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Tulsa World on April 1, 2010 by Matt Gleason

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Tulsa World on April 1, 2010 by Matt Gleason

Post  ChasingSanity on Wed May 12, 2010 8:43 am

Going for gold
Ari Gold bikes the globe to better himself

By MATT GLEASON World Scene Writer
Published: 4/1/2010  2:27 AM
Last Modified: 4/1/2010  9:37 AM

To read Ari Gold’s blog, visit

The name of Ari Gold's blog is "Chasing Sanity." It's a good title for a 48-year-old Las Vegas man bent on riding his mountain bike around the world — or at least to New Zealand.

As Gold wrote on his blog, he's "seeking better ways of living, doing and being than I know."

Seven months into his trek, Gold has biked some 2,500 miles away from his former life in Las Vegas, where the unemployed electronic technician literally left everything behind, including his wife of 16 years. "The marriage didn't fall apart all at once; it had never fallen together," Gold summed up while seated in the shade of BlueJackalope Grocery & Coffee near downtown Tulsa.

Pedal backward in time to September 2009 and you'd find Gold selling everything he owned for between $200 and $300 in cash.

Then he bought everything he would need to survive on the road. For instance, the U.S. Army National Guard and Air Force veteran purchased a military-grade sleeping bag and durable food items, such as olive oil and peanut butter.

"You need three different kinds of food to keep your body going: Protein, carbohydrates and fats," Gold explained. "Olive oil is one of the best fats. Olive oil is also good for hand lotion, a moisturizer, suntan lotion and it's good for your hair."


Gold said, if an item, like his bulky laptop, was on his bike to handle a task, "It better be (darn) good at doing it."

Before he left Las Vegas, Gold didn't think "Where could I go," but, rather, "Where do I want to go?" The world seemed like a nice place.

From Las Vegas, Gold made stops in Utah, New Mexico and Texas before arriving in Tulsa. Often, he stays in one place anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. And he gets by with help from strangers, who quickly become friends, and food stamps.

Along the way, Gold has picked up little lessons, like if someone wants a fine meal in Santa Fe, one need only head to St. Elizabeth Shelter, where gourmet restaurants sometimes donate food. "It's absolutely the best food in probably Santa Fe," said the gangly 6-foot-2 traveler, who weighs about 200 pounds.

Gold arrived in Tulsa on March 25. While here, he stayed with a woman open to housing transients. He also traded bikes with Tulsan Paul Tay, a 47-year-old consultant in human-powered vehicles.

"It's a great thing," Tay said of Gold's adventure. "Anytime we get a world traveler on two wheels, I'm all about it. I'll do anything to help him out."

As for Gold actually accomplishing his goal, Tay said, "Oh yeah. He's very resourceful from what I can tell."

Early Wednesday afternoon, Gold planned on heading onto Springfield, Mo. Once he eventually pedals out of the U.S., he'll bike through Canada before finding his way to Europe.

"I'm stopping off definitely in the UK," Gold said. "Seeing the castles, seeing the museums, seeing the places of worship, experiencing all the culture I can possibly soak up in every community."

Though Gold likes to avoid big cities, he aims to make it to Rome to see the Vatican and the Louvre Museum in Paris.

"I've got to go," Gold said, "and that means I've got to put up with huge cities, huge amounts of traffic, and people who are afraid of strangers."

As Gold continues his global odyssey, he'll someday stop pedaling away from his old life in order to find his new one. Maybe he'll settle down in New Zealand, or maybe in his favorite city along the way. All Gold knows is that his final destination will be his "place in the sun."

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