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Tues Nov 18, 8pm @ St. Johns; OR Weds Nov 19, 8pm @ Holy Name Church: Bike Tour presentation

Friday, November 14th, 2008

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It was SO GREAT to see so many of you at our arrival Chili Feed.  Thanks so much for coming out!  An Amazing turn out.  If you’re interested in hearing more about our trip…

Our main Fueled By Rice journey presentation will be:

TUESDAY Nov 18, 2008

St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN 56321

Quad building, (The biggest and main brick building housing the “Great Hall” and the Refrectory - main dining hall - to the right of the new Abbey Chruch with Bell Tower)

Quad 264 (two floors above the main dining hall: The Refrectory),

8:00-8:15pm start time


If you’re interested in attending our Holy Name Church presentation instead of going up to St. Johns, the 

WEDS Nov 19, 2008 Holy Name presenation also starts around 8:00pm, and you are welcome to attend.  It is in connection to the youth group and is following a praise and worship gathering.  

Holy Name of Jesus (Medina, MN)
155 County Rd. 24

Wayzata, MN 55391

Hope to see you there!

Minneapolis arrival this Sunday, Nov 9th: Chili Feed Location

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

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We plan to arrive in Minneapolis on bicycle from Chicago this Sunday, Nov 9th, marking the end of our 2 week American Leg, and the final finish of our 13.5 month world tour (we will arrive in LaCrosse, WI tomorrow).  As posted previously, we are having an indoors arrival Chili Feed party upon arrival this Sunday evening, and you are welcome to attend:


Edina Morning Side Community Church

4201 Morningside Rd

Edina, MN

We will be biking in from Rochester Saturday and Sunday with nearly 20 friends.  We will do our best to be there by 5pm, but maybe we’ll be there closer to 4pm, maybe a little after 5pm, but we should be there pretty close to 5pm and look forward to hanging out until 8pm or so.  We look forward to seeing you! 

Thanks again for all of your support and interest in our bicycle adventure.  But don’t take our word for it: we hope that YOU seriously consider your own bicycle tour, be that 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, or longer!

I still have plenty of photos that haven’t made it up, and we’ll continue blogging, including old stories and our reflections as we transition back home and to a more normalized life.  We will also be professionally recording our music this month, and hope to offer some of those recordings on the “music” section of our website after Thanksgiving.  So please, continue to check this website every so often!  =) 


FBR to Present at St. John’s and St. Ben’s Nov. 18th

Monday, October 20th, 2008

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We are scheduled to give a presentation in the Alum Lounge on the campus of St. John’s University Tuesday, November 18th at 8:15pm. The Presentation is open to the general public.

We will also appear at the Festival of Cultures on the College of St. Benedicts on Saturday, November 15th in the Hahen Campus Center Field House from 5:00pm - 8:00pm.

At Pete’s church, Holy Name of Jesus, we will present in the evening on Wednesday November 19th.

Don’t forget about other important FBR events coming to a zip code near you:

Nov. 8th: We begin biking from Rochester to the cities. Everyone is welcome to join us.

Nov. 9th: We arrive in the Twin Cities and have a huge Chili Feed with friends and family, sometime in the afternoon at an as of yet undisclosed location.

WE HAVE ARRIVED IN PARIS FRANCE on bicycle from Beijing: 13 months, 16,500km/10,000miles! Wasai!!

Friday, October 17th, 2008

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In the midst of maps and streets seeming more like spaghetti than roads,

the natural stress of biking into a major world city, and with light rain, as the trend has been in Germany and France, coming around the bend of the Seine River to get our first glimpse of Notre Dame Cathédrale met with emotions gone numb, but still having the fuzz of excitement buzzing in my head.

and then we followed the Seine further to The Tour Effel

I need more time, more down time to process and just comprehend that we are here. But, we have already had 1 great host, Eric, from

and now we are staying with our 2nd host, Julien, whom we again found online (Eric had to go to Berlin this weekend). Julien is generous and friendly… and yeah, his best friend is getting married tomorrow and the party is here in his amazing ground floor studio apartment with small yard. But that wasn’t any reason to not host us this weekend!

Cecilia Xiong - twin sister of one of my previous students and good friends, Tracy Xiong, and Drew’s Chinese tutor back in Beijing - is here with us to be the only person to both see us start this trip back at Matt and Austin’s apartment in Beijing AND finish it here in Paris. She moved to France last spring to study for 3-4 years.

From Sacre Cours Cathédrale overlooking central Paris, with Cecilia Xiong

Moreover, Sara, one of Nakia’s good friends is coming in from the UK this morning to celebrate with us this weekend too.

I’ll do my best to take it all in. Interestingly, all of us FBRers have been to Paris before, reducing some of the pressure to see the sights, for this city is packed with amazing things. Instead of rushing all around town, a little leisure on the Effel Tower lawn with some wine and strong cheese, and maybe one or two muséum exhibitions will be enough. Jen also recommended the bathhouse at the Paris Mosque to soak and relax, which sounds like a worthy splurge to me.

But this is not the end. Stay tuned for our American tour, Chicago to Minneapolis beginning Oct 21, arriving in the Twin Cities on Sunday Nov 9th, inshallah, in the late afternoon for a Chili Feed at a park TBA. Again, you are welcome to join us!

Minnepolis arrival: Sunday Nov. 9, 2008

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

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After numerous calculations we have zeroed in on an arrival date in Minneapolis with bicycling in from Chicago: The late afternoon or evening of Sun Nov 9th.  We are planning an arrival Chili Feed party at a park TBA that will idealy have a shelter so we can eat rain or shine. You are most welcome to join us, so please mark your calanders!

We will be bicycling in that weekend from LaCrosse, WI (leaving Weds Nov 5 or Thurs Nov 6), and will either go through Rochester or Redwing… Route post LaCrosse TBA. 

Again, you are welcome to join us for all or part of the ride from Chicago to Minnepolis. For most of you, the weekend ride Nov 8-9th will be easiest to schedule. We will set up a start point for Saturday morning from Rochester OR Redwing.  Stay tuned for more details! 

Thanks for your continued interest and support!


Thursday, September 18th, 2008

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We managed to get some more crummy recordings up. Check them out on the music page. If you like it, stay tuned for the album we will hopefully record when we get back.

Join us from Chicago to Minneapolis: Added American leg starting Oct 21st 2008

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

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Today on Jims birthday in Vienna Austria, we have taken the biggest step since starting our long journey nearly one year ago on Sept 16 2007, and have bought our plane tickets ‘home’ from Paris, arriving in Chicago on Tuesday October 21st. This has wrapped up numerous loose ends for us, not only solidifying our end date but also Nakia deciding to for sure join us for our newly added 2-week American leg of our bicycle journey. In the spirit of our mission to help build bridges of understanding and peace across the world, and to promote all people to bicycle more and drive cars less because of the inherent goodness of bicycling environmentally, physically, and socially, we have decided that the only proper way for us to arrive ‘home’ in Minnesota is by bicycle.

We hope that you will consider joining us for all or part of the way. This is your one and only chance to experience life on the small roads with Fueled By Rice.

Our roughly planned route (to be updated) will take us through Chicago, Aurora, DePaul, Madison, LaCrosse, Rochester, and Minneapolis, arriving in Mpls roughly around Nov 7th +-3 days. If you live along this route, we warmly welcome invitations to camp in your yard or sleep on floors! Please e-mail me at if you are interested in hosting us.

Whether you can or can’t join us on bicycle, we would like to celebrate the end of the trip with you at a late afternoon picnic at Lake Calhoun in Minnapolis upon our arrival around Nov 7th 2008, exact date and details to be determined and posted later.

Other ideas for activities after we arrive are:

-A presentation at St. Johns University-College of St. Benedict open to friends and family to share a bit of our year of bicycle travel

-A fundraising concert to help Nakia buy a plane ticket home from Minneapolis to Nassau, Bahamas in time for Christmas. This is the cost of having the privledge of her joining us to bring FBR in complete to the US to share our perspectives, stories, and music in America.

-Recording our music professionally

For now, in celebration of Jim and Drew’s birthdays this week, I am taking the gang out to a Chinese lunch buffet to again be truely Fueled By Rice instead of by bread, our first restaurant experience since a celebatory Pizza Hut buffet run in Istanbul after we earned more in street performing than we expected.

This afternoon, we will continue westwards along the Danube River through the Apls towards southern Germany: Regensburg, Heidelberg, and into France via The Alsace and on to Paris.

Thank you for all of your continued support!!! Get out there and bike!

Street Performing in Istanbul: An Audiovisual Collage

Friday, August 29th, 2008

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In Istanbul, we performed music on the street for the first time - as street performers and not, well, village and home-stay performers as we had in Asia. People in Asia often seemed to be more interested in looking at our strangeness and talking about us rather than listening to our music. Istanbul marked our biggest transition - in living standards, culture, and continents, as well as attracting audiences that stopped and listened simply because they honestly wanted to hear our music for what it is and not just stare at our foreignness. It was new and exciting for us to play in this dynamic environment.

And for the first time on the trip, we earned money…more than we ever thought possible from street performing. Although no city thus far has been more fruitful than Istanbul, we have been earning enough money from our music to pay for all of our food - one of the most amazing blessings we have been given on this trip. It does help that we never eat in restaurants and keep a simple diet of bread, dairy, and vegetables.

Another blessing is the people we have met while performing. Ignatius and Louise, two professional photographers from Brazil, found us our first day on Istanbul´s famous pedestrian street, Istiklal Street, in Taxim, when we were brand new to European street performing. Their excitement and patience - staying with us over an hour before we stopped so they could talk with us - greatly encouraged and emboldened us in our new career. They were so kind to take the time to compile these photos and one of our songs in this presentation. We are humbled and grateful for such a beautiful composition. Unfortunately, Jim missed these days performing in Istanbul because he left early with his mom to meet up with his sister who came to visit. You can use the mouse to scroll through the photos.

You can find the original slide show in it’s own window here.

With Louise and Ignatius in Istanbul

Flying to Istanbul from India CONFIRMED: June 18th

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

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We have made the executive decision to, most regretfully, fly over Pakistan and Iran (and as a side-effect nearly all of Turkey) from India to Istanbul Turkey.  From Istanbul, we will continue the European leg of our Eurasian bicycle tour, still aimed at finishing in Paris, France. 

Highlights we’re looking forward to in Europe include visiting my good Serbian friend, Lela, at her home in Belgrade.  I met Lela in Beijing last year, where she also taught English.  I’d also like to visit Medujorje, Bosnia, a pilgrimage destination for Christians, especially Catholics, but we still need to discuss this option more.  Nakia also has a few friends in Bosnia.  Northern Italy is home to My Favorite Restaurant In The World, San Rufino, in Leivi village, near Chivari on the Mediterrainian cost.  After all my raving, we couldn’t pass up their 15 course set meal overlooking the Mediterranian Sea.  We also hope to coordinate meetings with our American friends Jen and Natalie, who will each be in Europe this summer on study/internship.  Finally, one of our close Chinese friends, Cecilia [her English name], recently moved to France to start a 4-5 year graduate degree in Comparative Literature.  She was in our small send-off group in Beijing when we left last Sept (2007), so she will have the honor of being the only person to see us both at the beginning and the end of our 1 year journey. 

The number 1 reason we are not going to Pakistan and Iran is cost.  Due to the sad lack of diplomatic & business relations between the US and Iran for several decades now, the already difficult and lengthy process to get an Iranian tourist visa is even more lengthy and difficult for Americans - but NOT impossible.  Jim had found a contact in Iran who has been helping us for a couple months now.  He wrote a letter of invitation for us, submitted it to the Iranian government for approval, and recently even got it back approved.  The big set back is a regulation that American tourists in Iran must be accompanied by an official tour guide at all times.  Our contact informed us that said tour guide would cost us US$100 a day - simply way out of our small budgets. 

We’d also heard from one other traveler that the landscape from Tehran to the Turkish border was not as good as in other parts of Iran - dry, hot, difficult.  Moreover, the road from Pakistan into southern Iran would most likely have to be traveled by bus, as it is 100s of km of desert.  Though that could have been easily handled.

Additionally, many people (mostly Americans) have also been worried about safty in Pakistan.  On the contrary, we have heard about wonderful experiences several other European bicycle groups have had in Pakistan in the past year.  We were really looking forward to a personal perspective on Pakistan, which seems to be one of the most misunderstood countries in the US.  However, without Iran in the route, going to Pakistan doesn’t make geological sense.  And yes, we care about our parents worries and wish to leave them at ease. 

In an effort to acknowlege and show our respects to Pakistan and Central Asia which we are now unable to visit, we would like to include two charities in this part of the world, often neglected by funders and aid organizations.  I will write a separate post to introduce them later. 

For the time being, if you haven’t yet read the book, Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson, I strongly encourage you to get your hands on a copy.  It is perhaps the best account of Pakistan on the ground in the last decade, highlighting the higher importance of education over military force as a means to “fight terrorism” by builiding balanced-education schools in poor areas.

We’ve cycled over 10,000km, Beijing-(almost)Delhi

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

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We’re actually around 10,500km, but as Drew said to me this morning while we were pedaling along our 2-lane secondary road in an effort to avoid even crazier Indian National HIGHWAY traffic into Delhi, “10,500km just doesn’t sound as impressive as 10,000.”  Humans do seem to like nice round numbers, all those zeros and just one “1.”  “10,000.”  Ah, Nice.  If we said the exact distance we’ve cycled, 10,527.8km (which of course we don’t actually know due to large margins of error and disagreements between our different bicycle odometers), all those other non-binary numbers make it rough around the edges and difficult to swallow, having even less meaning, and certainly creating more confusion. 

So 10,000km it is. 

8 months. 

Beijing-Shanghai-Hongkong-Hanoi-Phnom Phen-Bangkok-Calcutta-Kathmandu-Delhi (almost…give us 3.5 more days)

Thank you so much for all your support and prayers.  They have definately paid off.  Please keep ‘em coming!