Posts in radical self reliance

August 17th, 2013  |  Filed under Afield in the World

An Eco-Burner Homecoming: AfrikaBurns to Black Rock City by Bike

Which way to Black Rock City? Choices, choices.  (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

Which way to Black Rock City? Choices, choices. (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

Next week thousands of people will be boarding planes and squeezing into cars crowded with camping gear bound for one location: Black Rock City. This attraction to one of the most inhospitable, creative and challenging places on earth baffles some and inspires others. Why spend so much time and energy on one week in the desert?

Kayden Kleinhans invested that and more in his preparation for Burning Man. Bicycling for 49 weeks, through 15 countries, Kayden’s journey started last year at AfrikaBurn, where he collected songs, remembrances and dreams from members of that community at their Temple in a leather-bound journal. His mission: deliver this precious cargo from their Temple in Tankwa Karoo, South Africa to our Temple in Black Rock City on a humble bicycle.

Yes, he is on a bicycle (its name is Little Ms. Sunshine).

Yes, there’s an ocean separating both Burns (a plane helped springboard him over the Atlantic Ocean to Buenos Aires, Argentina).

And yes, he is alive to share his story.

Special delivery from the Temple at AfrikaBurns with a stop in Furnace Creek, Death Valley (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

Special delivery for the Temple of Whollyness with a stop in Furnace Creek, Death Valley (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

As he peddled into Death Valley, California three weeks ago, he sent this update, “With less than 1000 km left to go, wild horses couldn’t stop the journal and its magical contents from making it to the playa.”

Given his dedication to cycling up the Americas solo with his gear, fighting heat, cold, injuries and loneliness to complete his mission, it’s difficult to believe that Kayden has never set foot in Black Rock City. 2013 will be Kayden’s first year at Burning Man.

AfrikaBurns 2012 in Tankwa Town, where it all began. (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

AfrikaBurn 2012 in Tankwa Town, where this all began. (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

The call of home, that commitment to principles of radical self-reliance to leaving no trace resonate whether or not he felt chalky playa dust between his fingers. As the Founder of the Global Wheeling Initiative, a South African-registered NGO highlighting climate change, he hopes to draw attention to these concerns through his journey, one of several he’s made bicycling across continents. His onboard computer and carbon calculator calculates the amount of CO2, which would have been emitted, if he was traveling in an average-sized America 2008 model car.

Kayden calls his journey, “a double edged project that was not only carrying the prized cargo but also drawing a comparison between the motor vehicle and the bicycle as a means of transport.”

49 weeks of cycling, 20,000 carbon free kilometers and 3 tons of CO2 saved with Little Ms. Sunshine later, he peddled into Reno a few days ago.

You have the opportunity to join him in this project. He invites Burner bicyclists to participate in the final leg of his journey to Burning Man. His invitation:

Reno to BRC by bicycle, 3 days and 2 nights “SELF SUPPORTED” bike ride covering 125 miles. Guided by Kayden Kleinhans on his final leg of the AfrikaBurns to Burning Man by Bicycle Project.

This will be an exercise in self-reliance and all required food and water for the 3 day expedition will have to be carried by the cyclist. Bring camping/survival equipment, a bike in good working order and a positive “Can Do” attitude.

Your Burn starts when we roll out of Reno on the morning of the 21st! You should have your ticket to Burning Man squared away ahead of time. Due to arrive at BRC on the afternoon of the 23rd. Arrangements for early access will have to be made prior to arrival through the necessary channels. Do not apply if you are not capable of completing the journey on your own accord.

Meeting point is the Anabella’s Zen Art Sanctuary, 12245 Spruce Lane, South Reno.

Contact: Kayden at globalwheeling dot org here: kayden (at) globalwheeling.org
Website: http://www.globalwheeling.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/globalwheeling

Up for the challenge? Write to Kayden and meet him in Reno with your bicycle.

[Editor's Note: Cycling on Route 447 is very difficult and dangerous, and this undertaking should not be taken lightly. There is a 20 mile stretch of 447 where the shoulders were washed away by flash floods this year, and NDOT is doing work to repair them ... in some cases, the shoulders are soft or non-existent, and the road is reduced to a single lane. Please be careful out there!]

Only one week remains until he cycles down Gate Road, finally completes his journey and enters Black Rock City to deliver the journal to the Temple.

Thousands of Burners will follow his bicycle tracks in vehicles of all sizes from all over the world. Where are you traveling from? Tell us how you’re coming home.

Snapshots from the US leg of his journey:

On his way via Cali Route 395 (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

On his way via Cali Route 395 (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

 

Sedona, Arizona (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

Sedona, Arizona is a gorgeous place to rest (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

 

Shattered (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

Shattered (Photo courtesy of Kayden Kleinhans)

 

June 1st, 2011  |  Filed under Spirituality

What Time Is It?

Photo: mkgraph

A rite of passage is an act of growing up, and I don’t just mean maturing; I mean getting older. Time, at least from our ordinary, human perspective, only moves forward.

As rites of passage go, our week at Burning Man is pretty long. That’s a lot of time to reflect, a lot of days to fill with activity. Where should we go next? What should we do? For a ritual, this Burning Man thing seems kind of unstructured. Now that we’re here, are we just supposed to wander around?

Of course, the ritual does have a structure; it’s just more complex than the structure of, say, a Caribbean cruise, where some guy in shorts and a white sun visor tells you what to do all day.

There’s the burning of the Man on Saturday night, of course, and the Temple the next night. But those are all the way at the end.

What about this morning, now that we’ve finally got the tennis balls on our tent stakes and the pink fur zip-tied to our handlebars?

I guess we’ll look in the What-Where-When Guide… Read more »

May 18th, 2011  |  Filed under Playa Tips, Preparation

DIY Your Burn: Bikes!

Hello out there! First off, I’d just like to thank everybody who stopped by my last post to talk about DIY shelter ideas, swamp coolers, Mylar and other ways to stay alive comfortable at Burning Man. If you haven’t checked that post, go read it now! You’ll learn more from the comment section than you will from my post, no doubt.

 

Hi folks! I’m sure everyone out there is busy getting gear together. Between fabricating the scorpion shell for your new art car, obtaining replacement links for your geodesic dome and trying to learn to walk in stilts, you’ve probably been too busy to think about your bike. Your two-wheeled steed isn’t something to leave for last, though, so I thought I’d better bring it up.

Black Rock City is a city of bikes. You need a bike to get you to the hidden art in deep playa, or the dance party at 3:15&D, or back home before the windstorm hits. I consulted the Department of Public Works and the Green Bike Project staff, and we all came up with some suggestions to make your cycling experience muy fantastico. Read more »

April 26th, 2011  |  Filed under Playa Tips, Preparation

DIY Your Burn: Shelter, Shade & Cool Cool Comfort

I recently met a Reno local who is preparing for her first burn. “Do I really need to get an RV?” she asked me. “My friend told me you can’t do Burning Man without an RV. I just want to bring a tent.”

This hurts me on the inside. I haven’t been around that long — my first burn was 2003 — but I’ve spent many burns in a tent, and a couple of two-month work seasons besides. One of the things I hate to see is the rapidly increasing number of rental RVs on playa. They have their place, sure. If you’ve got small kids or a physical need for top-notch shelter, you might want to spend thousands renting an RV, plus hundreds in gas to drive it to Black Rock City and keep the A/C running. But that is a LOT of money (and a fair amount of pollution), and it’s not necessary to spend that much. You can be smarter about it, and I’m about to tell you how.

It is completely possible, and pretty easy, to build your own shelter and cooling system. You can have an airtight, windproof, shaded and cool place to sleep away the day, and you can build it yourself for a fraction of the cost of an RV rental.

THE INCREDIBLE HEXAYURT – $300

Holy wow! In 2007, Treehugger and Current TV hosted a contest for the best “eco-ideas” for Burning Man. The winner was a DIY shelter that costs under $300 to build, packs up flat into your truck, and can be reused year after year. Vinay Gupta’s Hexayurt is now being tested as disaster relief and refugee shelter. Why? Because it WORKS. This is far and away the best shelter idea I’ve heard of. Read more »

April 4th, 2011  |  Filed under Environment, Playa Tips

DIY Your Burn!

I learned to hold a hammer at Burning Man.

Hi folks, I’m The Hun and I’m excited to be blogging for you this year. Some of you already know me from past escapades, and some know me from my current blog, Love and Trash. And some of you are my new best friends.

Back in 2007 for the Green Man, Tom Price (among others) came up with a series of useful tips for Greening Your Burn: doing Burning Man in a more environmentally-responsible manner. Four years later, environmental pressures are still mounting. Financial pressures, too, for many of us.

So I’d like to revisit the Greening Your Burn series, but with a self-reliant twist. After all, Doing Things Yourself is generally more affordable and more eco-friendly than Buying Things From The Store. It’s also more fun, as long as you plan well, and you might actually pick up some new skills.

photo by Perfecto Insecto

I’ll be using this space to share ideas, inspiration and practical knowledge that’ll help you have the raddest Burning Man ever ever, but without having to spend thousands for your gear and accommodations.

Let’s call it DIY Your Burn.

Now, I know I’m not the only do-it-yourselfer around here. So I ask you: what are some of the things you do, great ideas you’ve seen, projects you can recommend? Please leave a comment with any and all suggestions. Let’s share the knowledge and DIY this burn.