Our Mission

We're riding our bicycles across the United States to explore the local foods movement and spread the word about living sustainably and eating fresh, real food.
We left from the central Oregon coast on December 5th, 2012. We plan on arriving at our final destination in Boston, Massachusetts in early June, 2013. Our route takes us down the Pacific coast, across the Southwest to the Gulf of Mexico, on to Florida, and up the Atlantic coast.

For the past ten years, organic farms, farmers' markets, CSAs and community gardens have been sprouting up all across America. A consumer-led revolution is reviving local agriculture and bringing do-it-yourself, sustainable lifestyles into the mainstream.

Is it enough? Can a return to a local, agriculture-based economy really provide enough food to feed the country, employ its citizens and stop environmental destruction? What's happening on the ground in America's small towns, suburbs and inner cities?

Food Cycles Bicycle Tour is the effort of two women to find the answer to these questions.

As we journey across the United States, from Eugene, Oregon to Boston, Massachusetts, we will explore the abundant food resources available along our path, share what we know, and document what we learn.

In a Nutshell

We're leaving in December 2012 from the Oregon coast. We'll head south, hang a left at San Diego, and end up in Florida, where we'll turn north to Massachusetts. The whole trip will take five months, crossing 5,000 miles.

We're not professional cyclists - in fact, that's part of the reason we think we're the perfect individuals to carry this mission. Every day, average people like us do incredible things by bicycle. They commute to work, haul their kids and groceries, and face untold hazards and travails. All we're doing is 60 miles a day, give or take, for a few months.

Bicycles are human-powered transportation. They're simple machines with great potential to end our reliance on fossil fuels, improve health and fitness, and reconnect people with their environment.

Ever noticed how much more you feel and observe on a bike trip compared to a car ride? Apply this power to an investigation of America's local food revolution, and you get Food Cycles Bicycle Tour. It's all about the cycles we live every day; the unlimited power of the sun as conveyed in the food we eat. Knowing where that food comes from means everything.

Creative Harvests

Hannah is a musician and visual artist. Tuula is a writer and explorer of digital media. Our documentation of Food Cycles Bicycle Tour will employ all these talents, and more, with the goal of continuting the journey and the conversation after we return home. Along our route, we will produce:
  • This blog, which will share trip highlights, insights into the ways that food, culture and politics intersect, and profiles of the farmers and food activists we meet along the way.
  • Maps – one hand-drawn, one digital – as a visual storytelling device and resource for other cyclists and local food activists.
  • An album of songs inspired by the trip, written and recorded by Hannah.
  • Videos and photo albums in abundance.  


Blog Talks

Rather than just let our blog, videos and images fade into the background noise of the internet, we will present what we've learned at bike shops, churches, community groups, country granges along our route.

A blog talk is like a book reading, only the book is digital and presented using a projector and screen. At these talks, we'll read aloud from our more interesting observations, share photos, and incite conversation about what can be done on a community level to improve economic stability, food security, and sustainable transportation options.

We believe blog talks from our Food Cycles Bicycle Tour blog will be our most powerful tool to create a network of local food movements across the US. Farmers and rural communities tend to be isolated, and innovations in small-scale food production tend to be slow to spread. Similarly, people living in urban centers might not know about the healthful, fresh foods being grown just 50 miles away. We'll feature farmers and seasonal recipes on our blog to help close the gap.

How will we do it?

We'll travel on our bicycles, Cynthia and Edith, from the coast of Oregon to Boston, MA. Along the "Southern Tier", we'll eat oranges California, nibble on prickly pear in Texas, and maybe sample some alligator meat in Georgia. Then we'll head north along the Atlantic Coast to fill up on maple syrup and grits. From Boston, we'll finish off our baked beans and take the train back west, making a stop in Minnesota to eat whatever we find in Hannah's parents' garden.

By using the network of organic farms who host workers through the WWOOF program, we'll get to know what kind of foods and local food movements are growing across America. Even better, we'll meet the farmers who feed their communities and gain hands-on experience in a variety of agricultural pursuits.