Rosie flew in from Australia to join Rachel and Olive in Austin, TX. Thanks, Cycleast bike shop for the awesome goods and services! Thank you, Yellow Bike for the wrenching time. Thank you Savanna and Doug for the home, haircut, and best-of-Austin bike routes. Austin, so good.
Our workshop at the University of Texas, Austin was very successful. Thanks to the Gender and Sexuality Center for the space, snacks, and enthusiasm for reusable menstrual products. We look forward to collaborating in the future and getting updates on your new menstrual wares.
The Texas wildflowers made for a stunning ride out of Austin. We biked 70 miles to Smithville where we stayed with a kind stranger; the head of the local chamber of commerce had a trailer in her backyard—deluxe! This is Rosie’s first bike tour, and she’s keeping up well. There has been some rain and rough road conditions, but we continue to bike 60-something miles a day. Texas is full of surprises! We found Shepherd’s Sanctuary – a true respite run by a wonderful couple, Connie and Peach. They have created a small paradise in Shepherd, TX–a fully stocked kitchen, an awesome shower, and a loft bed under a giant metal roof. Rachel made a routing error and realized we wouldn’t make it to New Orleans in time for our scheduled workshops at Tulane University. We had to change our route, ride to Beaumont, and try our luck catching a ride on I-10. We were lucky. We met Joe, an extremely generous local who spontaneously decided to drive us the remaining 260 miles to Nola.
On our first day in New Orleans we were very fortunate (again), as the rain eased up and we were able to ride to our workshops without getting wet. We gave two workshops, first at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and second at the undergraduate campus. We had fascinating discussions about reusable menstrual products and insights into the culture around menstruation in New Orleans. Many of the people we spoke with had no idea how to locate their cervixes. People, we need better reproductive education ASAP! We like to facilitate space to share important knowledge about menstruation options and body-positive familiarity, but this is education that should be institutionalized.
We will now head north as we make our way to Boston. We are excited about the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research Conference (June 4-6). You can still register. Time is flying! Also, Rosie just had an awesome article on menstruation and the 21st century published in the Royal Institution of Australia: Australia’s Science Channel blog.