Last time around, in 2010, David Jones went coast to coast. This time, he’s going to go clockwise along the borders of the nation.
As he takes breaks from pedaling what he expects will be a roughly 12,000-mile journey, Jones will interview people and document their stories of an America that’s been battered by economic downturn for years -- and perhaps is on the mend now.
“On my first ride across the country, I saw an America I was unacquainted with,” said Jones, who is 56 and semi-retired. “An America whose heartland had been decimated by the economic downturn and policies enacted over the last three decades. As a result, many people were struggling to keep their businesses afloat and in fact many towns were virtually shuttered.
“What struck me was the kindness, spirit and determination of the average American,” he said. “On my upcoming journey, I will tell their story.”
Jones also hopes to raise $100,000 for Share, Clark County’s leading provider of services to the hungry and homeless. Jones is a past board member of Share.
He figures he’ll be riding for about a year. He plans to leave on May 19 and follow the country’s northern boundary. Then he’ll head down the East Coast, back across the South and up through California and Oregon to home.
As he goes, Jones intends to conduct video interviews and frequently update his website (rollingacrossamerica.org), his Facebook site (facebook.com/rollingacrossamerica) and his Twitter feed (twitter.com/rollingacross). He’s recruited Lisa Cicala, a Portland filmmaker and vice president of the Oregon Media Production Association, to rework his video footage into a feature documentary film.
Jones is hoping to line up plenty of sponsors for his own expenses, as well as for Share, before he pedals away from Vancouver in May.
“Sponsors who decide to provide cash can be assured that their money will go to supporting the journey or will be channeled to charity. Although the primary charity I intend to support is Share … some money may be channeled to local charities that serve a similar cause as I become aware of them on the trip,” he said.
Take a look at rollingacrossamerica.org to learn more about Jones and about Share, and to make donations to either or bot.