
The problem was compounded because my parents terribly mishandled the entire situation. (more on that some other time…I love my parents with all my heart and have largely forgiven them for making some very bad decisions).

For thirty years I have walked around in this life feeling worthless…completely without value. I was in an extremely emotionally abusive relationship for many years…a couple years back, a friend of mine asked “Why do you permit this kind of treatment for your life”? Without even thinking, the words “It’s all the better I deserve” just fell out of my mouth. I was shocked. I had no idea I felt that way. It was at that moment I realized something was seriously, seriously wrong.

I struggle every single day with my self-worth. I bring all of this up because of the weekend scooter ride I just participated in. I was sitting here blogging about it and feeling the fun of it…feeling the “it’s a wonderful life” in it. Then, suddenly the guilt set in…and the thoughts follow…”I don’t deserve that”. I should have been working or doing something productive”. I should have been focusing on something serious”. “I can’t permit myself to have fun or see the light side of life, it’s wrong”.
I don’t know why I always feel that way but it kills my joy for life. I know that I did NOT feel that way before I was repeatedly abused. Something changed.

I really need to figure this out because it has suffocated my life and suffocated my joy for too many years.

Would any other survivors of child sexual abuse like to comment on this? Or anyone else who might have some insight? A personal goal of my journey is to FIND a joy for life and LIVE that joy. I know it’s there somewhere…I just need to find it and connect with it.

Raising a RUCKUS!

May 7, 2012 in Ramblings

As luck would have it, my engine problems presented yet another awesome opportunity! There was a BIG Ruckus ride happening over the weekend in Richmond VA. I have been on a couple small scooter rides in my life…but never with a large group of bikes. If you are a motorcyclist or scooterist, you know how wonderful it is to ride in a big group.

Will, Josh and I left Friday night and stayed with his good friend James. He is an awesome guy. Him and Will have been friends since they were young.

Loading up the Rucks:

WOW! A LOT OF RUCKS! This is the biggest (and one of the very few) rides I’ve been on with other scooterists

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