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Have a look at a few tour photos from our trip! We’ve been home a week and I’m already feeling nostalgic. So beautiful.

Since our return life has really been lively here at Swift.Industries. We came home reinvigorated and delighted by the paths our small business has led us down.

Goods and I love to eat–which happens to be the second most valuable verb on cycle tour. The first being: pedal. My mind is whirling with the cultural ties which bind sustainable agriculture and cycle touring. Most obviously, in both fossil fuels are thrown to the wayside in efforts to reexamine the pace and quality of both mainstream transportation and agricultural methods. The two are linked by deeply seeded ideals which hope to nurture healthful communities–human and ecological alike. There are questions about society in greater terms: why do we have to produce so much? why do we need to go so fast? The culture we’re surrounded by does not encourage us to slow down and move with a sense of place, but when we do it’s amazing! When we do we see who’s migrating, what crops are in season, the history of a place and every mile of badly paved road. We feel the topography in our lungs and muscles, and ask for directions to start conversations.

Since our return home, I’ve revisited The Unsettling of America Culture and Agriculture, by Wendell Berry. The author inspired the agrarian movement, a land stewardship perspective on agriculture that was born in response to the dust bowl, and subsequently the dawn of fossil-fuel-based agriculture. He writes poetically and unapologetically.

We were visited by Russ Roca and Laura Crawford from the Path Less Pedaled. I have to thank them for coming through and asking such great questions. Since their visit I’ve been thinking a lot about the values we imbue our work with here at Swift. Having this company, small as it may be, is an opportunity to look at our ideologies and strive to walk our talk. Russ asked some really hard questions which I couldn’t answer immediately, but as Laura predicted, they have been haunting me for days. I love it. Good challenging philosophical questions to bite into, because we’re not just any old company aimed at franchising and measuring success by growth. We’re two people expressing how we want to participate in our surroundings economically and creatively. We get to choose to deliver packages by bike, we get to source our fabrics and goods from local suppliers, we get to put our bags in shops we admire because our ideals are aligned with the way they are navigating as a business.Keep your ear tuned for the full interview. While you’re on their site, have a look around, they were really inspiring folks (with good taste in beer).

Also received a check from a customer with a few really beautiful stickers enclosed from Just Seeds, the visual resistance artist cooperative. And one of the folks at Dream Cycle in Vancouver wrote: You made the most awesome panniers ever. holy smokes. I can’t believe your level of craftsmanship! They are beautiful. I had them in the shop for a while and they got tons, and tons and tons of questions. We’ve given away a bunch of brochures so hopefully you get some business coming your way. Thanks guys! Geez, when we started a pannier business I didn’t think we’d get fan mail, it makes me blush. It’s really exciting to get lines like those.

I was just startling by a hissing sound from the front of the house. Third flat in two weeks. Damn. Well, if I’m riding early tomorrow I should go fix that.

Thanks for reading,

Martina