Just in time for Earth Day, I received the all important text message that I have a veggie oil vehicle for the Big Green Road Trip! And this isn’t just any vehicle, it’s large enough to ride 10 and sleep 6! Check it out!
I still plan to camp out and bicycle to events, festivals and just for the heck of it along the way. But now that I have a large vehicle and a band going with me, the opportunities and possibilities are endless!
Check out the band that will be touring with me, Roman Alexander and The Robbery, on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Their message goes right along with mine delivered with a mellow rock and occasional reggae sound. The band and I will be celebrating Earth Day together tomorrow in Tustin, CA at an Earth Day Fiesta at the District. Stop on by if you are in the 'hood.
A detailed itinerary is on its way, but the bus will launch from the Tinariwen concert at the Hollywood Bowl on June 20th, go up the coast to Oregon and turn around in Portland after the Organic Beer and Sustainability Festival on June 27th. I am hopeful that this is the first of many legs of the road trip. There are so many places on this beautiful Earth that are in need of style exploration!
The bus needs just a few repairs to be in operable condition, so if you are feeling the love, please donate.
Happy Earth Day! And if your hometown is on my route, drop me a line and perhaps we can plan an event in your neighborhood!
I work at Trader Joe's and throughout the day the comment I hear almost as often as, "how tall are you?" is, "darnit, I forgot my bags again."
Never forget your reusable bags again when you use an Envirosax bag! They are awesome huge bags that fold up to a teeny tiny size so that you can stick them in your purse and carry them with you always. They come in packs of 5 from the website. You will be amazed to discover how many ways to use your Envirosax when you carry them with you always. They make great beach bags, moving bags, and even purses. They come in many different styles and colors to harmonize with your unique individulituy.
And guys, don't worry, no need to carry a murse (male purse) - the folded Envirosax can fit in your pocket!
(Seriously, shouldn't I be their official spokesmodel ♥)
Now that the weather is warming up, I am getting the itch to volunteer at outdoor events. I have recently chosen World Fest.
It's a solar powered festival in Van Nuys, California that celebrates the Earth, diversity, music, humanity and even animals. Pets are welcome at this festival which will make Daisy Mae and Zula happy doggies.
Look online to find volunteer opportunities in your neck of the woods and make a difference in spreading a message that you find true to your heart.
......OR A WALK AND ADMIRE THE BEAUTY AROUND YOU. TAKE YOUR ANIMAL FRIENDS WITH YOU. WHETHER IT IS A BRIGHT SUNNY DAY LIKE HERE IN CALIFORNIA OR A RAINY STORMY DAY, NATURE HAS A WAY OF PERSEVERING. TAKE IT IN AND SEND ME YOUR PHOTOS OF YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD. HERE ARE SOME PHOTOS I TOOK FROM A CONSERVATION AREA A FEW BLOCKS FROM MY PLACE.
Certainly not the most glamourous place to start but a place that every one of us uses and cleans: the bathroom. When finding cleaning agents to use in the bathroom, we need strong, fierce products that are going to cut through gnarly toilet muck and goopy toothpaste stains and be environmentally friendly at the same time.
Introducing: my favorite cleaning products! A multi-purpose cleaner from Trader Joe’s, a glass cleaner from Simple Green, and a toilet cleanser by J.R. Watkins. First off, our multi-purpose cleaner, which has the pleasant scent of cedar wood and sage. My favorite part about switching to environmentally friendly products a few years back is that they always smell good. They come from nature and what do you know in nature that smells bad? Trader Joe’s makes a wonderful multi-purpose cleanser that I use to clean my bathroom sink and countertop. It also happens to be the product I use to clean my shower tiles and tub...and it smells fantastic.
Moving on to the mirrors and sliding shower doors. Glass is not always the easiest surface to clean. Many of the products I have used in the past leave streaks. And when I try to get rid of the streaks, I leave more streaks. Simple Green has a new line of products termed “Naturals.” Their natural glass cleaner smells like a forrest and leaves a streak free surface.
Moving on to the throne. I choose J.R. Watkins Toilet Bowl Cleanser. Yet another product that can be used on your shower tile, however, I would rather be thinking of my toilet while showering despite its pleasant lemony scent. It gets the job done and that’s all that we ask for, right?
Not only do all of these products work well on the surfaces that they clean, their bottles are also recyclable. Now that is what I call green!
The general rule I use when finding products to clean with is to read the ingredients. If there is one or more ingredients that I cannot pronounce, it is not an environmentally friendly product.
Feel free to send me your favorite cleansing product! Perhaps it will make my top 10 list!
I’m pretty sure that I am not the average athlete that Trek creates their amazing customized bicycles for. I use my bike to have fun, to take me to and from work and in most recent plans, I am using it to severely reduce my carbon footprint during my Big Green Road Trip scheduled for this summer.
My new bike is not only big enough for my tall frame, it is fast, smooth, and oh so beautiful. And the most wonderful part is that is it 100% recyclable. Can you believe that?
I am so thankful to the awesome team at Trek for building me such a sweet bike. Eric “Hootie” Bjorling, Marketing Director at Trek, was the communication behind the whole project. He saw the project beginning to end and coordinated all the spokes that completed the wheel. Michael Leighton is the man behind the bike, literally. He took the specifications of what I wanted in a bike, combined them with my long legs and came up with the original blueprint. He then put this into action and built the bike. The talented artist behind the custom paint job that represents my free and adventurous spirit is Stacey Carnell. She took my story of living life as a journey and captured it with thousands of little birdies.
I would also like to extend a HUGE thank you to my dear friend Steve Crandall who has been my biggest promoter since the beginning of 6footsix. Had it not been for him randomly conversing with Steve Baumann (chief designer at Trek) on an airplane, I would not have been presented with a wonderful custom bike from Trek.
I am so excited to go explore with my new bike. Never, as a full grown female, have I been so comfortable while riding a bike. In the past my legs were scrunched up for the entire ride or my seat was raised so high that my center of gravity drove the rest of my weight into my shoulders and wrists clutching handle bars much lower than my raised rear. Neither of these uncomfortable situations made for a pleasant ride. But as you can see, I never will have those worries again; and That’s Colleenification!
My apologies for being M.I.A. the last few weeks. I have been moving from New Mexico back to sunny California. Unfortunately, when I left SoCal last October, I was forced to give up my wonderful home and garden, so I was not sure what kind of place I would find when I got back. After a thorough search, I have found a nice studio apartment with a big balcony so I can at least have an herb garden. It won't be the same as growing tomatoes and cantaloupes and pumpkins and eggplant and peppers like I did in the last place, but I am confident that I can make this new place my home.
In other dimensions, I have 2 very exciting announcements: First of all, Trek will be coming out to my neck of the woods next week to give me my new custom bicycle as well as photograph me for their upcoming catalog. Hurray!
Also, on a Colleenification front, I am teaming up with talented furniture designer Tracy Steele in creating furniture for those of us of “exceptional height” as Tracy so whimsically states. I am very excited about both of these upcoming events and will be sure to give you all full reports on both.
Also, stay tuned for new high five videos. I am working towards campaigning for a National High Five Day and will need your help in the future!
Most people ride their bike for exercise. Some people, mostly kids, ride for fun. Even fewer ride their bike for transportation. I ride for all of these reasons. As a kid in my purely fun days, a Trek Antelope 800 carried me on my journeys. Growing up near Washington DC, that hybrid bike took me anywhere I wanted to go: to and from school, up and down the C&O Canal, friend's houses, basketball courts and soccer fields. It gave me freedom at a young age.
During my undergrad years at Ohio State, I rode my bicycle to classes as well. I vividly remember riding to school in the rain, with my notebook safely zip-locked and arriving to class just in the nick of time. My dripping pant legs formed a massive puddle during the 50 minute lecture. It was also during those college years that I learned the importance of always locking up my bike and taking it in at night. Bicycles are commodities regardless of the condition they are in, which brings me to another point: regardless of the condition your bike is in, it doesn't take much to fix it up for riding condition and take it to work or school. After I graduated, I moved to Arlington, Virginia and rode my bike to work, moonlighting as a high school teacher. You can pretty much say that my bicycle has been my main source of transportation throughout my life.
These days, mountain biking is one of my favorite ways to stay in shape. Living in Southern California, near the hills, there are miles and miles of trails in close proximity to my house. This means I take a loop from my garage to Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park, which is about 14 miles round trip. Thus, not requiring the use of a car. Convenient, given that I don’t own one. And sometimes, I see the most epic sunsets. In the one below, you can see a snow capped Mt. Baldy in the distance.
I will be taking many trips to the beach this coming year. One of my goals will be commuting via bicycle. Yup, Riverside to the ocean. The annual 'Smog to Surf,' leisure ride which now goes by the more playful name, 'Riverside to Surfside' is the route I plan to take. I am hoping that Colleen will occasionally follow my lead, riding behind me on her new custom made Trek FX. We will see how 60 miles treats her spirit, her bike, and her butt. When was the last time YOU rode your bike for over 2 hours? Do it! Tomorrow! It gets easier after the first 45 minutes.
I was listening to a podcast the other day in which a science journalist named John Horgan was walking around Hoboken, New Jersey asking people one simple question:
“Will humans ever stop fighting wars once and for all?”
More than 9 out of 10 replied no. The reasons stated for their answer all revolve around human nature. This brought up the question of change. Can we as a human race change our ideas about war and transform them into peace?
I am hopeful that the answer is yes. So now the question to ask becomes: HOW can we change?
Happier people make more positive decisions. Happier people interact more with each other and through this interaction a snowball effect can occur. Through small steps, we can begin to understand other cultures, different upbringings, and the beauty of diversity that shapes the world. We can embrace other people rather than ignoring them.
I take on this challenge to start taking small steps towards changing the moral of people and I invite you to do the same. One day in the next week, when you find yourself in public, start giving out high fives. It is very hard to walk away from a high five without smiling. If you need some motivation, check out my video:
If you have any high five tips or Colleenification suggestions, email me!
When you're this tall, lots of things that most people take for granted just don't fit. Finding clothes is hard, fitting in cars and airplanes sometimes doesn't work, furniture doesn't measure up and a thousand other things are just hard to use. You can get an idea from this post.
The problem is not with me. Six foot six is a perfect size for me and it is part of who I am. The problem is with the everyday stuff people make.
Colleenifying something is designing and making it to fit people like me. It is encouraging designers and manufacturers to make tall practical products that are simple and beautiful. It is also making the world aware that there are lots of people in the world that have the same issues that I do.
Colleenifying is breaking the small minded 20th century notion that comes with design for mass production - that people must conform to design rather than customizing for individuals. Now a days it is possible to make more custom products and I know that there are companies out there ready for this challenge.
This can be for people of other sizes. I may be fourteen inches taller than the average American woman, but flip the design switch and colleenify something that fits someone who is fourteen inches shorter than the average American woman. How awesome would that be?
For now I'll look at ideas and products for tall people and really tall people like me. I love to hear your ideas and comments, so send them in!
The time has come for designers and manufacturers to grow up!
July 24, 2010 you can save some gas by being very gentle on the brake and accelerator. drive like there is a glass of water on the dashboard. you'll also save wear and tear on your brakes. and if you have an iphone, there's an app for that.