I remember watching the Tour de France as a kid then going outside until nightfall to ride circles in my driveway, narrating the race in my head. While I didn’t become a world-class cyclist (not even close!) biking is an important part of my daily life. I commute in to work, enjoy long rides on the weekends, and love the pace of life from a bike saddle.
As an engineer, I believe bikes just make sense. My car weighs 12x more than me; my bike, 12x less. Where I live, both can get me to work in about the same time, but one is way more fun! The rate we’ve consumed global petroleum reserves is shocking. The slow work of millions of years, gone in a flash of geologic time, with catastrophic results. Our consumption has left us with global climate change, and a belief that we are entitled to instant energy at the flip of a switch or turn of a key. This can’t go on forever.
Following engineering degrees at Penn State and a few years working for a green building company in State College, I co-founded New Leaf Initiative. New Leaf supports individuals who want to do work that’s good for themselves and good for the world. We are looking to grow a community of social entrepreneurs that are developing creative ways to address pressing global challenges yet need the resources, connections, and mentorship to help their ideas come to life.
I still struggle to know what to do in the face of such large global challenges, but believe simple things like riding a bike can help remind us of what life is like at the human scale. Last Fall, my wife and I had a little boy. I’m excited for him to discover the joy of the wind in his hair on a bike.*
Donate online to PA IPL in support the PA-to-DC riders (or send a check, memo: bike 2015 to PA IPL 2100-C East College Ave., State College, PA 16801)