Friday, July 31, 2009

More pics by Lisa...

Check out more of Lisa's photography here...


Lisa Howard...I love your pics!

Photos Courtesy of Lisa Howard
We have another addition to the 7 Views photography exhibit benefit and auction. Lisa Howard thanks for sending me your photos. they're amazing! Her photo's tell a unique story, her keen eye picks up some breath taking shots and all I gotta say is Wow! I can't wait to get these pictures blown up.
I first met Lisa back in late 2007 in a small village in Northern Thailand. Our photography hobby instantly brought us together and a great friendship was born. I can remember our nights of hanging out with friends from all over the world in huts made of bamboo. Those were the good ol days when all we had to worry about was where we would find our next bowl of Pad Thai or where we would take our cameras for the day.
I wrote to Lisa the other day and this was her response..."dabbling in a bit of photography, been teaching film and media at the schools in the next town (somewhere in New Zealand), working as a coordinator for an environmental company helping organize a carbon monitoring project and tonight I'm going searching for endangered snails on the side of a mountain!" Wow...this chick is cool!
Thanks for the pics Lisa...we appreciate it!
Peace, Power and Pedal
for more info on the project check out our facebook event...

Friday, July 24, 2009

7 Views full flyer

The flyers are finished! At least we think. Lets go to print...Thanks again for all the hard work Devin. These look very professional!
Check out other work by Devin...
Peace, Power and Pedal

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I want a guest speaker!

Aight people...

Here I am at the community in Jalapa, Guatemala giving a speech to the people benefiting from this project. Check out this awesome picture of me in my Plan shirt with my eyes closed! ahahahah! I wish I had another picture. It would have been cool if someone took this from the back of the school so that you could see the 1000 people listening on. I don't really remember what I said during this speech because I was SOOOOOO nervous. But I do remember talking about how the people of Jalapa were very kind, gracious, hard working and had BIG hearts. I told them that education was so important! I promised to work as hard as my Guatemalan brothers and with a lot of work I would be able to convince the good people of San Francisco and beyond to help, pitch in and eventually we will build this school for the children.

So the 7 Views on Saturday, September 19th is going to get here faster than I think. I'm sure I'll have another speech and I promise that I'll try not to be as nervous as the last one!


I'm looking for a guest speaker...

Greg Mortenson you out there?

John Wood are you interested?

Does anyone have any connections to these guys? These are the dream speakers. I'll compile a list...

Peace, Power and Pedal


On the Attack...

I just emailed...

Professional Photographers of America's charity branch
San Francisco Street Photogrphers group on facebook
San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

Maybe their interested in Sponsoring this event? I'm not looking for any money or anything like that. Instead these like minded people, groups and organizations should jump on board. This will be a great time to promote their events, show support for a worthy cause and in return promote our 7 Views event.

Is anyone out there listening to this???? Maybe someone reading this knows someone with one of these organizations? Myabe you have advice, insight or a suggestion? Maybe you are a part of an organization that would like to help promote this event and help a great cause?

Peace, Power and Pedal


I'm looking for groups to co-sponsor the event

The flyer is coming right along! It's hot...check it out.

Back when I was riding through Mexico I realized that for this event to be successful I need to reach out to like minded groups and organizations. I've been tapping into my social circles of friends and their friends...hard! I love my friends and family and they have given so much of their time, energy, creative know how and of course money. Now I feel that it's time to reach out to other like minded people. I feel that if I can find these people and tell me about this incredible journey than maybe they will be willing to help.

Using the power of this blog and filling it with images and stories has been an incredible tool. I mean...I was able to raise $11,000 for the school construction project in Jalapa and I wasn't even in the United States. That's pretty amazing. Now its time to again use the Blog and put myself in front of these like minded people. But where do I start? How do I find these people? I can't just sit at my house in Oakland and use the force! I gotta get out there...shake some hands...and tell the story of A Man...a Dream...and A Bike...

Where I begin?

How about Facebook?

I was looking at some cool non profit organizations in San Francisco and in the surrounding bay area. I have been extremely interested in the micro finance arena. Basically, Micro finance is connecting entrepreneur people in the developing word to people in the developed world. These companies act as a platform for donations. The one thing that I really like is the fact that it's also a cultural exchange other than just a straight donation. These web pages provide stories from real people in villages from China to Uganda.

The hottest org out there right no is Kiva. I actually applied for a job with them but I guess they didn't feel that my bike ride qualified me for the director of development job! hahahaha! Anyway...I found this other amazing organization called Wokai. They basically do the same thing as Kiva but instead they work with people directly in China when Kiva is all around the world. So...I was doing some research and was really liking what I saw. Eventually I made my way to Kiva's facebook fan page and then Wokai's fan page. From Wokai's fan page I found a link to an affiliate organization called World Affairs Council Young Professionals-San Francisco. It's a big ol name but it sounded interesting. Anyway...I check out the facebook site than their web page and found some seriously interesting stuff.

Basically The World Affairs Council which is based in San Francisco brings guest speakers to the city from all over the world to discuss international topics and issues and then they bring their professional insight into how we can go about to solve the issues. The World Affairs Council has a branch that is geared to Young Professionals. Very Interesting stuff! I found on their web page that they were having a meeting the very next it is. This was a perfect opportunity to get out there and see what presumably like minded people are doing.

I got my butt off my couch in Oakland and cruised out to the Young Professionals (IF for short) meeting. The first 3 people I met had done around the world trips, lived in another country or were planning to do some type of charity work in another country! HOME AT LAST! It was such an amazing feeling to be surrounded by like minded people. This was turning out to be some very exciting stuff. The meeting was great. The whole purpose of the night was to bring together volunteers, members and board staff to conduct a steering meeting. We broke off into small groups to discuss upcoming events and talks. I sat in on a brainstorming group The small group was supposed to throw out international topics. Vote on the interesting topics and then from there bring it to the council. If approved a small group of people would turn that idea into a full blown event with guest speakers an all. I like the idea about doing a talk on ho social media was changing the face of communication and persuasion. Very interesting stuff!

Eventually I was able to do a bit of networking and I finally got in touch with the president of IF. I told her that I had an event coming up and that I was looking for co-sponsors. I told her I wanted to contact her and she quickly wrote down her email before continuing her next convo. Well...I email'd her about this wild adventure that I have been on for the almost the past 2 years. I told her about quitting my job, travelling around the world, the bike trip, Plan USA, and eventually the photo exhibit benefit and auction. I got an email response..."Amazing!" from her! Hell ya...I wow'd the president of IF...not bad! hahahah!

So...I moving forward with IF. The president passed my proposal to the board. They voted on it and it looks like they want to be a part of the event. With a bit of luck and a lot of hard work...hopefully...IF will bring the peeps to this amazing event so that we can tell a unique story and support children living in poverty in Central America. Fingers crossed!

Peace, Power and Pedal


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Devin Gumm


Check out Dein's web site if you get a chance. His stuff is sick!

Thanks agai for all the help with the flyer buddy!


The kid in the flyer!

My last post was about the creation and production of the flyer. I talked about the different ideas that we had and the different roads that we took to get it done. This time I want to talk about the image of the kid. This little guy has become the face of the 7 Views photo auction and benefit for Plan USA.
Above is the original image that I took when I made a visit to a small community near Somoto, Nicargua. And below that is the image of the kid on the flyer that my good buddy Devin put together. Thanks again for all the hard work Devin!
The whole point of the last Hill Before Home was to ride my bike from Panama City, Panama to San Francisco, CA. The entire ride took me 3 months and 7 days to complete. I rode through 8 countries and marked something around 3,500 miles. I wish I knew the exact mileage! I did this to raise awareness and funds for children living in poverty in Central America. My idea was that if I did something inspirational if I did something crazy enough people would pay attention and notice this cause. I teamed up with an organization called Plan USA. The idea of the trip was not only bike from Panama City to San Francisco but to also make special stops along the way. So I made special stops in Nicaragua, El Salvador and eventually Guatemala where the school is going to be built. I took a picture of this kid during one of my visits when visiting a community in Nicaragua.
The day I actually took this picture is a day that I will never forget.
The day started around 6am. The Plan driver picked me up at my hotel and we drove to the Plan office in Somoto, Nicaragua. The office itself was full of plan Staff running around, grabbing some coffee (in Nicaragua they take there coffee black with sugar which I came to love) and looking over their daily assignments. The office was a cool looking home that was converted for commercial use. There were probably around 30 people in their Plan shirts running around. Some staff stays in the office but a lot of the staff was actually headed off to the village's that they help.
I met with Horacio Torres the director of Plan Nicaragua. The day before we all visited a village a few hours from the office and this day we were going to visit another community, this time even further away. I remember being excited to head out to another community and I was excited because I had a chance to go with Horacio...the director..and someone so knowledgeable about the problems and issues and of course the solutions.
So we drove through the hills of Nicaragua over rocky roads and dried river beds. This particular community, because it was so far removed from the town, had even less services, acess to good and because of that was even in a poorer condition than the rest. I think we were something like 30 kilometers from the Honduran border. Plan had been working in this community for some time and because of their work within the community the children had access to a school, bathrooms and a pump for clean water.
Once I got to the community we were greeted by some volunteers and community members. The people in the dusty school room were primarily farmers. There was one teacher and also about 10 or 15 kids. I think all in all there were bout 40 people there. The people of the community were eager to tell Plan about their needs as a community. They also wanted to thank Plan for the help that they have received.
There was one particular moment that hard to take. 3 kids about 9 or 10 years old gave a presentation. They presented two pictures. One picture was of their school as it is now and the next picture was of their school as they wanted it to be. The first picture was dark and dusty looking. The other was full of flowers, had another school on it with a garden and flowers. With all the courage in the room they told the people of the community and they people from Plan that they hoped to get a clean and safe classroom where the snakes couldn't get in. The existing classroom was dangerous, dark and scary they said. I'm sure it took a lot of courage to do that.
Finally, Horacio Torres gave a talk. The idea of the talk was to tell the people of this community that plan was there to help. But Plan wasn't there to give handouts...rather they were there to help these people help themselves. The speech was accepted with nods, smiles and feeling of positivity. It was a great motivational speech and inspiring. The people eventually came up with an action list. The came up with a list of to do's that would help the community to get the clean and safe school with the garden.
During Horacio's talk a small chubby cute little boy with a huge smile walked unknowingly into the meeting. It was in the middle of this serious talk and the kid was laughing and giggling. It gave Horacio an opportunity to tell the people that "this is why we are here...this is why you must work that your children and your future have the opportunities that they deserve." The kid just ran right through the middle of the meeting and eventually found his mom.
Outside I caught up to his mom and nicely asked if I could snap a quick shot. And there you have it...
Peace, Power and Pedal

Story of the flyer

The story of the flyer...

We've been putting sometime into the flyers these past few weeks. And were proud to get the final product out there.

So Mike has been on my butt these past few weeks to get a flyer produced. He's absolutly right when he tells me that the flyers are key to marketing the event. So many times these past few weeks I wished I had the flyers on me to promote the event. I meet people all the time and usually the conversation turns into..."so..what do you do..." and that's when I usually turn the conversation to Plan, the bike trip and the upcoming photo exhibit.

So I finally got on the ball and I contacted my good buddy Devin Gumm. A few weeks back we were texting and emailing back and forth about the flyers. It was one of the conversations that were full of ideas and "times to meet" but we never put a date to it. Its one of the situations where the meeting between Devin and I would never happen unless we set a firm date.

So Devin calls me about 2 sunday's ago and he is headed to The Park Chalet. The Park Chalet is this cool restaurant and bar in Golden Gate Park. It was a beautiful sunday afternoon and those a re the best times to head to Golden Gate Park. So, kinda on a whim, I decided to drag myself from Oakland to San Francisco to meet up and get some food and a few drinks. On the way out there I called our friend Blake to see if he wanted to kick it as well. So I got Blake, he lives close to Golden Gate Park, and we headed out. This particular Sunday was awesome...the weather was perfect. At PC it was Devin, myself, Blake, Candice (Devin's girlfriend) and Candice's brother and his girlfriend. It was a great time to catch up and kick it.

Eventually we all decided to head back to Devin's place to work on the flyer. It was a perfect opportunity. So Blake, Devin, Candice and I headed back to Devin and Candice's place. It was a great opportunity to get everyone tgether to work on a flyer. Both Blake and Candice have also helped out with this event. Candice a few months back also threw a one day bake sell at the school where she teaches and Blake has been my IT Guru for the 7 Views project. So getting everyone together was a perfect opportunity.

So after a few hours of brainstoming on the flyer and munching on some bomb ribs from Candice's brothers BBQ early that day and Devin doing his magic we came up with this flyer...

It was all a brainstorm and I felt that this image would be a powerful picture. On top of that I had written down a Barack Obama quote the day before. We thought it would be an attention grabbing picture and powerful quote. I felt that it was going in a good direction and everyone else agreed.

So...before Devin put to much time into the flyer I wanted to get a few second opinions. I sent it to Mike and he hated it! hahaahah! Thanks for the honesty Mike...I really appreciate it and I of course value your thought. He didn't like the image, he thought it wasn't properly communicating what we were trying to do plus he didn't like the font. He came up with a great idea to use the last flyer (from the event in April) as a precedent for this flyer. That way we could use the same font and "feel" because we are trying to brand an image. Great suggestion!

I also showed this image to my friend Reggie and Rachelle. They didn't like it as well. They have been a huge support for me lately for this event and beyond. They didn't like the image because it was depressing...and it is! I like to think that its more persuasive than depressing. They suggested something more positive. Rachelle said something like "this entire Last Hill event is about positivity"! Great call Rachelle...that it is! I showed them the image of this guy and we all agreed that we should use this image.

Sorry Devin...back to the drawing board. Devin is a total professional and he has put a lot of time and effort into the last flyer and now he has to start over. So...Devin came up with this new flyer. At first we were going to use the actual iage of the kid. In the original picture he was holding his mom's hand and there people in the background. He said that original picture was too busy so he imposed the image of the kid on a different picture that I gave hime.

He finally finished the flyer and put some text on it. He wrote me an email and attached the picture and said something like "this is PIMP and you know it"!

Hell ya...that looks way better.

So I showed the different, new and imporved picture to a few different people including Mike, Reggie, Rachelle, my mom, sister and cousin who is an artist. They all loved it..BUT...

We loved the image BUT the font and words were all worng. Almost there Devin...sorry buddy we need to make another change. I think by this point Devin was/is getting a bit irratated...sorry buddy!

Finally we got the words right. Cleaned it up and added the Plan USA logo and yes devin this flyer is PIMP and I know it. I'll be super proud to hand this flyer out to people and to slap it all over San Francisco. We have about 7 weeks until the event and were getting excited!

So now we just need to finalize the back of the flyer and get a logo from 111 Minna. 111 Minna has been a bit slow to get back to me so maybe well have to do without their image. Sucks for them really because were promoting their venue for free!

Thanks for ll the help, suggestions and input everyone! This flyer is positive, professional and flashy! Its perfect!


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rock and Roll baby!

Photos courtesy of Brian Kellher

Hard core rock and roll with an artistic twist! Freakin awesome! I love these pictures! Thanks for the addition Brian.

The 7 Views Photography exhibit is proud to add another photographer to the mix...Brian Kellher. His black and white action shots from punk concerts near and far are going to add the rock and roll grunge twist to the show that we need. I first met Brian over beers and basketball in a small town called Pai, Thailand. Within minutes we were hanging out in this chilled out place telling stories from back home. I think the entire night was actually spent in the back of some bamboo hut looking bar just chilling, showing off our trvel photo's and telling dirty jokes. We hit it off to say the least.
Brian is currently somewhere in the Australian outback. When I first told him about the exhibit he was all for it and super excited to help out for a great cause. But he told me I would have to wait for his photos because he was something like 200 kilometers from the closet proper internet connection. He's somewhere out there fighting the kangas and avoiding the dingos...hahahah!
Thanks for the pics brother!
About Brian...
"Punk rock and photography are just about as awesome asa eachother. I'm Irish but have been traveling full time since October 2007, which means I don't get to see as many gigs as I'd like. The only thing better than a good gig is waking up the next day and realizing you've captured it on camera. It's rare for me, but incredibly satisfying."

More info about the exhibit...

Peace, Power and Pedal

Friday, July 10, 2009

7 Views photo exhibit...our latest addition

Photos courtesy of Joshua Rapp

We got another photographer lined up for our 7 Views event in September!
Joshua Rapp, Black and White photographer, has submitted his pictures for the event at 111 Minna event in Spetember and we are very excited to show off a few of them here! Josh specializes in black and white photos. His great eye for composition tells a unique story about the wold that we live in today. Josh a meteorologist for the US Air Force has spent time abroad in Korea and Germany. His experience living abroad is evident in his dramatic work.
Josh, my cousin, and I did some travelling in Germany, Czech republic and Slovakia back in the spring of 2008. Josh was living in Germany at the time and we were lucky enough to catch up and hang out. The time was filled walking his cool dog, Adonis, in Munich's main park our sharing a few laughs in the beer halls of Bratislava. Were super excited to bring him on board for this amazing event and his B&W pics are going t be the perfect addition!
Josh actually was the one to introduce me to Plan USA. Back in November of 2008 when I was living in Santiago de Chile I started to research non profits to do this entire fundraiser for. I found a few groups like Save The Children and CARE. Right at the time that I was researching these groups Josh sent me an email telling me about Plan and how he was sponsoring a child through the organization. I got right on Plan's webpage and ever sense then I have been a strong advocate for Plan and their mission.
The 7 Views international photography exhibit is a one day special event that is benefiting the school construction project in Jalapa, Guatemala. Check the link below for more information about the event!
Tell your friends!
Peace, Power and Pedal

Monday, July 6, 2009

"7 Travelers. 7 Views. Photo's from Around The World." - Update

Photo's courtesy of Tom Robinson.
Some exciting news about our international photo exhibit benefiting Plan USA and the children of Jalapa, Guatemala.
Tom Robinson, travel photographer, has joined our team for the "7 Travelers. 7 Views. Photo's from Around The World." event at 111 Minna on Saturday, September 19, 2009.
"Tom Robinson, an English photographer born in 1981, who finds himself most at home in parts of the world that are nothing like back home in Saint Albans, England. Tom has travelled extensively through South East Aisa, South and Central America, yet still feels he has only scratched the surface of these continents. With a wealth of expereince in both photographery and travel he is able to capture the shots. Some of his previous clients include Orange, Yahoo!, Tequilla London, Castrol and Schmap."
I first met Tom and his girlfriend Verity back in December of 2007 while travelling in South East Asia. We were catching a slow boat along the Mekong River from Wiang Kaen, Thailand to Luang Prabang, Laos. After a 2 day slow boat ride on the murky water of the might Mekong River and over crazy coctails made of Lao Lao we all became great friends. His pictures from Vietnam to Peru are breath taking and were very excited to add him to the exhibit.
For more information and to view some of Tom's pictures you can visit his website I've added some of his photos to this post above.
For more information about the event please visit our facebook event page Don't forget to invite your friends!
Peace, Power and Pedal