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New Chinese Article on us! - Nov 2010 - HOPE PROJECT magazine

Monday, December 13th, 2010

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Dear Fueled By Rice Friends,

We have just made the news anew in China’s The Hope Project Magazine, named after the oldest and most well-known NGO/non-profit in China focused on helping poor rural Chinese students pursue their education.  One of my former students at Beijing Language and Culture University was kind enough to author the article, (Thanks Shako!)  keeping our mission of spreading mutual understanding, global friendship, and bicycling instead of driving cars ALIVE for a very pertinent audience:

Beijingers continue buying over 1,000 new cars a day to add to already jam-packed roads while 2nd tier Chinese cities add around 500-600 new cars on the roads a day!!!

The article is in Chinese, with photos.

The link to the online issue, November 2010:

Simply enter the page number (54 for us) in the white box in the middle of the blue arrows and click the Chinese characters immediately to the left, you will find the article. - sign their petition today to support bicycling!

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

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Sign the petition at to join a unified voice with all bicyclists to advocate to policy makers and society in general for bicycles as a solution to many problems facing modern society including obesity, environmental destruction, global climate change, social isolation, noise pollution, traffic jams, and depression.

Riding bicycles, especially for commuting and running errands are good for:

1) The Environment

2) One’s Health

3) Our Communities

Start riding today!

Also, check out the upcoming urban bicycle festival in Minneapolis, MN July 2010

Jim Rides Again - Currently heading South in US.

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

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Hello Fueled By Rice followers!

It’s hard for me to believe that its already been 1.5 years since we ended our trip in November 2008.  But, the Fueled By Rice spirit is living strong in all of us as we continue promoting global friendship and bicycling instead of driving cars in our own ways in our respective locations.  I have been living in Beijing teaching at Beihang University this school year (my 4th year in China now).  I am privileged to be the only Fueled By Ricer to complete the global circle back to our starting place in Beijing.  When I’m in the neighborhood on my current old-man “28″ China bike, I nostalgically ride slowly by our starting place in Dongzhimen nei…and I’m itching for another long ride.

You may have suffered some Fueled By Rice blog withdrawal over this past year.  If so, you’ll probably be excited to learn that Jim is riding again, from Montana heading south…until??  Maybe to Central America.  If he’s still riding at the end of July, I hope to join him for a few weeks before starting graduate school back in the U.S. this coming fall.

**Check out Jim’s current bike trip blog -  

And hey, its summer!  GET OUT THERE AND BIKE! 

How about biking to work at least one day a week (or everyday!)?

Why not plan a day bicycle trip or more exciting: do an overnight bike trip with a tent!

E X P L O R E.  Your bicycle can take you there. 

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!  =) 


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!

Rain in Germany, Wind in France, Cold in both, but tonight, a spontaneous Warm Welcome that’s become rare in Western Europe

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

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Written Oct 6th 

We are cozy and snug inside a new friends’ home on this windy rainy chilly evening in Epinal, France.  Wandering our way off of our Parisian route southwest from my family’s ancestrial home, Climbach, to visit a French friend of Nakia’s (whom we just found out will not be home for 2 weeks) we wound up in Epinal, a mid sized French town.  While Nakia, Jim, and I were on-line this morning getting the bad news about Nakia’s friend not being home, Drew was meeting new friends working at the City Hall, one of whom happens to be married to 2-time kaiyak Olympian, Manuel DelRey, and all three who love bicycling and bicycle touring.  Bicyclist enthusist, Michel Albert, who biked 5,000km in a 33 day France tour alone last June introduced Drew to Zoe, who after hearing about our trip told Drew, ”You are welcome to stay at my house tonight. My boyfriend is dreaming of a world bicycle tour and would love to talk with you. You can eat all of my food!”  (A kind of fantasy world for any Fueled By Ricer’s ears!)  Manuel is, actually, already planning a “north pole” bicycle trip from France up through Scandinavia and back for next year…or 3 months of next year.  Zoe also printed off a sign explaining our trip, giving the city’s permission to play music on the street, and even encouraging passersby to contribute to help us finish our trip.  Too good to be true, when Drew told us about the homestay offer and asked what we thought, no one really answered, minds and bodies numb from the last week’s ride through cold, wet, and windy weather, and night after night of camping in cold damp forests (though also providing wood for fires).  Finally I said, “Are you serious?” 

And here we are, treated as old friends by Zoe and Manuel, now with full bellies from a pasta feed complete with cheese course, showered up (after a week with it too cold to jump into rivers now) and clothes washed.  Just after Drew had talked about wanting a small town French homestay, we get it, even with Nakia’s friend’s stay falling through.  And Drew has been talking up a storm now as our main French speaker with Jim close behind.  Heck, Manuel also speaks Spanish, finally giving Nakia an opportunity to use her language skills!  Again, we have been provided for, just when we needed it, after 1 week of riding from our last homestay with the O’Keefes in Heidelberg, Germany. 

Unfortunately though, this is only the first homestay in Western Europe that was not previously arranged through old friends or the - a fantastic organiztion FYI, I won’t stay in hotels or hostels again!  As we have moved into wealthier parts of the world, some people have become a bit colder, a bit more ultra individiualistic, a bit more distrustful, and a bit more dissapproving of our disheveled… I mean well-traveled appearance.  Its sad to see that often people with more give less-often and people with less gave more freaquently in our experience; people in China, Vietnam, Lao, Cambodia, Nepal, and Turkey (though Turkey is quite developed).  Insteresting and disappointing also that this trend is also connected to our moving into Christian areas from Muslim (Turkey), Buddist (SE Asia, Nepal, and China to some extent), and Atheist countries (Vietnam and China).  Gandhi also found Christianity rich in ideas but lacking in practice and application of those ideas in daily life.  I have faith we can do better. 

But tonight, all that matters is that Manuel, Zoe, and Michel are showering us in their love and generocity.  THANK YOU!!!

With Manuel, Zoe, their son (far Right), and bicycle enthusist, Michel Albert (center)

Update: When we left, Zoe and Manuel blessed us by wishing us good weather, gentle wind, and a good route. The last two days have been sunny for the first time since Austria. We are now only 120km from Paris and are getting quite excited for our ride in on Weds. Until then, we’re going to relax a bit in the countryside with our time to spare. So grateful to be sitting in the sun now…

Ehresmann roots in Climbach, The Alsace, Germany… I mean France

Monday, October 6th, 2008

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We crossed the German-French border at Wissembourg Oct 2 2008.  Being right on our route west from Heidelberg, we spent an afternoon and camped in Climbach, a small village in northeast Alsace (a region that has gone back and forth between France and Germany - well, Prussia and the Holy Roman Empire among other names present day Germany has had - over the centuries and is abounding in beauty with fertile rolling green hills mixed with forests and farm fields) just west of the Rhine Valley where my great great great grandfather, Peter Ehresmann, lived before emigrating to the US near 1870 as a 21 year old.  This was my 2nd visit to my ancestral roots, an honor and a blessing; something many Americans would like to do, but is often buried low on their “to do” list. 


Almost as soon as we entered Climbach, we met Mr and Mrs Wurtz and their daughter out for a walk, who happen to be greatly interested in Climbachian history.  Stopping to ask them about a post office I mentioned my Ehresmann ties to the village of 500, and they immediately sprang to life.  They excitedly talked with me (Mr Wurtz translating his wife’s local dialect, a mix of German and French) as I told them of my parents’ and grandparents visit in 1985 and my own previous visit in 2002 while studying abroad in Germany.  Mrs Wurtz, a native of Climbach, eagerly went to speak to Mr Lorentz on my behalf, the expert village historian who lives across from the Catholic church who oversees the village’s historical records, to learn about the Ehresmann ties.  Interestingly Mrs Wurtz’s maiden name is Urlacher, which is the name of the wife of an Ehresmann man (likely Peter’s father) living in Climbach in 1886 whose family donated money to build a stone crusifix monument “For the honor of God” (written in German) with both Urlacher and Ehresmann names written on it which I had found before in 2002 - a familial connection!  Amazing.  It was the kind of thing one dreams of happening when going back to your roots.  The Wurtzs accompanied me to the stone monument after a stop into the Catholic church where they were married.


 We wound up camping near the famous ruins of the 12th century Chapel of the Virgin Mary overlooking the village. 

Although beautiful, that evening our fireside time was cut short when the German rain that fell on us every single biking day in Deutschland found us even across the border.

view from our campsite before the rain

New Photos up…finally! Hungary, Austria, Germany, and some old India shots

Friday, September 19th, 2008

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I had difficultly uploading photos lately, but I finally got them up, from Hungary to our current location in Regensburg, Germany.  I’ve also been shuffling photos around into a new themed album of portraits of people we’ve met along the way that you might want to check out, as well as adding a last bunch of photos from India, mostly in Jaipur city, that I had forgotten about on a different card.  Some of these also trickle into the “Best of” album.   And you know about our new music up too.

I hope you enjoy checking out the new stuff!