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“Let’s Make Biking Accessible to Everyone” – 2022 Green Fondo Marks Claire Fitzgerald’s 5th Climate Ride

Claire FitzGerald finds her passion in sustainability and activating others to fight climate change. She works in corporate sustainability, equipping companies with the knowledge and know-how to operate sustainably while leveraging their unique tools to help others reduce their environmental impact. She brings her passion for sustainability into other areas of her life – leading her to participate in her 5th Climate Ride, the 2022 California Green Fondo. Claire believes that “Bikes can be a lifeline to school, work and friends. They provide independence and joy but, for too many, biking is out of reach.” She aims to help close this gap through her Climate Rides. Claire took the time to chat with us about her journey in sustainability and why she keeps coming back for more rides. Climate Ride (CR): It looks like you have done a lot of work in bettering the planet, what made you decide to participate in Climate Ride? Claire FitzGerald (CF): I ride to support amazing nonprofits that are making a meaningful environmental impact and to rally my community to join me in supporting them. I also ride to recharge in nature with some of the most inspiring and empathetic people I’ve ever met. CR: You are a climate ride veteran! What motivates you to come back for more? CF: Green Fondo is my 5th Climate Ride. I work in sustainability and, while I love the work, it can feel like an uphill battle at times. I’m motivated to keep coming back to Climate Ride because I love being able to beat the actual uphill battles on the ride and know that those achievements are helping myself, my nonprofit beneficiaries and the world at large. CR: It sounds like climate change is pretty personal for you. How has climate change affected you and/or the area you live in? CF: I live in Berkeley and we’ve experienced less rain, more heat, and more fires. September 9, 2020, or “orange sky day”, was a living terror that shook us to our core and showed us what climate change can be. CR: Wow. It’s times like that that really push us to work hard every day for our planet and the organizations fighting to protect it. What beneficiaries did you choose to support and why? CF: I’m supporting Rich City Rides, based out of Richmond, CA. They encourage residents to use bikes for all transportation needs and, in turn, receive health and economic benefits created by an active, social lifestyle. They are also working to establish Richmond as a bike-friendly community that’s open to everyone. CR: That is a great beneficiary to support! Thank you for your efforts. As you prepared for your ride, are there any personal challenges you’ve confronted or foresee? How did/will you overcome them? CF: I’ve had years where I’m fit as a fiddle and others where I have to rally myself to build up my riding endurance and get back in shape- in those times, I ride with friends and climate riders to train. CR: Outside of what you have explained, has preparing for and participating in your Climate Ride events spurred you to take any further action on climate (personal, locally, or nationally)? CF: Climate Ride has helped me incorporate biking as a main form of transportation. Over a third of our emissions in the Bay Area come from transportation. Every bike commute puts a dent in that statistic! CR: You’re doing some incredible work, Claire! Thank you for including us in your journey. If you’d like to find out more and support Claire in exceeding her $1,250 goal, check out her fundraising page below. Thanks to the Algorand Foundation, any donation you make will be doubled!