2017 Rider Profile: Louise Hunter

Louise nowMeet Louise Hunter, Fifth in our get-to-know-the-riders series.  The 2017 PA-to-DC ride  will take place  May 19-24.  Louise is a guest rider from Colorado, joining Pennsylvania family for the ride.

I enjoy living in Colorado, with its many sunny days and numerous city and mountain trails where I can hike with my friends and photograph wild flowers.

I have easy access to a city bike trail connecting to the New Santa Fe Trail, where I train for the PA IPL bike ride.  I ride northward on my mountain bike to the Air Force Academy and onward to Palmer Lake, a distance of about forty miles round trip.

Nearby Faith Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) has served as our extended family for over forty years.  My husband Jim and I are both Elders and have been active in church education, youth Continue reading 2017 Rider Profile: Louise Hunter

2017 Rider Profile: Marali Kalra

Marali Kalra photoMeet Marali Kalra, fourth in our get-to-know-the-riders series.  Marali is also active with PA IPL’s invasives removal and habitat restoration team.  The 2017 PA-to-DC ride  will take place  May 19-24.  

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 invasives work

*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.

2017 Rider Profile: Rev. Bret Myers

Bret Myers headshotMeet Pastor Bret Myers, third in our get-to-know-the-riders series.  The 2017 PA-to-DC ride  will take place  May 19-24.  

Hi, I’m Bret Myers — playful pastor extraordinaire.
I remember the first bike I had that I was excited about: It was an 18″ conventional bike I already had, but transformed with hi-rise handlebars and a glittering blue banana seat. Life couldn’t get much better than that!

Bret Myers collageOf course, until it did. Having outgrown it, I needed something more my size — only this time faster!  A 10 speed John Deere bicycle (yes, you read right!) not only kept the “cool” factor, but increased my ability to travel farther than previously imaginable.

Numerous country road trips, especially to a sacred place where my family used to boat and water ski, sated my love of nature while simultaneously cultivating my joy of riding.

While in seminary in Boston, I joined Cyclists Fighting Hunger, and completed a cross country ride from San Francisco to Boston while raising awareness about hunger and malnutrition. I upgraded my ride for that trip to an 18 gear touring bike which I still own and will be riding on the PA IPL trip.

My aforementioned love of nature gave me an inbred desire to protect the beauty and purity of our earthly habitat. I have advocated on her behalf since I can remember, having been appalled around 3 or 4 at the nerve of someone to have written graffiti on some rocks.

As a pastor, currently at Faith UCC in State College, I have always tried to speak Continue reading 2017 Rider Profile: Rev. Bret Myers

2017 Rider Profile: Jeff Davidson

JeffDavidson formalMeet Jeff Davidson, second in our get-to-know-the-riders series.  The 2017 PA-to-DC ride  will take place  May 19-24.  

I’m excited to be a first-time rider for PA IPL! I arrive with some trepidation as a semi-trained cyclist, resolved to get better mile-by-mile with the great PA IPL team.

I bike for IPL because I believe that we can care for our world better and more joyfully.  Caring for the planet also cares for its people, animals and plants.  I bike to Continue reading 2017 Rider Profile: Jeff Davidson

2017 Rider Profile: Pastor Ben Wideman

Ben WidemanMeet Ben Wideman, first in our get-to-know-the-riders series.  The 2017 PA-to-DC ride  will take place  May 19-24, though Ben can only get away for 1/2 the ride this year.  Ben was a 2015  through-rider and wrote a profile in 2016, too.

Shortly after graduating from college I was over at a friend’s home who had just got a new road bike. I rolled my eyes after learning how much he had paid for it, saying something like, “You paid that much for a thing you could get from Walmart for $100?” He looked at me with a smile on his face and encouraged me to take it for a spin around the block. Despite the fact that I was wearing jeans and didn’t have a helmet, I got on, coasted down the driveway, and did a single lap around the block. I remember this almost instantaneous feedback from the bike. Having only ever ridden on clunky department store bikes with fat tires, I was amazed that when I pushed the pedal that the bike seemed to respond and rocket forward. Not only was this way easier than I had imagined, it was Continue reading 2017 Rider Profile: Pastor Ben Wideman