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One Ride Changed It All For Kush Mittal

It’s incredible how one experience on a bike can inspire a person to revolve their life around biking and finding new ways to better the planet. Take Kush Mittal, for example. He’s a software engineer from San Francisco who is participating in the 2022 Green Fondo in California next month. We had the opportunity to chat with Kush about his love for biking that wasn’t always there and how one bike ride with his friends spurred him to travel mainly by bike, commit to a life of bike advocacy, and push for car-free cities. Kush has already raised nearly $1300 for Green Fondo, which will be 100% matched by the Algorand Foundation! Climate Ride (CR): As you prepare for Green Fondo, are there any personal challenges you’ve confronted? Kush Mittal (KM): A couple of years ago, I used to despise biking. Part of the reason was living in a city (San Francisco) with lots of hills but also the idea of exercising while commuting seemed bizarre. A lot of this changed after I joined a few friends on a bike ride up to Hawk hill one day. We slowly cruised along the bay on the Embarcadero with a few friends, saw the sunrise from the peak of hawk hill, descended down and got croissants at a coffee shop afterward, and met some more bikers on the way who became our friends! Over time I got more involved with the bike community and started loving every second of it. I now spend the majority of my free time on my bike from exercising to commuting. I met a lot of my close friends in the city through the biking community (I even heard about Climate Ride from a fellow biker I met while biking in the city!!). I’m extremely excited about this ride! CR: That’s really cool that you have become so involved in the biking community over the years after one great experience! What made you decide to participate in the Green Fondo? KM: I’ve been a long-time advocate of building cities that cater to people instead of cars. Living in San Francisco for the past few years, I’ve seen a dramatic shift in the city’s transportation with lots of residents of the city commuting via bikes, parents dropping off their kids at school via e-bike and just overall mass adoption of e-bikes as a means of getting around. I’d like to use this ride as an opportunity to raise awareness about how incredibly powerful bikes/e-bikes are and how they can play a significant role in transportation and our lives. I want to engage my community leaders in thinking about bikers/pedestrians while designing cities/urban policies. I dream of a world where we live in car-free cities. CR: Sounds like you feel passionate about advocating for alternative forms of transportation and car-free cities. Has preparing for Green Fondo spurred you to take any action on climate? KM: I’ve been involved with a few biking advocacy groups in San Francisco that are advocating for safer streets for the residents of San Francisco. I was a part of the SF Bike Coalition for a few years where I volunteered for their Sunday street events. I also participate in events held by Safe Street Rebel, a grassroots movement to advocate for and build bike-friendly streets in San Francisco. CR: Congratulations to Kush for surpassing his goal of $750 going towards Marine Applied Research and Exploration and Yosemite Conservancy. The donations don’t have to stop once a goal is met! If you would like to support Kush and his efforts to protect and preserve our plant, follow the link below. And thanks to the Algorand Foundation, any donation you make will be doubled!