Imagine bringing together twenty or thirty people for a month-long long-distance bicycle tour. As the entire group travels, they camp, cook, and break bread together; they sweat, rest, and fix flats together; they ride, talk, and find their way together. Such experiences naturally create camaraderie.
Now, imagine such a trip in which the participants are representatives from various conflict-embroiled regions of the world. As they contend with the travails and exult in the triumphs of their endeavor they would be a living, traveling, educational example of cooperation and reconciliation. Cyclists of various cultures, races, tribes, and religions could demonstrate for the entire world that, despite our differences, we can peacefully and lovingly share this road we travel together.
Bicycle touring is well-suited for this type of project. It employs a low-tech, ecologically-friendly form of transportation. Touring together encourages cooperation, forms bonds and creates lasting friendships. Its pace allows for personal interaction among the participants and with people encountered along the route.
An excellent opportunity for such an undertaking will be in the year 2000 in Australia, when the world's attention will be on the Summer Olympics in Sydney. Every couple of years the Games provide a brief opportunity for people of all nations to suspend hostilities and channel their energies on cooperation and peaceful competition. For those of us who imagine the world at peace year-round we could perhaps plan such an event in Australia to occur in the month leading up to these auspicious millennial games.
The final one hundred kilometers of the tour could be a "Century of Peace" in which the cyclists would be joined by many other riders as they pedal into Sydney completing their tour and calling for a true Century of Peace.
An important first step would be to find (or create) an organization to coordinate this effort. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has ideas, time, energy, or resources to contribute towards making this event happen.
Gerard (Jerry) Hogan
Central Washington University
400 E. 8th Ave.
Ellensburg WA 98926-7548 USA
"This is what you should do: Love the earth and the sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning god, have patience and indulgence toward people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown, or to anyone or number of people ...reexamine all you have been told at school or church, or in any book, dismiss what insults your soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem."