On June 25, I set out from the steps of the US capitol in Washington, DC and headed for the bike capital of the US, Portland, OR. Twenty days and 1,400 miles later, I found myself in Pittsburg, KS. It’s been a life-changing journey so far, and I feel like I’m only getting started.

Josh leaving Washington, DC on bike.

My route has taken me through nine states so far, including the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas. I’ve ridden over pavement and gravel, rail trails and highway shoulders, through cities and farmland, and met hundreds of people along the way. While the riding itself has been breathtaking, it’s the people that have made the trip so special. I’ve had the chance to speak to some of the staunchest of conservatives and the most liberal of hippies, die-hard environmentalists as well as climate skeptics, people working in oil and natural gas, and educators working to address some of our most pressing social and environmental challenges.

Trans Am Josh

Before this ride, my only touring has been with Climate Ride (I’ve completed four NYC-DC rides and one California ride). In many ways, I’ve tried to bottle the spirit of Climate Ride and bring it on the road with me. There’s a warmth and positivity that I’ve experienced on each of my Climate Rides, exuded by the staff and amplified by each of the riders, that I think of often. Embodying that spirit on this, my first solo, self-supported ride, has made making friends a breeze while I’ve been on the road. Moreso than simply completing the trek, my goal is to have an impact on the people I meet and to learn as much as I can during the journey.

There’s much work yet to be done. I’ve set my fund raising goal at $5,000, and I’m currently at just over $2,000. I’m astounded by the generosity of people I’ve met on the ride so far, some of whom had only met me five minutes prior before offering food, a place to stay, or handing me a cash donation to Climate Ride. If you’re able to donate to Climate Ride in support of my cross country journey, please visit my fundraising page.

Follow me on Twitter: @joshlasky

Find me on Tumblr: http://cambiophilia.tumblr.com.

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