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8th Grade Students Riding Around Michigan’s White Lake for Climate Ride

The 8th Grade Handlebar Heros

Meet the Handlebar Heroes and group of 8th graders on a mission to raise awareness of the environment and active transportation! On Friday, November 17, they are bicycling around White Lake in Michigan on their own Climate Ride Independent Challenge. They are directing the proceeds of the ride to the Western Michigan Environmental Action Council.

Here’s an interview with Susan Tate who leads this team of intrepid middle schoolers.

How did you hear about Climate Ride?

I had heard about Climate Ride a couple of years ago when there was a ride between Grand Rapids and Chicago (I think). When my team of students wanted to raise awareness about climate change and focus on bike riding as an alternative form of transportation, I shared your website with them. They fell in love with your mission just like I did several years ago.

What motivated the students to do an event like this? Have they ever done something like this before?

We have never done an event like this before, so we are a little bit nervous. The team thought it would be cool to circumnavigate White Lake (see map attached below), which is almost 13 miles. Our lake has a history of pollution and degradation from logging and chemical companies, and in the 1980s it was listed as a Great Lakes Area of Concern by the U.S. EPA. Through a lot of hard work by our community, the lake was officially delisted in 2014. We want our ride to celebrate this accomplishment and to raise awareness of the continued need to protect our freshwater resources as the climate changes.

Why did you choose to support the beneficiary you chose – WMEAC?

We decided to support WMEAC for our ride because they have a long history of exemplary activism and education in West Michigan. My team did some exploration of their website and decided that their mission closely aligned with ours. 

Love this student-led Independent Challenge? Donate to their efforts here!