2017 Rider Profile: Janet Swim

Janet swim headshotMeet Janet Swim, seventh in our get-to-know-the-riders series.  Janet also rode in 2014.   The 2017 PA-to-DC ride  will take place  May 19-24.  

I love to ride my bicycle. I associate it with a sense of freedom and joy. Growing up, my bicycles represented new stages of maturity. When I was five, transitioned from my tricycle to my mom’s two-wheeler. My dad ran down the side walk with me, pushing and balancing the bike as a learned to balance. Then there was the sudden pride when I stepped over the line to being a skillful rider who could even ride all by myself around the block.

In third grade, I graduated to a really cool banana seat bicycle. I knew I was getting a bicycle because my two older siblings got new bicycles when they were in third grade. But I did not know that my parents Continue reading

2017 Rider Profile: Ted Jaenicke

Ted and family in ParisMeet Ted Jaenicke, sixth in our get-to-know-the-riders series.   The 2017 PA-to-DC ride  will take place  May 19-24.  

I’m excited and a bit nervous to be a first-time rider for PA IPL. I’m pretty comfortable on a bike, but I haven’t done a long ride in forever, and I’d probably rather be running than biking. The last time I was on five-day bike trip was my honeymoon, nearly 26 years ago, when Alison and I biked from inn to inn along the coast of Maine. Who knew Maine was so hilly! Suffice it to say that it was a lot harder (and hotter) than we expected, and I owe Alison a second honeymoon.

So why am I’m riding with the PA IPL team? Mostly for two reasons: First, my daughter Maggie asked me to go along with her, and I couldn’t say no. I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with her before she heads off to college. (Her profile will follow soon.) And second, I am a strong believer in the religious-ethical basis for environmental stewardship, and I feel that PA IPL sends just the right message. My church, St. Andrew’s Episcopal, has had a relationship with PA IPL, and I’m hoping to re-invigorate it a bit. Former rider Ray Najjar might have been the last person from St. Andrew’s to make the ride. Personally, I am looking forward Continue reading

2017 Rider Profile: Louise Hunter

Louise nowMeet Louise Hunter, Fifth in our get-to-know-the-riders series.  The 2017 PA-to-DC ride  will take place  May 19-24.  Louise is a guest rider from Colorado, joining Pennsylvania family for the ride.

I enjoy living in Colorado, with its many sunny days and numerous city and mountain trails where I can hike with my friends and photograph wild flowers.

I have easy access to a city bike trail connecting to the New Santa Fe Trail, where I train for the PA IPL bike ride.  I ride northward on my mountain bike to the Air Force Academy and onward to Palmer Lake, a distance of about forty miles round trip.

Nearby Faith Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) has served as our extended family for over forty years.  My husband Jim and I are both Elders and have been active in church education, youth Continue reading

2017 Rider Profile: Marali Kalra

Marali Kalra photoMeet Marali Kalra, fourth in our get-to-know-the-riders series.  Marali is also active with PA IPL’s invasives removal and habitat restoration team.  The 2017 PA-to-DC ride  will take place  May 19-24.  

I am riding with PA IPL for the first time this year, as a grand finale to my freshman year at Penn State University. I have no experience with long-distance biking, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. I joined the ride because biking is my favorite kind of climate action. In high school, my mom never drove me to my soccer practices or music lessons if we could avoid it – we kept just a little extra carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere by biking instead.

Riding in a closed car is less like moving than like sitting in a waiting room. When I ride my bike, though, it feels like I’ve visited every place between my starting point and destination. Biking gives me a healthy appreciation for the amount of energy it takes to travel a long distance – sore legs get the message across much more effectively than gas mileage does!

Biking also inspires me to participate in PA IPL’s advocacy work.*  Whenever I ride through Pennsylvania woods and farmland in the summer, I’m reminded that what environmental groups like PA IPL are really doing is working to protect the landscapes that, over many bike rides, I’ve come to love.Marali invasives work

*Marali first participated in PA IPL’s Interfaith Moral Climate Advocacy training workshop during her senior year in high school — and she already had some experience as a youth advocate with the Friends’ Committee on National Legislation before that.

Marali is a student officer with the 3rd Way Collective.

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2017 Rider Profile: Rev. Bret Myers

Bret Myers headshotMeet Pastor Bret Myers, third in our get-to-know-the-riders series.  The 2017 PA-to-DC ride  will take place  May 19-24.  

Hi, I’m Bret Myers — playful pastor extraordinaire.
I remember the first bike I had that I was excited about: It was an 18″ conventional bike I already had, but transformed with hi-rise handlebars and a glittering blue banana seat. Life couldn’t get much better than that!

Bret Myers collageOf course, until it did. Having outgrown it, I needed something more my size — only this time faster!  A 10 speed John Deere bicycle (yes, you read right!) not only kept the “cool” factor, but increased my ability to travel farther than previously imaginable.

Numerous country road trips, especially to a sacred place where my family used to boat and water ski, sated my love of nature while simultaneously cultivating my joy of riding.

While in seminary in Boston, I joined Cyclists Fighting Hunger, and completed a cross country ride from San Francisco to Boston while raising awareness about hunger and malnutrition. I upgraded my ride for that trip to an 18 gear touring bike which I still own and will be riding on the PA IPL trip.

My aforementioned love of nature gave me an inbred desire to protect the beauty and purity of our earthly habitat. I have advocated on her behalf since I can remember, having been appalled around 3 or 4 at the nerve of someone to have written graffiti on some rocks.

As a pastor, currently at Faith UCC in State College, I have always tried to speak Continue reading

2017 Rider Profile: Jeff Davidson

JeffDavidson formalMeet Jeff Davidson, second in our get-to-know-the-riders series.  The 2017 PA-to-DC ride  will take place  May 19-24.  

I’m excited to be a first-time rider for PA IPL! I arrive with some trepidation as a semi-trained cyclist, resolved to get better mile-by-mile with the great PA IPL team.

I bike for IPL because I believe that we can care for our world better and more joyfully.  Caring for the planet also cares for its people, animals and plants.  I bike to Continue reading