From Redwoods to Ocean - another spectacular day of cycling, connecting with other change agents, and pedaling towards sustainable solution!
After the “spiritual experience” of riding through the Redwoods on Day 1 of Climate Ride California, riders were welcomed by the other immense and ancient feature of the California Coast – the Pacific Ocean! To earn their first view of the Ocean though, riders first had to conquer the infamous Leggett Hill, a 5 mile 1400 foot climb up through fragrant pine forest and switchback roads. On a gloriously sun-kissed day, the riders were up to the challenge.
Cruising along the spectacular coastline in the company of 130 other passionate and fun-loving people, riders experienced a growing sense of connection with their fellow riders, supporters and the many causes that has brought them together. Several of those causes, and the leaders making them happen, were on display in camp during the nightly Speaker Series. Sam Schuachat, Executive Director of the Coastal Conservancy, received a hearty applause for his work helping to preserve the California coastline for its ecological and scenic value. Frankie Ridolfi of Free Range Studios gave an inspired narration of the mythic journey that lies at the heart of all good stories – and how sustainability organizations can use the power of story to create change. Climate scientist Carl Mears entertained riders with an engaging and thought-provoking presentation on global temperature rise and carbon emissions. And Tim Frick, Owner of Mightybytes and Climate Ride Board member, shared his new EcoGrader project to measure and grade the energy use of websites.
It was another inspiring day of cycling, connecting with a community of fellow sustainability advocates, and good ol’ fashioned fun. As Jameson said about Climate Ride, “In its plain and simple beauty, we’re out riding bikes...but if you look at it, we’re out sharing life; passionate about what we believe in and learning how we can make a difference in this world.”
If Climate Ride NYC-DC is about cycling to the doors of Congress to advocate for climate action, Climate Ride California is about directly connecting with the source of many riders’ inspiration – the majesty of the natural world
Climate Ride California offers one of the most epic cycling routes in the world, following the rugged Northern California coast through a timeless landscape of giant trees and vast ocean vistas. Setting off towards San Francisco to the sound of cowbells and cheers, riders were immediately immersed in the splendor of Redwood country. The route wastes no time in bringing riders directly into the magical realm of the giant coastal Redwoods - Day 1 saw 29 miles of cycling along the famous Avenue of the Giants.
If Climate Ride NYC-DC is about cycling to the doors of Congress to advocate for climate action, Climate Ride California is about directly connecting with the source of many riders’ inspiration – the majesty of the natural world. Yet Climate Ride California is also a powerful platform for lobbying our national policy makers. At the end of Day 1, riders wrote postcards to President Obama to share the many reasons they are cycling 300+ miles for a healthy and sustainable future. Hear some of those reasons directly from the riders:
After a hearty meal and some celebratory beverages, everyone gathered to learn about the inspiring work of some of their fellow riders. Dermot Hikisch and others from B Lab shared how their organization is transforming business to solve social and environmental problems. Trina Peterson talked about the growing network of responsible businesses and non-profits that make up 1% for the Planet. Dirk Rosen of Marine Applied Research and Exploration shared the wonders and significance of deep-water science, along with an impressive impersonation of Jacques Cousteau. Lisa Daniels of Windustry talked about her work empowering communities to develop locally-owned renewable energy projects. And Alison Riley shared Adventure Cycling Association's exciting work to build the largest cycling network in the world!
It was a glorious day of connecting to things beyond ourselves - both the awesome presence of the Redwoods and the growing movement for sustainable solutions.
To all past, present and future riders: Why do you Climate Ride? Follow along with us over the next 5 days to learn about the current riders and tweet us your reasons at #climateride! Your tweets will be streaming on our new social dashboard, along with rider photos from the road!
Over the past six years and eight rides, Climate Ride has engaged thousands of people in raising money and awareness for people-powered solutions to climate change and a new energy economy. Our riders come from all walks of life, from more than 30 states, and with ages ranging from 12 to 82. They are professionals, students, scientists, activists, executives, athletes, and ordinary citizens. So what has inspired such a diverse group of people to saddle up and ride over 300 miles through sun and wind and rain and fog, over hills and through forests, up mountains and back down again?
As we prepare to take the first pedal strokes on Climate Ride California 2013 - our 4th annual California ride - we are taking a moment to reflect on and celebrate the many reasons that bring this inspiring group of people together every year to challenge themselves, support causes they believe in, and co-create a positive movement for a sustainable and thriving future.
Particularly as the CO2 concentration in our atmosphere inches above 400 parts-per-million for the first time in eons, we are reminded how much work remains to be done to shift our economies, energy infrastructure, and transportation systems towards more sustainable and regenerative practices. Yet, thanks to the passion and resilience of the more than 50 Climate Ride beneficiary organizations, so much has already been achieved in recent years to create viable and sustainable alternatives - from community-supported renewable energy projects to sustainable business development to climate activism to sustainable transportation and bicycle infrastructure. When you look around, there are solutions everywhere!
Just as we are entering a completely new geological epoch brought about by increasing carbon emissions, we are also in the midst of a flourishing of creative and innovative paths forward. Climate Riders are consistently at the forefront of this emerging movement, working to both create a new future and tell a new positive story of how we do it. And if there is a more fun way to change the world than joining 130 other awesome and inspiring people on a 320-mile climate conference on wheels, we don't know about it!
As Climate Ride board member and five-time Climate Rider Josh Lasky says, "I think the sustainability movement has effectively shifted the focus towards something much more positive, much more compelling that people want to be a part of. Climate Ride, for me, embodies that spirit.…that’s why I keep riding on Climate Ride!“
To all past, present and future riders: Why do you Climate Ride?
Follow along with us over the next 5 days to learn about the current riders and tweet us your reasons at #climateride! Your tweets will be streaming on our new social dashboard, along with rider photos from the road!