2016 Rider Profile: Jon Brockopp

IMG_2188Meet Jon Brockopp, the final entry in our 2016 get-to-know-the-riders series. The 2016 PA-to-DC ride will take place April 29 -May 3.

Back in 1983, I hitch-hiked from Greece back to Germany, where I was an undergraduate student. I both loved and hated hitching rides with people. I hated it because I was forced to do it, too poor to afford train fare. Standing on the side of the road, breathing in exhaust as car after car passed me by. It was depressing.

But then that magical moment would always come to pass – a car would slow down and stop. They’d look me over, I’d jump in, and off we’d go. I can’t tell you how many fascinating conversations I had with people along the way, people who would sometimes offer me a beer or even invite me to stay a night in their home.

I thought about those youthful adventures when I came up with the idea of this bike trip, now five years ago. Something magical happens when you depend on the kindness of strangers – a human connection is forged; your vulnerability and your utter insufficiency are exposed and embraced.

IMG_1786[1]On a bicycle, you have no airbags, no steel cage around you. When it rains, you get wet. But more important, you need other people. You definitely need car drivers to be considerate and pass you with care. But on longer trips, like our ride to Washington, you need people to feed and to house you.

The magic of this bike trip is based on that human need and loving response. As hard as it is every year to ask for food, shelter and donations, the generosity of others makes it all worthwhile. Ten riders will be going part or all the way to DC this year, but we would be lost if not for the seven congregations and dozens of individuals along the way who make our trip possible. We feel embraced by the nearly 100 people who donate and the thousands who follow the progress of our trip.

I believe there is a fundamental truth here: that God made us vulnerable and imperfect so that Continue reading 2016 Rider Profile: Jon Brockopp

2016 Rider Profile: Dorothy Blair

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 2.03.34 PM Meet Dorothy Blair, tenth in our get-to-know-the-riders series. The 2016 PA-to-DC ride will take place April 29 -May 3.

This is my third PA-IPL bike trip to Washington D.C.  I wasn’t planning on going again.  I thought I would make room for new bikers to enjoy the comradeship, beautiful scenery, and the chance to lobby our congressmen and senators about climate change. But somehow biking to D.C. has become addictive, and so when asked, I said gladly said yes.

I know from experience that the ride is hard,  great fun and a privilege.  I will join 9 other dedicated climate change activists riding through the beautiful hills of PA and Maryland and into D.C. on the C&O Canal, conscientious bikers supporting PA-IPL’s efforts to emphasize the spiritual and moral basis for climate change action in places of worship and promote this approach with our Continue reading 2016 Rider Profile: Dorothy Blair

2016 Rider Profile: Joyce Eveleth

 IMG_1378 (1)Meet Joyce Eveleth, ninth in our get-to-know-the-riders series. The 2016 PA-to-DC ride will take place April 29 -May 3.

This will be my second year joining the PA IPL cyclist team to Washington, D.C.  I believe strongly in PA IPL’s mission to unite communities of faith against  global environmental degradation and the realized and imminent impacts of climate change.

While joining a great team of riders last year, I was continually reflecting on my past relationship with faith.  I grew up in a very faith-centered environment of Evangelical Christianity—my parents committed their lives and their family to this faith. My father often served in pastoral Continue reading 2016 Rider Profile: Joyce Eveleth

2016 Rider Profile: Lynne Heritage

lynne-smallerMeet Lynne Heritage, eighth in our get-to-know-the-riders series. The 2016 PA-to-DC ride will take place April 29 -May 3.  Lynne can’t make the drive herself, but she’s an important part of the trip: the cyclists’ ride home (and she’ll be joining the team for visits to Capitol Hill).

For several years, I lobbied with Friends Committee on National Legislation in Washington during their annual meeting.  Lobbying was one of the more significant events of my year.  Citizen participation in the democratic process helps balance the more-moneyed interests.

As a teenager, it was clear that we waste our resources and trash our air and water.  How could that be when we say we want a better world for future generations?  Turning off lights, using Continue reading 2016 Rider Profile: Lynne Heritage

2016 Rider Profile: Scott McDonald

IMG_4688Meet Scott McDonald, seventh in our get-to-know-the-riders series. The 2016 PA-to-DC ride will take place April 29 -May 3.  

I am a science educator at Penn State, and my interest in climate change and its impact starts with education. As someone who studies how students learn complex science ideas, I recognize the particular challenges of helping people to understand climate change. The scale, both in terms of time and space, is so large that is it hard for people to think about it in a meaningful way. This is further complicated by people mixing up weather and climate (if you want to see a satirical take on this, look for Jon Stewart’s Daily Show episode about the Snowpocolypse). We know that many people don’t understand how climate change could happen, and as a result are able to deny that it is happening. If people can’t understand what climate is and how human Continue reading 2016 Rider Profile: Scott McDonald

2016 Rider Profile: Carina

Meet Carina, sixth in our get-to-know-the-riders series.The 2016 PA-to-DC ride will take place April 29 -May 3.  

Carina IPL ProfileMy name is Carina and I’m a middle school student at Park Forest Middle school. I have decided to take this adventure because I want to experience a long distance ride thru the country. It also provides me an opportunity to make memories with my Nana and Papa. My Papa will be joining me on my adventure.

I really enjoy outdoor adventures but also spend a lot of my time playing volleyball and swimming. My mom calls me a Fish because I’d rather be in the pool. I also sing in my school choir and like the feeling of performing in front of everyone.

I think caring for the environment is important because If we stop caring for the environment, every thing will start to die out and the world we become lifeless.

Climate change is having some bad effects on the world, especially in North and South pole. The Continue reading 2016 Rider Profile: Carina