Dearest Hills 4 Hillz Followers,
Given our lack of recent writing we have heard a rumor circulating that we lost our way (geographically and ideologically) in Upstate NY, joining a Trump biker gang and proselytizing the Trump Truth in Missouri from our Harley Davidsons. We write to dispel such notions, and inform you all that we are still spinning our wheels at a solid 10-15 mph across the ever-vast United States, making rational arguments in favor of Hillary, and have managed to reach Ohio’s liberal bastion, Columbus! To be honest, we have discovered it is rather difficult to bike 70-80 miles per day, eat enough food to avoid malnourishment, explore the places and meet people in the areas through which we travel, canvass for the Hillary campaign during off-days, stay in touch with our mamas and papas along the way, and maintain our inter webs presence…go figure.
The most significant trip news of the past 10 days is that we drafted a new team member in Buffalo! Meet Nina McKee, 22 (as of September 23rd), a global citizen who has lived in Japan, England and Canada, and who, of course, is stoked about Hillary. We put Nina through the gauntlet during her first week on the team, greeting her with three consecutive 75 mile days, two over the treacherously rolling Pennsylvania hills in off-and-on torrential downpours, and sending her to the most dangerous, Trump looking houses when canvassing. Suffice to say she was absolutely joyous (as were we), when we pulled in to Pittsburgh on the night of the 18th.
We rested in Pittsburgh for two days, enjoying the wonderful hospitality of Eliza, Bill, and Will Brown in the city of steel and bridges (fun fact: Pitts has 446 bridges, most of any city in the world). In P-Burgh we connected with the Hillary office and a particularly enthusiastic campaign employee Simeon (see photo) for a canvassing adventure in the Hazelwood neighborhood, one of the most economically depressed parts of town and home-area of rapper Wiz Khalifa (we met one of his hype-men!). The residents of Hazelwood were mostly quite friendly and either pro-Hillary or anti-Trump. We did, however, meet a number of people who were either apathetic about politics and especially this election, or angry at all politicians and especially these two candidates. “They’re all crooks” was yelled at us a few times, a “I am not voting for anything” was a common sentiment. Yet there were many others grateful for our helping get people organized and registered to vote. Canvassing was also an awesome way to explore a part of town we would have never otherwise visited.
With heavy hearts we left the haven of Pittsburgh (truly not an easy task with many hills and bridges to cross), and made it west to Ohio after a brief pass-through the ol’ West Virginia panhandle. It is exciting to once again be traveling through battleground territory, abound with yard signs (mostly for Trump), many people with opposing points of view, and more Hillary offices with which to connect. We have begun conducting informal interviews with people we meet along the way, which we will start posting to the blog soon. Tomorrow we canvass in Columbus before heading north to Michigan. We will also be taking a team trip to the Kanye West concert (!!!) after canvassing. Got to mix business with pleasure.
Biking the good bike while anxiously refreshing Nate Silver’s election predictions,
Nina, Ben, Mike, Meredith and Jamie
Miles Since Rochester, NY: 538
Most Spectacular Landmark: Niagara Falls clad in red, white, and blue
Best Camping Spot: the backyard of Trump supporters in Sheakleyille, PA
Worst Camping Spot: the backyard of Trump supporters in Sheakleyille, PA
Flat Tires: 7! Ben (3) Mere (2) Jamie (1) Nina (1) Ben and Mere are now tied for the league lead with three each. Mike still rocking a clean slate like a champ.