It’s amazing the way peeking around a corner out of curiosity can open the world up in wonderful ways you never imagined.  Ashley Hunt-Martorano explained her discovery of cycling just this way.

Never super-big into biking, when Ashley heard about Climate Ride she thought it was a brilliant idea, but could never really envision herself doing anything like it.  She grew up in West Virginia and her only cycling experience was an occasional mountain bike outing through the verdant hilly Appalachians. After starting a career and moving to Long Island, an urban, congested area, she didn’t see her surroundings as particularly bike-friendly, and riding for fun, or even commuting, seemed a rather remote possibility.

A committed conservationist, involved with environmental issues for years, she eventually discovered information on Climate Ride a second time, and was hooked.  She had to look into it further.  This was the one way she could personally bring more attention to climate change, an issue about which she is incredibly passionate.

“I was turning 30 and wanted to do something big to mark this milestone in my life, so I signed up,” she recalls. “I started looking into training possibilities, found a local bike club and suddenly realized there was a whole bike community I was never aware of right in Long Island.  Soon, bikes were suddenly everywhere. I just had never noticed them before.”

Training for her was all about increasing her endurance, distance and getting time in the saddle.  It definitely paid off, but even still, she says “Day 4 was especially challenging and I found myself thinking ‘Oh God, not another hill,’ but I kept reminding myself that making it up each hill wasn’t as hard as solving the climate crisis. Thinking this just put it all into perspective for me.” 

She rode in last year’s Climate Ride NYC-DC and had an amazing experience.  She brought attention to an environmental issue she cares deeply about and is coming back for more.  “Deciding to do it again this year was really exciting but also even scarier because now I know exactly the sort of challenges I will encounter.  Now, I ride as much as I can and I’m doing a lot of hill climbing in preparation for it.” 

Ashley is psyched for her comeback spin to raise awareness of sustainability and the need to address climate issues and she’s even convinced a friend, who was peeking around that same corner, to do it with her. “Marie Rose is really excited for the ride and it’s thrilling to inspire someone else to get involved, to ride and to engage in these issues.”

 

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