2016 Rider Profile: Karl Raynar

KAR IPL Profile Pic 2Meet Karl Raynar, fifth in our get-to-know-the-riders series. The 2016 PA-to-DC ride will take place April 29 -May 3.  

Last year I joined the IPL team for the first two days of the ride from State College to Hagerstown.  The ride was beautiful with almost perfect weather as the riders shared a love for the beauty of God’s Creation.  On Saturday we met with candidates for Huntingdon County commissioner and discussed transportation issues, especially the difficulties of creating bike lanes and paths in a poor rural areas.   On Sunday I met Fernando and Lucas, two international students in their junior year at Mercersburg Academy.  Fernando was from Mexico City where his father had a detergent factory.  He hopes to study environmental science and find ways of producing greener products.  Lucas was from China where his father is an urban planner.  He wants to study social sciences to effect changes in environmental attitudes.  The positive feeling Continue reading 2016 Rider Profile: Karl Raynar

2016 Rider Profile: Spencer Carran

Meet Spencer Carran, fourth in our get-to-know-the-riders series.  The 2016 PA-to-DC ride will take place April 29 -May 3.   Spencer is a member of State College Presbyterian Church.

11865336_10154181540799115_439161130685170416_oI am an ecology PhD candidate at Penn State focused on global public health, particularly in the context of the developing world. As the climate continues to warm over the next century, larger and larger segments of the world will suffer increased risk for outbreaks of vector-borne disease, as well as the negative effects of food insecurity that will disproportionately impact the  global poor. For those of us blessed to live in the wealthiest nation on Earth to continue to jeopardize the long-term habitability of our planet in service to short-term luxury is an ongoing moral failure, and I hope that by making a tangible display of avoiding excess fossil fuel use the PA IPL riders will be able to prompt our representatives in Congress to take a more thoughtful approach to environmental issues.

I commute exclusively by bike, including through the winter. We are fortunate in State College Continue reading 2016 Rider Profile: Spencer Carran

2016 Rider Profile: Ed Prince

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

IMG_0271I am a Bike Trip participant this year primarily because I love riding a bike.  I get pretty charged up planning, training, and participating in a bike tour like this.  My hope is to sometime ride across the country on a bike – self supported.

I also ride because I feel that our nation’s reliance on fossil fuel is wrong.  It is damaging to our environment, to our health, and it adds to the warming of temperatures we are seeing around the world. Making a statement with physical action is our way to go against this wasteful trend in our society.

We live in a fallen world. No denying that fact.  I believe we are called on to do all we can to improve our society and our world.  We are asked by God to work for fairness, justice, and for Continue reading 2016 Rider Profile: Ed Prince

2016 Rider Profile: David Hunter

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

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 7.56.57 PMI’m a professor in the Department of Statistics at Penn State University, and this year will be my second time participating in PAIPL’s ride to DC.  However, I haven’t made the trip since 2013, and I was hoping to make the trip this year with my daughter Molly —who made the trip in 2014 and 2015—but unfortunately she has to miss this year’s ride because of school commitments and so this will be the fourth straight year that only one member of our family has gone.

That’s Molly with me in the first picture, wearing our summer league ultimate (frisbee) uniforms from 2014.  We’re both fairly active, but beyond my one-mile bicycle commute to work every day, I don’t ride all that much.  Certainly multi-day, 200-mile bike trips are not routine for either of us!  But we both agree that the physical exertion of the trip is well worth it, for multiple reasons.

When I first rode three years ago, I had thought that the reason for participating in the ride was pretty straightforward:  Get some exercise while enjoying the company of friends, then show up in the halls of Congress to discuss issues related to climate change after having made a statement by biking 200 miles to be there.  I found that this simplistic description was accurate but incomplete.

In reality, the Continue reading 2016 Rider Profile: David Hunter

2016 Rider Profile: Pastor Ben Wideman

Meet Ben Wideman, first in our get-to-know-the-riders series.  The 2016 PA-to-DC ride  will take place April 29 -May 3, though Ben will have to return to State College after Orbisonia, PA.  Ben was a 2015  through-rider.

11143321_638594625579_8980769153136480603_oIn my role as a campus pastor at Penn State my work is primarily focused on issues of peace and social justice and how faith and spirituality is tied in to these things. It is meaningful work, however there is a very real challenge in moving from philosophical conversations to actual practical experiences that create a better world.

I’m drawn to experiences like the PA-IPL Bike Trip because it does just that. It takes a philosophical idea (that people of faith should care about our environment) and provides an opportunity to take an actual real step toward living out that philosophy in a practical way in our world.

This ride acts as a visible reminder that people of faith care about the environment – and that they care enough to ride all the way from central Pennsylvania to Washington DC! The ride builds relationships across a diverse group of participants – not only those who chose to ride, but also all the people who engage the riders at stops along the journey. It offers riders a way to Continue reading 2016 Rider Profile: Pastor Ben Wideman

2015 Rider Profile: Molly Hunter

Meet Molly Hunter, twelfth in our get-to-know-the-riders series.  The 2015 PA-to-DC ride  will take place May 1-5.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 3.02.11 PMLast year, I really enjoyed the bike trip.  I got to spend 4 days outside on my bike instead of under florescent lighting inside in school.  I got to look at beautiful landscapes, eat good food, and meet a bunch of great people. When we arrived, I met up with my mom (Cricket) who had already been in DC for the conference, and got to stay with some lovely family friends the night before Hill visits.

Hill visits, although not my favorite part of the trip, are interesting and important. Most of the aides are interesting to talk to, and polite, and appreciate the bike ride and my perspective as well. I think it’s important to do what’s right, and am both old enough and young Continue reading 2015 Rider Profile: Molly Hunter