This year I have committed to riding my first long distance bike ride - 300 miles from the city that never sleeps to our nation's capital - all in the name of Mother Earth. I am participating in the Climate Ride 2012, a charity bike ride that supports "sustainable solutions, bike advocacy and environmental causes", to not only raise money for our local bicycle advocacy group WABA, but also to spread awareness about the bicycle being one of many solutions to the climate crisis.
Last night I attended a Meet & Greet for Climate Ride 2012, hosted by Rails to Trails, and WABA. I attended primarily to convince other interested people to register and to join team WABA, but I got much more out of it than I expected. With standing room only, it was a very successful gathering!
Blake Holiday, the Ride Director, gave a presentation on all we need to know about the ride. He began with the tale of how Climate Ride came to be and then he shared some stories from previous rides, like how some of the riders find themselves neck and neck with a horse and buggy in Pennsylvania's Amish Country. In answering someone's question, he described some of the dynamic and colorful bikes he's seen complete the ride (300 miles on a recumbent anyone?). He praised the chefs who feed 150 hungry mouths with locally sourced and organic food, despite some of the interesting dietary restrictions (vegan: meat ok).
Lastly, he painted a picture of rural New Jersey "they don't call it Garden State for nothing"; of the silos and farms that are sprinkled throughout the Pennsylvania countryside; and of the rolling hills encapuslating the mighty Susquehanna River into Maryland before approaching the behemoth that is the US Capitol. It's clear that this countryside can only truly be appreciated on a bike.
I was so inspired by his presentation that I wanted to register again! Of course I can't do that so I made a pact to myself that I will participate in the Climate Ride every year. WABA deserves the support and welcomes anyone interested in joining their team! Rails to Trails also has their own team - if you're torn, you can distribute the money you raise to multiple organizations. Read more about the beneficiaries here!
Now if only I had a training plan...
Zanna is the Events and Outreach Coordinator for BikeArlington. She is a full time bike commuter and is looking forward to putting some miles on her new road bike. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or visit the Washington Area Bike Forum.