The Ride Across America.

This is it. The Ride Across America Fundraiser. Please read to the end.

If you are here, you have probably read one of my blog posts... but in case you didn't, in a nutshell:

I am riding a motorcycle across the breadth of the United States, with three primary goals:
1) To commemorate, and follow in the footsteps of,  the ride undertaken by Robert Pirsig, which was immortalized in his seminal book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance... on the 50th anniversary of the original ride.
2) To celebrate the life of Tricia McCauley, who shared a love of, and interest in, the book, and who provided the dog-eared copy that will accompany me across the country. If you are unfamiliar with Tricia's story, you may post a private message to me here.
3)  To try and get some dialogue going, as I travel, with both you (the reader) and those I encounter - to try and suss out what we are feeling, and whether and how some of our wounds can be healed, in this tumultuous time. 

To those ends, I aim to provide a little content value, in the form of prose, photos, and a video log of the journey, and charge a fee for access, in an effort to bolster the savings I dumped into health care this year. One half of every single dollar raised will go to the the Tricia Fund, a fund set up in the afetrmath of Tricia's loss to benefit a health care fund for artists in the Washington Metro region.

And so, that is what this fund raiser page is for. It's an ambitious goal - but I doubled it when I relaized that I wanted to support something I cared about. So, here's how it works. There are three levels*:

Ride Along: Grants access to the blog, TilderForge, for the duration of The Ride. Here, i hope to carry on a conversation as I go; if you want me to ask a question of someone i meet, you can post iot here, and I'll try. I'll answer questions, ruminate (as I am prone to do) and try to inject some humoor into the quest.

Sidecar: Adds access to the dedicated Instagram Feed that I have set up for the Ride. Updated daily, with a dump of the photos from the day, and my scintillating commentary thereon. I will be hitting a long list of cities and as many National parks as I can on the Ride, including the Delaware Shore, Chicago, Minneapolis, the Dakotas, Crater Lake, Tahoe, San Franciso, and, well, Montana. There are bound to be some amazing photos...

Passenger: Adds access to the YouTube channel. Ride along, literally, with me for the month of July. I have procured a GoPro Hero 4k, and will be capturing some of the ride from a helmet mount, and taking video of events and conversations as I am able along the way. I am a veteran writer and photographer, but I am the first to admit that I am new to the world of vieography, so I encourage people to try this level with as much eye to the bloopers and outatkes as to the content. ;-)

To sign up: Simply make a donation, and let me know in what level you want to be enrolled - this is going to be on the honor system - I am not using the GoFundMe "Reward Level" system, because you would have to donate the full amount all at once. I encourage people to ante up with at least 20% of the ultimate amount they wish to pledge; I will be accepting donations all the way through August 31st of this year, so you may divide your total up into as many as 6 monthly payments. Every single donation will be forwarded at 50% to the Tricia Fund, and you will receive an e-mail acknowledging your donation to both the GoFundMe and to the Tricia Fund. At this time, the Tricia Fund is not a 501c3, so it is not tax deductible, but given the chages ot the tax code, I'm not sure that would mnatetr anyway. Do it for the feeling of helping others, less fortunate than us. (For perspective, I have insurance, and I am trying to restore the savings that one surgery wiped out.)

*Each content site will have a link that is e-mailed to participants in response to their donation. Again - this is all on the honor system, so no sharing.

Lastly: Thank you. Whether you decide to contribute or not, you are a part of my life, and have seen me through a couple of years of difficult times, and shared in some amazing triumphs. I know that anyone who stays a aware these days can feel embattled all the time. I count you, my friends and chosen family as the best single asset I have.

Now: Let's RIDE!!!

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Joseph Musumeci 
Lexington Park, MD
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