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10 days until the start of The Ride.
Sky and I are sitting in matching wooden rocking chairs. The rhythmic motion of mine never stops but hers never starts. It's pitch black past the edge of her porch. The mountain is so silent and the air is so clean it's actually satisfying to breathe. Everything is in stark contrast to the city life I left behind. Even though I've only been here for 2 days, the months of preparation make it feel much longer.
In January, I saw a post about The Ride on Skylar's (newest) twitter profile. I had not realized that she was back after yet another ban. Months had passed since I last saw one of her tweets. This one, a screenshot of a FB post, caught my attention not only because it was Skylar but also because she was returning with a call to mobilize :
For some reason I felt compelled to reach out to her despite the fact that I was an anonymous follower and we had never interacted before. I wrote a long DM explaining that I was happy to see her back and interested in learning more about The Ride. However, for reasons probably related to social anxiety, I didn't send it. Copy & Delete. So I'm sure you can imagine my surprise when a DM from Skylar appeared in my inbox a little bit later :
She asked me to friend her on Facebook so we could talk more. I made an account and sent a friend request that day. After messaging back and forth a bit, she asked me to join a video call so she could talk to me in real time. Our conversation lasted more than 5 hours. I was shocked when she said her plan was to ride across the country alone. 61 or not, you have to have ovaries of steel to face that massive undertaking alone. My reaction was simply "No, you can't do that. It's not safe! You at least need someone to sleep next to you at night." and from that moment on, I was fully committed to The Ride. No money, no motorcycle, but no reservations.
As I write from my perpetually rocking chair almost 6 months later, I still don't have any money. But I do have a motorcycle. Looking across the table between us, I make eye-contact with Skylar. I see unwavering resolve reflected back at me. Courage calls to courage. We will do this. To save women and children.
In strength and solidarity, sisters...
We Rise. We Ride. We Rebel.
Love, Joy xx