• Richie Crowley

I’m Riding My Bicycle Across America

On Saturday, July 20th, I’m going for a bike ride.

I’m going to leave the Canton Junction commuter rail parking lot and turn right on to Sherman Street. From there, I’ll ride to the light across from the town hall and again turn right. This time onto Washington Street. About 2 miles later, I’ll pull into a parking lot at the Canton town line and say goodbye. Goodbye to my family, goodbye to my friends, goodbye to my childhood hometown, and then I’ll continue to California, on my bicycle.

I’ve noticed a trend that wellness has become a commodity. Something that we purchase. A line of products promising vitality and debt. Rather than access wellness by mobilizing the tools we come equipped with, we’ve looked to a studio class or an $11 green juice as the yellow brick road to our wellness. That’s diet and fitness, not wellness.

You see, wellness stretches beyond the walls of a gym, and doesn’t come with the option of insert chip now. Yes, what I consume and how I move are critical parts of my wellness, but there are several more buckets.

To me, wellness is a state of being. It’s life without disease, physical and mental, spent full of actions in alignment with our purpose. My blueprint for wellness includes caring for my mind and the stress it may create, living in community and nurturing relationships, moving naturally and eating plants, sleeping well, meditating and expressing gratitude, being financially responsible and also compassionate.

And I’ve known life without wellness and through a series of basic, affordable and convenient changes, I’ve healed. This is why I so passionately advocate for wellness and the truth that it is accessible. Accessible meaning it’s affordable, convenient and it looks like you.

My mission is to highlight that we have already have the resources needed to cultivate our own wellness, and bring this into communities across the country in an off-the-screen installation.

Paulo Coehlo wrote that “The world is changed by your example, not your opinion.” Well, it’s my opinion that anyone can post about wellness, show a glimpse into their lifestyle through 15-second installments, but it’s how we educate and impact those outside of our captured digital audiences that we spread our truth and in return receive an accurate education on the diversity of communities we must be considering. So to honor the quote by Coehlo, and my belief that I can change the world, I’m here to be an example.

That’s why this summer, I’ll be riding my bike across America on The Wellness Ride.

The Wellness Ride is an 85 Day Athletic Art Installation designed to educate on the accessibility of wellness and encourage individuals to invest in their own wellness, while also raising meals for the hungry across America. And you can bet I’ll be documenting the intimate moments of this adventure through writing, images and good ole fashion pineapple dances. You will see me riding a bicycle, meditating in nature, eating plants, spending time in community, maintaining my sobriety and offering plant-based meals to the hungry along the way. The goal of the wellness ride is to raise 5,000 meals and empower individuals to invest in their own wellness. Each meal is a delicious plant-based creation of Veestro’s that is $5 and will be donated directly to organizations across the country, and each of you deserves to be well.

We’ve created a simple donation page and each week I’ll be sharing the intimate details of this ride if you’d like to hear them. My ask of you beyond donating meals is to speak this ride into your conversations. On a first date, on a facetime, during 2 truths and lie, or when answering How Was Your Day, fill the void of your conversations with tales of The Wellness Ride. Tell the world your friend is biking across America to advocate for wellness and to raise meals. I planted the idea to bike across America 3 years ago, a sticky note in a leather-bound notebook forgotten until this spring when a timely Charles Bukowski quote came across my eyes.

If something burns your soul with purpose and desire it’s your duty to be reduced to ashes by it. Any other forms of existence will be yet another dull book in the library of life.”

So here I am, ready to ride.

Let’s fucking do this.

Richie. Human.


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