Funded! This project was successfully funded on April 23, 2012.

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On May 5, 2012, I'm turning 40. I'm going to mark the occasion by riding my bike for 40 days straight. With a typewriter behind me.

TYPE RIDER: CYCLING THE GREAT AMERICAN POEM

Note: If you don't have 7 minutes to see the above video, but have time to see a 1.5-minute trailer, go here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_Znrzg_3Uw

. . . . . . . . .

When I was a teenager, my dad put a typewriter in the hallway that linked up all of our bedrooms. The hallway was a landing spot at the top of the stairs, a shared space that served as a kind of pause between our gatherings as a family and the solitude of where we each slept. He put the typewriter on a desk against the far left wall, scrolled the paper in, and started the first lines of a short story. And each night before bed, I'd go over to that desk, peer at the paper, see what someone else had written, and add my own words. That story and the stories that followed fed my imagination, drew me more deeply into my own creativity, and created an inextricable bond between those of us who wrote together.

Now I want to bring that communal hallway back, that writing desk, and the typewriter that spun out new and fascinating stories. I want to make a space for collaboration and creativity, to invite people to contribute their voices to the larger story of the community we're all in.

On May 5, 2012, I'm turning 40, and in the spirit of creativity, connection, community, and conquering feats of physical endurance, I am embarking on a 40-day bike journey from Amherst, Massachusetts to Milwaukee, Wisconsin toting a typewriter behind me. (Why Milwaukee? Well, it just so happens to be the birthplace of the typewriter!)

I will be riding my bicycle for 40 straight days. Along the way, I'll be stopping in cities, towns, and other communities and will be setting up a mobile typing booth with the purpose of inviting people to contribute to a collaborative piece of writing. I'm not sure yet what form this will take - one poem, or a series of poems, or something I've yet to even imagine - but my goal remains the same: to bring people together through the written word, and to do so in a way that's collaborative yet personal, free-form yet structured, and also offers a shared space for different viewpoints and voices, and to deliver a mobile, tactile, interactive, and accessible platform for creative expression to people of all writing levels. And by taking the time to do this all by bicycle, I want to encourage people to nurture the art - and vital importance! - of slowing down to engage more deeply with our physical environments, to connect to the movement and power of our bodies, and to connect with others through our words. A portion of my funding will go toward a live video component which will allow supporters to experience the trip virtually.

So...

I invite you to help me deliver my aqua Remington Ten Forty typewriter to more than 40 destinations through this fantastic bicycle voyage. By supporting my project, you will enable me to bring an unusual and interactive writing experience to dozens of communities on my way to Milwaukee and to people who will come together to create literary history. I am so excited to get this trip underway, and to share in the journey with you.

- Maya

P.S. Check out the NEW BACKER REWARD!
Starting at $16.00, you can sponsor a route on the trip. Pick the destination on my itinerary (you can find this in the "Pledge $16 or More" section) and pledge the dollar amount for the corresponding mileage it will take to get me there from the previous day's ride (these mileages are also located there). Please note that the following routes have already been sponsored: Westfield, MA; Canton, CT; New Milford, CT; Clinton, NJ; Mahwah, NJ; Cornwall, PA; Black Lick, PA; Middletown, MA; Fannettsburg, PA; Johnstown, PA; Apollo, PA; Shaker Heights, OH; Detroit, MI; Ann Arbor, MI; Homer, MI; Chicago, IL; Kenosha, WI; Milwaukee, WI.

FAQ

  • I will have a support vehicle that will meet me at various points throughout the days' rides. So there will be someone nearby to help with various aspects of the project, from preparing the mobile typing station location to providing support in the event of flat tires.

    And although I will likely be cycling alone for portions of the trip, my hope is to have other riders join me for as long as they are able. In fact, if you or anyone you know might like to drop in for a day or two or longer, please send me an email!

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  • I'm sure there will be days when it will harder to get out of bed than others, but my itinerary has me going at a very manageable amount of miles each day. The routes average about 32 miles a day.

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  • I think a little bit of crazy is a good thing when it comes to setting goals that involve making one's dreams a reality. But I wouldn't say I'm certifiable. Don't hold me to it, though - I guess we'll see what happens by the time I roll into Milwaukee.

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    Sponsor a Type Rider Route! Pick one destination on the list below and pledge the mile amount that will get me there! On the day I'll be riding your sponsored route, I will name my bicycle in your honor! May 5 Amherst, MA to Westfield, MA 24.8 miles May 6 Canton, CT 27.4 miles May 7 New Milford, CT 38.3 miles May 8 Carmel Hamlet, NY 25.5 miles May 9 Tomkins Cove, NY 30.9 miles May 10 Mahwah, NJ 17.4 miles May 11 Parsippany, NJ 28.7 miles May 12 Clinton, NJ 39.8 miles May 13 Green Lane, PA 49.8 miles May 14 Flying Hills, PA 31.5 miles May 15 Cornwall, PA 33.3 miles May 16 Middletown, PA 21.2 miles May 17 Carlisle, PA 28.5 miles May 18 Fannettsburg, PA 43.5 miles May 19 Wells Tannery, PA 24.5 miles May 20 St. Clairsville, PA 25.9 miles May 21 Johnstown, PA 31.5 miles (sponsored) May 22 Black Lick, PA 25.7 miles May 23 Apollo, PA 30.1 miles May 24 Cabot, PA 21.5 miles May 25 Prospect, PA 20.4 miles May 26 Youngstown, OH 38.1 miles May 27 Garrettsville, OH 30.8 miles May 28 Shaker Heights, OH 33.9 miles May 29 Avon Lake, OH 28.5 miles May 30 Huron, OH 30.2 miles May 31 Elmore, OH 47.9 miles June 1 Monroe, MI 39.1 miles June 2 Detroit, MI 37.7 miles June 3 Ann Arbor, MI 40.9 miles June 4 Jackson, MI 37.1 miles June 5 Homer, MI 23. 6 miles June 6 Three Rivers, MI 48.9 miles June 7 Elkhart, IN 31.0 miles June 8 La Porte, IN 45.9 miles June 9 Hobart, IN 34.8 miles June 10 Chicago, IL 41.3 miles June 11 Waukegan, IL 41.4 miles June 12 Kenosha, WI 16.5 miles June 13 Milwaukee, WI 37.3 miles

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    57 backers

    Access to project blog and newsletter updates, two commemorative postcards from the road, and a PDF of the final piece of writing that gets produced.

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    Access to project blog and newsletter updates, two commemorative postcards from the road, and a printed booklet of the final poem that gets produced.

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    27 backers

    Access to project blog and newsletter updates, two commemorative postcards from the road, a printed booklet of the final poem that gets produced, and a "Type Rider" journal and pen set.

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    7 backers

    Access to project blog and newsletter updates, three commemorative postcards from the road, a printed booklet of the final poem that gets produced, a "Type Rider" journal and pen set, and a copy of "Lost Highways & Living Rooms," a compilation of writings from my 2010 Tour de Word project.

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    5 backers

    Access to project blog and newsletter updates, three commemorative postcards from the road, a printed booklet of the final poem that gets produced, a "Type Rider" journal and pen set, a copy of "Lost Highways & Living Rooms," a compilation of writings from my 2010 Tour de Word project, and professional editing feedback on a piece of writing you or someone you love is working on.

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    Access to project blog and newsletter updates, three commemorative postcards from the road, a printed booklet of the final poem that gets produced, a "Type Rider" journal and pen set, a copy of "Lost Highways & Living Rooms," a compilation of writings from my 2010 Tour de Word project, professional editing feedback on two pieces of writing you or someone you love is working on, and a limited-edition Type Rider t-shirt.

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    3 backers

    Access to project blog and newsletter updates, three commemorative postcards from the road, two printed booklets of the final poem that gets produced, a "Type Rider" journal and pen set, a copy of "Lost Highways & Living Rooms," a compilation of writings from my 2010 Tour de Word project, professional editing feedback on two pieces of writing you or someone you love is working on, a limited-edition Type Rider t-shirt, and a commissioned poem with a subject of your choosing.

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    Access to project blog and newsletter updates, three commemorative postcards from the road, two printed booklets of the final poem that gets produced, a "Type Rider" journal and pen set, a copy of "Lost Highways & Living Rooms," a compilation of writings from my 2010 Tour de Word project, professional editing feedback on two pieces of writing you or someone you love is working on, a limited-edition Type Rider t-shirt, a commissioned poem with a subject of your choosing, and the opportunity to join me on the road for up to 5 days (meals included).

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    2 backers

    Access to project blog and newsletter updates, three commemorative postcards from the road, two printed booklets of the final poem that gets produced, a "Type Rider" journal and pen set, a copy of "Lost Highways & Living Rooms," a compilation of writings from my 2010 Tour de Word project, professional editing feedback on two pieces of writing you or someone you love is working on, a limited-edition Type Rider t-shirt, a commissioned poem with a subject of your choosing, and the opportunity to join me on the road for up to 5 days, meals and lodging included.

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    1 backer

    Access to project blog and newsletter updates, three commemorative postcards from the road, four printed booklets of the final poem that gets produced, a "Type Rider" journal and pen set, a copy of "Lost Highways & Living Rooms," a compilation of writings from my 2010 Tour de Word project, professional editing feedback on four pieces of writing you or someone you love is working on, two limited-edition Type Rider t-shirts, two commissioned poem with a subject of your choosing, and the opportunity to join me on the road for up to 10 days, meals and lodging included.

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Funding period

- (54 days)