We’re biking across America to capture stories of the
Local Food Movement – 
through Potlucks.

Why yes, those are our bikes!

Posted by Robert DuBois | Jun 21, 2010

Hello, new friend! I know you’ll have a few questions about what we’re doing on this zig-zagged jaunt across the Lower 48, so to save us some time and cut to the real conversation, I’d like to answer some questions you may ask. This FAQ of sorts will be archived on the About Us page.

Are those your bikes?

Where’d you come from!
Hardwick, Vermont

Why Hardwick, Vermont?
Ben Hewitt, author of The Town that Food Saved, calls it the Epicenter of the Local Food Movement. Aaron and I were both living on the east coast, Brooklyn and DC, respectively, and felt that Hardwick was without a doubt the place to start.

Where are you going?
Portland, Oregon. We were planning San Francisco, but our schedule’s become a bit tight. There’s still a strong chance that I’ll ride to SF at the end of the trip.

So, are you riding for a cause?
We’re potlucking across America to capture stories of the Local Food Movement.

What’s the name of your project?
It’s Bikeloc, pronounced “bikeluck” – that is, one part bike, one part local, and one part potluck.

The idea is to bring people together to talk about food, over food, in their communities. We hope that folks will make some new connections, share some new ideas, and either start or continue to take action around food – whether it’s organizing another potluck, planting a few tomatoes, working to legalize chickens in their city, or creating a local food distribution system. The list goes on!

At the potlucks Aaron and I are able to talk with a number of individuals, finding and video recording a few stories that stand out and subsequently posting them on our blog. We hope these videos will paint a picture of what’s happening on the grassroots level of the Local Food movement, and inspire folks to start something in their home or community.

(more questions answered after the jump)


Are you students?
Nope. Personal project.

So you’re from Vermont?
We are not. Vermont is a great state, but I’m originally from Colorado and Aaron grew up in Wyoming.

How did you guys meet?
We met in 2003 during college in Northern Colorado. Go Bears!

When did you leave?
April 24th. And we plan to finish in Portland around August 14th. A little over 100 days, much flora and fauna to take in, many new friends.

How many miles do you average per day?
We shoot for 70. Our average has been under that, but it’s certainly not a result of lazy leg work! We whipped ourselves into shape through the “hills” of New York, and have had some short distances to bike, mostly a result of potluck alley (Central Illinois to Minneapolis, MN) – it’s like we’ve got a potluck every few miles. Go mid-west, go.

update: yesterday we completed our longest ride yet, 120 miles.

Where do you stay? Do you camp a lot?
Oh, we camp at state parks and in kind folks’ yards. If we’re lucky, a couch surfer, warm shower-er, or person we meet in town will offer up a couch, bed, or floor. Waking up on a farm is a really great experience.

Do you get tired or sore?
We expect constant soreness after a ride, but I suppose folks who regularly hit the gym or do laborious work know how it feels.

What do you eat?
A lot! Dried fruit, fresh fruits and veggies, peanut butter, hummus, cheese, bread, and too much GORP (Good ’ol raisins and peanuts).

When shopping, we go for the most local options we can find. When we camp we prefer dehydrated soups and beans commonly found at food co-ops, and when we are house guests our hosts often prepare meals for us (fine hospitality!). We’ve learned some great recipes from the people we’ve stayed and potlucked with.

Do you get tired of one another?

High point/low point?
High: learning first-hand about our agricultural system; experiencing the warmth of American hospitality; enjoying discussion of food, over food, with folks across the country; spending all day outside; understanding what the real northern American landscape looks like, watching it change from VT to WI, and looking forward to the rest of its changes as we head west.

Low: riding under the threat of lightning.

What do you do besides bike and eat? (via Amanda)
While on the road? Mostly bike and eat. We also spend a lot of time refining the website, processing the stories we’ve recorded, and planning for the future. Robert is getting into birding, makes some music if his friends are willing to join in, participates in a bike co-op. Aaron is looking forward to learning more about wood working and urban homesteading. And of course, we both like to use a kitchen if we’ve got one.

What kind of bikes are you riding? (via Rachel)
Robert’s got a brown Surly Cross-Check, and Aaron’s got a green Surly Long-Haul Trucker – seriously sweet steel bikes!

Have a question? Post it in the comments section below.


Interested Party said on Monday, June 21, 2010:

R U 2 Single???!!!!

Emily said on Tuesday, June 22, 2010:

I have two:

1. How do you pace your tour so you still have energy to meet with people and write all about it on your blog?
2. Do you always coordinate outfits?

Robert said on Tuesday, June 22, 2010:

Hey Emily,

1. Many folks cross the US in about two months, and we’re taking almost four. That means more rest days to visit with folks and work on blog entries, and less pressure to keep a perfect schedule. It’s all about learning to find routine in the non-routine.

2. Every day – it’s either analogous or complementary

Tom G said on Tuesday, June 22, 2010:

Headed west on Hwy 12? Stop at Red Rooster Coffee House in Aberdeen, SD. Tell them Tom G. sent you. Dan & Kileen Cleberg. Red Rooster has a Facebook page. Dan is at meepo@aol.com.

Good luck

Amanda said on Sunday, June 27, 2010:

Here is my best traveling wisdom for you:
Two wrongs don’t make a right, but three lefts do.
Thanks for gracing Brookings with your presence! You have a standing invitation to visit (or stay) any time :)

Susan Goggins said on Wednesday, June 30, 2010:

Have been watching the site since you left us in Cleveland. Your visit is a much discussed event amongst family and friends. It was a great way to start our summer and we are honored that you graced our home with your presence. I had an opportunity to visit a farmer’s market in Los Angeles last week which has been around since 1934. If you come back this way our home is open to you both.

Amanda said on Sunday, July 04, 2010:

What do you like to do besides bike and eat?

Aaron said on Wednesday, July 07, 2010:


Biking and eating take up pretty much all our time these days. Other hobbies include uploading, downloading, editing and typing. After a while of that we’re always more than ready to get back on our bikes and learn more about food and the folks involved in it.

Amanda said on Saturday, July 17, 2010:

I’m a little alarmed to see that your food is not funded… My question is, how did you train for riding 100 miles at a time. I’m considering riding the 22 miles out to my job, and I’d like to know how to get ready. Also, do you have any advice for riding on gravel?

Rachel said on Wednesday, July 21, 2010:

Aloha! So awed by your adventure! Not only does it sound delicious, it just sounds smart, awesome, educational, entertaining and so much more. If you guys come to SF for a final potluck and don’t have a place to stay – you do now. Or at least a few beers on me.
Mahalo and have a great ride~!
PS am I missing the link to what kind of bikes you guys are riding?

Robert said on Wednesday, July 21, 2010:

Touche, Rachel! Our bike stats are on the about us page, but I’ll post them here as well. Thanks for the kind words and offer for a place to stay – we’ll be in touch about SF.

kathe said on Wednesday, July 21, 2010:

Hey fellas! Have you picked up any yummy recipes along the way? add another demention to your fundraising and go to RecipeforGood.com

We are in beta and we’d love to help you reach your goal!!!

~ Kathe

David said on Wednesday, July 21, 2010:

What’s the situation with your camera equipment and supplies? Are you guys packing that or do you have someone driving with you?

Also, what camera equipment are you using?

Robert said on Friday, July 23, 2010:

Hi David,

We’re packing everything – cameras, laptops, tents, and a book or two. Each of us carries somewhere in the neighborhood of 65 pounds.

As for the camera, we’re using a Canon 7D with an older manual-focus Nikkor 35mm lens. We have a simple Sennheiser Microphone, and a Monfrotto 785B Tripod.

We use Final Cut Express to edit the videos, and Mpeg streamclip to convert the videos to a more manageable size for editing.

We learned all of this from Philip Bloom – he’s got a great deal of info on his website about using the Canon DSLRs for video. Also try searching “canon 7d” or “canon 5d” on Vimeo or YouTube to see what others are doing with a similar setup.

Samantha said on Friday, July 30, 2010:

You Gentlemen are very inspiring. Thank You for coming to Boise,ID.

Tim Little said on Wednesday, April 06, 2011:

I agree with you I think either the east coast or the northern west coasts would be most interesting when trecking on your mountain bike but for repairs I would consider something like park tool set if you decide to go the long distance.

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