We're going to San Francisco!
Throughout the first four days of Climate Ride, there was very much the sense that the journey IS the destination. Well, on day 5 that changed slightly, and the destination in fact became the destination. As nearly 150 riders rolled across the Golden Gate Bridge, Climate Ride's goal of showcasing cycling as a means of transport became a reality. As drivers, pedestrians, and other cyclists saw the group winding through the streets of the city, the goal of making people stop and take note of the fight for green energy and climate solutions became palpable. As Climate Ride California 2012 took over the plaza in front of City Hall at noon on Thursday, riders acheived their personal goals of cycling 320 miles, of making friends and connections, and of moving the needle just a bit in the direction of a greener future.
Riders were met at City Hall by friends, family, and supporters. They congratualted the riders on a job well done, and joined in to listen to the line-up of speakers standing on the plaza in front of the rotunda. Gary Fisher, inventor of the mountain bike, was there to congratulate riders. He hammered home to riders the importance of events like this. "The grassroots movement is getting stuff done, he said.
Henry Hilken of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District spoke about the importance of creating an environment in which people can bike to work, and kids can bike to school. BAAQMD is a sponsor of Climate Ride, and Hilken explained that his organization shares key goals with Climate Ride. "A lot of the things we do to clean up the air are the exact same things we want to do to protect the climate. It's driving less, being more efficient in the way we use energy. Bicycles are the ultimate zero-emission vehicle."
Leah Shahum of the San Francisco Bike Coalition told the group that they are riding the ride.' "You are awesome evidence of where we are going," she told the assembled group. SFBC is a Climate Ride beneficiary - and last year alone Climate Riders raised $30,000 to help make the city a better place to ride.
After the speakers finished, riders talked over their accomplishment. "I'm so proud of everyone who finished," said rider Even Lovett-Harris. Rider Brad Jacobson summed up the thoughts of most riders, "we feel tired, strong, and excited to be here. It's cool to be here in front of City Hall, hoping people pay attention to the cause."
From the looks of things out on the plaza, people were paying attention.
Congrats riders on a job well done.
Day 4 Recap