Have you ever been on a long bike-ride before?
When I was 9 (I’m now 15) I went on a 3 day bike ride with my mom, but our daily rides were short, and we slept in bed and breakfasts. When I was 12 my whole family did a trip where we rode 25 km 2 days in a row. This trip will be three times that each day, and twice as many days (but my legs are longer, and I have more gears).
Why do you care about climate change?
Because I’ve been taught to care about it, and because it’s a problem. People can lose their homes in natural disasters, there can be seasonal changes that farmers aren’t ready for that affect their lives and also how much food is available, and it’s becoming more of a problem.
Why are you going on this ride?
Because it’s cool! It seems like a great goal to be able to ride to Washington, DC, and it’s for a good cause. My dad went on it last year, and Hannah, who was 12 went last year with her dad, which made me think about doing it myself.
Do you know the people you’ll be riding with or staying with?
I know Jon Brockopp really well, but I don’t know the other riders very well. I ‘m going to take my ukulele with me because I’m learning and I really like to play it, and Jon asked me to bring it along. It makes it easy to hang out with other people at the end of the day.
What’s something you’ve done about climate change in your own life?
I don’t really go out of my way necessarily, but a lot of things about my lifestyle are lower impact. I walk to school (about 1.5 miles) every day; we walk to church and the library, and in the summer I usually bike to the pool, and we don’t take the car out very often. I like to shop at Goodwill and make things out of recyclables. I have also helped with Weatherization First projects, which is something that ‘s not just a part of my normal life.
Have you ever visited Capitol Hill before? What do you expect?
I’m honestly not really looking forward to those visits because I don’t really love talking to people I don’t know. I’m not really sure what to expect at all yet, but I wouldn’t say I’m worried about them – at least not because I don’t know quite what to expect. I have been to Capitol Hill before, but just on a school field trip (when it was really, really hot).
Tell us something about you that has nothing to do with this ride.
I used to play D&D with a neighbor friend (I was a Level 12 druid), and I like to rock climb. I really like music, but am not motivated enough to practice regularly (which is unfortunate, because I’d really like to get better!). I like to play hearts with my family, and I eat dinner with them every single night, whether or not I want to. I love marching band (and taught my parents, grandparents and sister to march when we were on vacation last summer – everyone tried their best and improved dramatically!).
I like to cook – baked almond chicken for dinner, and fried Indian eggplant because it’s really satisfying. I like making biscuits too. (The recipe from Cookwise is the best, especially with Meyer Dairy cream!)
Donate online to PA IPL in support the PA-to-DC riders (or send a check, memo: bike 2014 to PA IPL 2100-C East College Ave., State College, PA 16801)