I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s with a love of the outdoors nurtured by my father, David, who took us camping in the Pennsylvania State Parks, planted trees whenever & wherever possible and was composting our household scraps way before it became fashionable. He instilled in his children a love for the outdoors and caring for the environment. At 101, he is doing OK. At least one reason I am doing this ride is to honor him.
While I biked a lot locally
when I was a kid, I only started biking longer distances in 2007, when I joined several college buddies on a five day ride through the hills of northern New England and Quebec. (Fun fact: Did you know that the northernmost part of New Hampshire once tried to secede from the Union?) Since 2007 I’ve gone on several other tours of New England, but I’ve always wanted to go on a ride with a cause and an opportunity to connect with folks enroute around that cause. When I heard about the PA-IPL climate ride it seemed like just the right thing.
Over the last decade or so as the issue of climate change has intensified and become ever more urgent, I have felt that I needed to do more than just recycle, turn down the lights, and get frustrated with the political climate. I’ve never been much of an activist; I am put off by self-righteous types who are intolerant of others’ circumstances. I have been on kind of a search to find a style of activism that suits me. Talking with people, listening to their circumstances and thought process, working with them seems to be the road I wish to pursue. The opportunity to engage with communities of faith is especially of interest to me because presumably (at least I hope) this faith represents an openness to something higher than ourselves, call it what you will.
I hope that this caring for the earth, in the form of the climate ride, can serve as a means to bring folks together, to deepen our understanding and to exercise both a caring for each other and a caring for the earth, all in the spirit of gratitude for our existence. I am looking forward to meeting with representatives in government who may be able to affect climate/energy policy.