elaine bowers

“FUELED BY STUDENT ENERGY“ (Tuesday, October 5, 2010)

Kicked the day off with a 7:00am talk at the Concordia Optimists Club. Must remember to get some caffeine in my system before doing early morning talks. Next up was an 8:00am talk to the Chamber of Commerce, both generously lined up by Republican State Representative Elaine Bowers. Was very impressed with the turnout, and deep level of engagement, at both events. Afterwards, did a radio interview with Joe Jindra at Concordia radio station KNCK. To listen, click on the “7:00 Report” at the link below (the interview start at 3:20 and ends at 6:14):


Then pedaled 20 or so miles to Clay Center, where I experienced one of the highlights of the trip. Rolled the bike up to the front of Lincoln Elementary School for some shots by the Clay Center Dispatch, then the entire second grade class (nearly 100 children) streamed out the doors and surrounded the rocket trike. I told them what I was doing and why (for them) and we had a really fun 30-minute Q & A session. My heart melted when afterwards one little girl hugged my leg and looked up at me with a huge smile of gratitude on her face. That fueled me for the rest of the day.

Knocked out a little over 50 more miles to Manhattan, for a total of 78 miles on the day. More hawk sightings today, with fuzzy caterpillars replacing beetles on the shoulder. On the way, did an interview with the Salina Journal:


Found my way to the KSU campus and “Aggieville,” where I want to give a shout out to Tex at Radinas coffee shop for the mocha on the house, and to Austin Graham (Bruce and Michelle’s son), for offering me a couch to sleep on.

Ruth Douglas Miller , Director of the Kansas Wind Application Center, had generously called a number of media outlets for me and had put me in touch with Zack Pistora, president of KSU’s Students for Environmental Action (SEA). More synchronicity: they just happened to be having their organizational meeting tonight, so Zack invited me to speak. Ruth, her son and the foreign exchange student they were hosting walked me over to where the SEA meeting was taking place, where I rolled the trike into the meeting room and spoke for about 45 minutes. KSU is rocking it. That’s the biggest meeting of student environmental activists I’ve ever seen. The energy I received from the students I spoke with afterwards (like Shelley Fritz) almost defies description and will help fuel me the rest of the way to DC.

Afterwards, knocked back a few drinks with my new KSU buddies at the Purple Pig (thanks, Bryce, for the killer marg), where we had some incredibly inspired conversations on the power of embracing life’s positive potential. Crashed at their pad after Kevin, Zack and I stayed up until 2:00am working on a tracking map for my website, but ended up not sleeping a wink (too much racing through my head), so got out of bed at 7:00 and worked some more on my blog.

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“FRONT LINES OF THE WIND REVOLUTION” (Monday, October 4, 2010)

Had the extremely good fortune this morning to speak to three classes at Cloud County Community College’s (CCCC) Wind Technology Center: Electrical Theory, Airfoils & Composite Repair, and Wind Turbine Siting. It was incredibly energizing to engage so many highly motivated students who are on the front lines of making the wind revolution happen. CCCC’s program is the only college in Kansas approved to offer an Associate of Applied Science degree in Wind Energy Technology, and includes two of their own 100 kilowatt turbines (one I had climbed) to learn in, on and around. Received lots of enthusiastic feedback on the 100% by 2020 vision. People are anxious to see this green industrial revolution happen for America, and the world.

Later had lunch with Bruce and Republican State Representative Elaine Bowers, whose district includes CCCC and Horizon’s 201 megawatt wind project (politicians would be more favorably viewed if more of them shared Elaine’s refreshing public service ethic). After lunch, pedaled over to the Concordia Blade, which ran a front page story on the ride, as did the Miltonvale Record. Ended the day with a round of Frisbee golf, for a little exercise.

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“HOLED UP” (Sunday, October 3, 2010)

Spent the entire day holed up in the Graham’s basement, updating my blog and website. Emerged from my den just long enough to join the family for some locally-grown, home-cooked meals and to talk about the trike with friends and relatives who stopped by. The generosity being extended to me by the Graham family is one of the things I love the most about this country. They are truly a family of givers and I can’t thank them enough.

Tonight, Connor generously helped me clean up the trike (his dad just wishes he could get that kind of help from him detailing his truck), so she’s looking good as new. Michelle and Republican State Representative Elaine Bowers meanwhile have been lining up enough public talks and media interviews to keep me busy for the next couple of days.

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