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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Climate Awareness Bike Trip Includes Redwood Forests, Beautiful Cycling, and Beer

Working in the climate movement, it's easy to get discouraged. Almost every month, a new climate bill seems to get introduced, only to be seriously watered up, and then voted down. Often times it feels like we've made no progress (perhaps because we haven't followed this advice). Add to that the recent litany of recent environmental disasters, and it all adds up to a bad case of 'climate fatigue.'

For the third year, I'll be taking part in the Brita Climate Ride--a 5-day, 300-mile bicycle tour and 'climate conference on wheels,' and I'm writing this column to try to get you to join me.

The ride will take place September 21-25, starting in Fortuna, California (near Eureka), and finishing in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco at New Belgium Brewery's Tour de Fat celebration where more than 6,000 bike lovers will greet us. Riders sign up and then raise at least $2400, which benefits climate advocacy programs at Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Green America, and 1Sky. One of the great things about the event is that campsites, luggage transfer, road support, meals, bike mechanics, and bike guides are all included--all I (or you) have to do is pedal along some of the most spectacular roads in California, including the legendary Highway 1 along the Pacific Ocean.

Climate Ride California is a new event. For the past two years, I've participated in the popular East Coast version where we biked from New York City to Washington D.C. along country roads most people don't even know are there (see video at the end of this psot). In the process I made new friends and probably had some the most fun I've ever had during climate advocacy. But the reason I'm doing the ride again is because I want inspiration.

On the Brita Climate Ride, I've met countless people who have inspired me. I've shared meals with environmentalists who have their own television show, cycled with activists who helped found, and chatted with ordinary individuals who had never biked more than 20 miles in a day, but were now riding over 300 miles in five days. I even met people such as ocean rower Roz Savage (who will be on the ride again this year), who rowed a boat solo across both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The people on the ride are a vibrant, diverse community who gather each year to learn about and advance solutions.

You can register for the ride here. Below is a video of last year's ride. Hope to see you out on the California coast in September!

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