Drug Testing Medicaid Applicants, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Architecture, The Spirituality Of Cycling

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On the 150th anniversary Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth, we look back at what made his architectural style special and how it continues to influence buildings today. We also hear from a cyclist who believes hopping on a bike can help us channel our inner spirituality and connect to the cities and towns we call home. And a reporter talks to us about the controversy around Governor Walker’s effort to make Wisconsin the first state to drug test Medicaid applicants.

Featured in this Show

  • Walker Seeks Federal Approval To Drug Test Medicaid Applicants

    Governor Scott Walker wants to make Wisconsin the first in the country to drug test people that apply for Medicaid health benefits. A reporter talks to us about the ongoing controversy surrounding the effort.

  • The Enduring Influence Of Frank Lloyd Wright's Design

    On the 150th birth anniversary of Wisconsin architect Frank Lloyd Wright, we look back at the enduring influence of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural style and how it still influences the buildings we live and work in today.

  • The Spirituality Of Cycling

    Many turn to the bicycle as a simple way to get around, but for our guest, getting on to two wheels lead to something deeper. She describes her “conversion” to urban cycling, how it brought her closer to the city she called home, and how one can channel their inner spirituality…just by hopping on for a ride.

  • Finding Spirituality On 2 Wheels

    Spirituality is different for all people. Some people find solace in a house of worship or scripture. Others may find deeper meaning in meditation and in nature. And some people may keep a distance from spirituality altogether but find joy and purpose through friends and family.

    Regardless of how an individual finds comfort in the world, the common thread is that we all are able to seek it out in our own way.

    For the Rev. Laura Everett, a deeper spirituality came from what some might see as an unlikely source: riding her bicycle.

    Everett is a minister in the United Church of Christ and the author of, “Holy Spokes: The Search for Urban Spirituality on Two Wheels.” Her path to spirituality through bicycling came at a somewhat tricky financial time.

    “I was driving a beat-up old car down (Interstate) 93-South just outside of Boston and it finally died,” Everett said. “I was fresh out of seminary, too economically strapped to replace it.”

    It was during this time that she was attending a Bible study with other women who were wondering how they could be more faithful with their money, Everett said. The members of the study were questioning how they could spend less but give more. And it was there the women she was studying with encouraged her to learn how to build and ride a bike.

    However, biking in urban Boston did not come naturally to Everett.

    “I grew up in suburban New Jersey,” she said. “For me, a bicycle was a kid’s toy. It was entertainment or something that you did for pleasure or for exercise. I didn’t really think of (bikes) as a vehicle.”

    Everett realized after a few years cycling that her whole relationship with her bike, her city and herself had shifted in profound ways. She found she was interacting differently with her neighbors because she was moving more slowly and openly in the world.

    She began to trust her legs and her body to get her to where she needed to go. And she was finally able to see more of her city once she was able to slow down.

    “Whether on a subway line or in a car, you’re enclosed in some sort of way,” Everett said. “And the trip just becomes the way to get in between two places, but on a bicycle, the ride is part of the journey.”

    And that journey has led her to meet fellow cyclists along the same path, many of whom come from all walks of life and are connected through cycling.

    “And so you start to see the same people every day at the same intersections, and I feel like we got to know one another a little bit,” Everett said.

    She also advocates for cyclists to visit different areas of their community in order to become better neighbors. She said this act of “border crossing” allows people to fully commit to loving their neighbor regardless of where that neighbor lives.

    While Everett finds joy in communing with her fellow cyclists, there are times when tragedy occurs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 730 bicyclists were killed and accounted for 2 percent of all crash-related injuries in 2014.

    For Everett, she is constantly aware of the danger surrounding bicyclists when they travel.

    “When a cyclist is killed, there’s a tradition in the cycling community of installing a ‘Ghost Bike,’ a white bicycle placed at the scene of the crash,” she said. “So that the person who has died might be made visible because cyclists really have an embodied sense of their vulnerability as transit users.”

    Everett said while the cycling community meets during sad times, they also meet during happier occasions, such as the annual “Blessing of the Bikes,” which she helps lead in Boston.

    Overall, Everett said all commuters, regardless of their mode of transit, should learn to slow down and be aware of their fellow travelers.

    “I really hope that pedestrians, cyclists and drivers remember that we’re all just humans trying to make it home alive,” Everett said.

    Despite the potential dangers on the road, Everett still advocates for the numerous physical and spiritual benefits of cycling. And for those who are still a little nervous, she recommends starting with short trips to get a feel for it, and making sure that your bike is in working order and that you always use a helmet.

    “Notice the people in the world around you,” Everett she said. “Find the strength in your own legs and the wind in your face. I hope you have a joyful time on your bike.”

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Haleema Shah Producer
  • Veronica Rueckert Producer
  • Chris Malina Producer
  • Jason Stein Guest
  • Erik Flesch Guest
  • Laura Everett Guest

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