Stories from the Road reflection— Noah Droege, cyclist

Noah Droege has been a youth cyclist in multiple rides, and welcomed, supported, and sent riders off in others. He is currently a student at Penn State University. Noah shared this reflection:

Please share a few sentences describing a highlight of a past bike trip. 
Jumping into the water at Cowen’s Gap after the long, steep ride uphill is always a favorite moment. The water is cold, really cold, but we do it anyways. And then there’s the 3-mile downhill afterwards. It’s like the trip itself. You start out with no idea how you will ride 200-plus miles. You just go.

How has the bike trip continued to impact or sustain you? 
The successes and failures of talking to people on Capitol Hill has probably had the biggest impact on me. The first time on the Hill I was super nervous. Now I realize that even when I “study up” and use good rhetorical language, at the end of the day they will listen or not, and that’s not up to me. It’s not an immediate thing where the legislators are going to say ‘OK we’ll do what you want.’ We’ve been having this trip for 8 years now, and we still need to keep going. Change is not going to happen overnight. It’s important to be patient.

What “call to action” would you encourage others to take regarding climate change at this time?
Do what you can. Be vocal. Individual action is good, but it’s not going to make the difference when 70% of global emissions are large companies. We need the government to act. Care and be loud about it.

Please share a few sentences on what you are doing right now to support the work of PA IPL in raising climate change as a moral issue.
I use every opportunity to bring up climate change. It’s one of the most annoying aspects of myself. Climate change is applicable to every issue and so much needs to be done that it’s always something that can be brought up as a topic of consideration.