As I considered the possibilities, I realized that pretty much all I could do was to deal with my transportation logistics once I was on the ground in my destination city. So I began to think about how that would work. I began with my first extended gig out of town, my first visit to Overland Park, Kansas. Since I'd be there a month, and since I could not rent a car, I asked the synagogue if they would provide a loaner bicycle and trailer, and housing near enough to the temple that riding back and forth each day with a guitar and books in tow was manageable. To my surprise, they said yes without blinking. And so began what would become, as the kids say today, "a thing" -- the traveling synagogue musician who chooses to ride a bike everywhere she possibly can.
Since then, I've managed to get around by bike on every subsequent visit to Kansas -- and even managed to ship a bicycle there in my size that lives there in anticipation of future visits (I have a nice relationship with this community). For a couple of my seven planned visits to Phoenix I've been able to use a bicycle and enjoy homestay hospitality. Since then, I've ended up staying in a hotel again -- my homestay host was traveling and logistically it would not have worked out -- and so I lost use of the bicycle. I am hopeful that for my final two visits something can be worked out but if it can't I understand. What seems logical and sensible to me may actually pose a challenge to hosts in a car-centric town where bicycling transportation is not widespread. (On a positive note, I've been asked about my availability for the month of June and another trip to Kansas seems in the works.)
I was recently invited back to a podcast show that I've been a guest on before. The Sprocket Podcast wanted to catch up with me since we last talked in August of 2013. In particular, they wanted to know how my transportation values have fared when they run into the realities of increased air travel and other less-sustainable trappings of my current career. So I rode over to their studio and we had ourselves a very nice chat. You can listen to the podcast here.
UPDATE: I am now planning tour dates for Fall 2015 and beyond. In particular, I am lining up a mini-tour in the Northeast (particularly Philadelphia but I'd love to visit New York and New Jersey too!). I hope to set up dates for synagogue visits between December 7 and 15, 2015. If you or someone you know has connections with a liberal synagogue in the area, please share my web site and music with them and invite them to get in touch with me. Two or three synagogues can share me and therefore share the cost of bringing me to a community!
Heading to Phoenix this weekend for Shabbat with the lovely folks at Temple Chai.
Have a great week!