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 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.