On July 20th, Climate Rider Beth Power chatted with Soil Cycle Board Secretary Rachel Dierken via a phone interview about her decision to fundraise for Soil Cycle on our upcoming Climate Ride in Maine this September 23-26, 2021. Soil Cycle is a Climate Ride beneficiary based out of Missoula, Montana that uses bikes to offer sustainable composting services. They featured this chat in a recent newsletter and are letting us share it with the Climate Ride community as well!

How did you learn about Soil Cycle and decide to fundraise for us?

I was committed to Climate Ride, and Soil Cycle was one of the listed benefactors that’s doing fabulous sustainable work. I was so happy to see that something like Soil Cycle existed. I love that it’s a women-owned business and that the transportation of the compost using a bicycle is brave, innovative, and kind to the earth. I’d never heard of Soil Cycle until Climate Ride, but I was able to connect with (Executive Director) Caitlyn over social media and she sent some fun patches and a T-shirt.

Have you participated in previous Climate Rides or is this a first time?

This will be my third Climate Ride. My first ride was also in Maine and the second ride was from Virginia to Washington, DC. My niece turned me on to Climate Ride. They’re a wonderful organization, they’re true to their word and raise a bunch of funds for great organizations.

How long have you been a cyclist and what’s your process to prepare for a Climate Ride?

I’ve always been a cyclist. I started in childhood and it’s been a life-long passion and hobby. I love traveling to different places (and raising money for things I believe in!) Seven years ago I took 3 months off from work to complete a solo ride from New Hampshire to Key West, Florida. I finished the ride in about 5-6 weeks.

This Climate Ride in Maine is 4 days, 270 miles so I want to be prepared for it. I started training about a month ago. It’s not just enough to focus on the cardio, you spend a lot of time on your bike so you need to prepare your arms, butt, neck, etc. I try to ride 5 days a week, and I increase the mileage incrementally. I pushed too hard the other week so I had to take some time off. You have to learn how to hydrate and how to nourish yourself. You need to play around and find what works best for you and spend months ahead of time to prepare. My longest ride right now is 30 miles a day so I’m trying for 120 miles a week. I try to ad 25 miles each week.

At this point spending time on my bike has become a meditative state. I think a lot about food. I plan meals and I plan my life. I call on my senses and I’ll talk out loud to work through things. I like to look at flowers and plants while I ride. I plan my practice trips around bakeries, I’m always looking for a good scone. My favorite bakeries are in New Hampshire. Florida does not have good scones. You know it’s a good scone if it doesn’t have a lot of stuff in it; it shouldn’t be sweet. It’s good to know one’s own nerdiness. I love scones and will ride 25 miles to try a new one. I can bake a good scone, but a bakery is a destination. Sometimes I’ll even get ice cream.

What advice do you have for someone who might want to complete their own Climate Ride?

Just commit. Sign up and then figure it out. Climate Ride has plenty of resources and they carry all of your things for you. You need a bike, helmet, and water bottles and that’s about it. You travel in a group, there are about 40 people in this Maine ride. Sometimes you ride solo, sometimes you ride with others. You find your own pace. I like to ride in the back so I can do my own thing. You also don’t have to bike. Climate Ride has opportunities for you to walk or climb too. I’m not a fundraiser by nature but if you give people an opportunity to give, they’re very generous. The Earth needs us. Just commit to it and figure it out.

When you’re not riding and fundraising, how do you like to spend your time?

I’m a natural healer, herbalist, gardener, and an Ayurveda counselor. I’m always curious about health. Currently, I love to quilt and dye fabric and I’m working with my daughter on some creative projects. I ran my own business, Awakening Touch, for 10 years that specialized in massage, energy work, health counseling, and holistic care for people who have experienced trauma. Covid-19 makes things confusing so I haven’t currently re-opened. I’m sensing a shift in life wanting to happen and I probably won’t get back into massage, I’m going to let things evolve organically.

Do you compost in your personal life? What does that look like?

Right now I compost yard waste. I’m new in the area and there aren’t really any resources about services. I’m trying to find the best way not to invite critters. I’ve been using the Soil Cycle website for ideas, I love how your website evaluates products! It’s so informative. Next for me will be to figure out the kitchen waste.

Any final thoughts to share?

I’m really inspired by what we’re doing, the website is great and educational. If I ever visit Montana, I’ll be sure to stop by!


Thank you Beth! Soil Cycle is so lucky to have an advocate on the other side of the country. Check out Beth’s Climate Ride fundraiser page if you want to follow along or to donate to Beth!

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