Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This Just in From Brazil: Biking is Best

Found on Treehugger today: A group of transportation enthusiasts in Sao Paolo, Brazil studied various ways to get around that notoriously congested city by conducting an "Intermodal" experiment. Just how congested is Sao Paolo? (Hint: the city is home to more private helicopters than any other city in the world)

The graph at left shows that bicycling is not only the fastest way to get from point A to B (approx. 6 miles), but bicycling also has the smallest CO2 footprint.

Which makes the "health benefit" argument, well, superfluous.

Just for fun, watch the video of Bicycle vs. Helicopter below. That Brazilian biking music makes me pedal in my desk chair.

You can read the entire article HERE

350 in the New York Times!

In an article released online on Monday, author Lauren Morello makes the case for 350 ppm as the upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. With temperature increase predictions ranging from 2 to 6 degrees Celsius in the next 90 years, 450 ppm (the current target) is no longer considered realistic. Yet her research leads her to conclusions beyond any final, exact concentration. As she says, "Some scientists mapping out Earth's potential futures say both targets are arbitrary. What's essential, they insist, is that countries start cutting their greenhouse gas emissions soon and stay flexible in case the planet behaves in unexpected ways."

Very smart people, including Gavin Schmidt from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Steven Schneider, from Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment, and Jason Lowe, from Met Office's Hadley Center, contributed to the story.

Thanks to these bright minds, we know the time to start cutting emissions is now. And remember - for motivation's sake - any bit of press that the most important number on the planet can garner in the months leading up to Copenhagen is a positive indication that our efforts are succeeding.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

McKibben Reminds Obama to Organize

Photo credit goes to Flickr user: daCityDrifter

In a sharply written response to President Obama's speech at the UN Climate Talks this week, Bill McKibben questions the rhetoric around climate change and challenges Mr. Obama to not only tighten up his loose language on the issue, but to also rally his constituents (yes, us) to help the issue gain traction here at home.

The bottom line? Targeting 80% reductions in CO2 by 2050 is not an adequate response to the climate crisis.

Read the full article, published today in Mother Jones online, here:


Monday, September 21, 2009

Thursday Happy Hour at Sports Basement

This Thursday night, September 24th you (too!) can join the friendly folks of Ride350 and a couple hundred of our best friends at Sports Basement, 1590 Bryant Street in SF, for a free happy hour. Food and drink will be provided by Sports Basement, and everyone who shops from 6 - 9 pm will receive 15% off anything they buy. Helmets. Bikes. Clif Bars. Spandex. 15% off.

The best part, and yet another example of why Sports Basement is the chosen gear stop of discerning San Franciscans, is that 5% of your savings will go directly to the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. If anyone deserves the dollars, it's SFBC, the dedicated people that bring us bicyclists improved biking infrastructure, provide us with a voice in policy debates, and entertain us with bike-in movies complete with valet bike parking - among other things.

To recap: Thursday, September 24th. 6 - 9 pm. Free beer and food. 15% off anything in the store. 5% of discount going to a good, local cause.

So, come out and join us.

"As corporations go, this one has a good heart" - Jeff, bike mechanic at SB Bryant

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Portland has its priorities in check...

Local microbrew beer, music, and pizza all on a single hand-built bicycle?! Heaven really does exist.

Portlander's come see for yourselves...Saturday 19th at Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) Biketobeerfest where "Bikes and beer will be celebrated in true Portland style..."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

There is Water at the Bottom of the Ocean!

Thanks to SFist, I came across this video and accompanying article that covers no less than 2 of my favorite things in the whole world: Bicycling and David Byrne.

Maybe we should invite him to join our team...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Views from Portland

Check out a few photos from Team PDX (Saul + Jules) beautiful training rides.

Last Thursday we took a short ride with some good climbs up to Rocky Butte and Mt. Tabor. Looking forward to more views like these! (Picture atop Rocky Butte with Mt.Hood in the distance.)

Yesterday we opted for a long flat ride out to Sauvie Island…nothing like stumbling upon blackberry bushes along the way and riding over the St.Johns Bridge.


Friday, September 11, 2009

What Climate Change?

Mention this to all those global warming skeptics....

An article in the New York Times tells the story of the first two ships in history to make the famed Northeast Passage from South Korea to Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. Thanks to global warming and the extensive melting of typically impassable summer ice, the German vessels are currently on the final leg of their journey across the Arctic.

Rider Ben Jervey had a first hand encounter with this same ice a while back.

Thanks to Rider Peter Prato who sent me this article.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Know the Facts

We're almost a month away from the grand departure from Arcata, CA!!! (yikes)

Since I won't be doing the full ride (only the flat, 1980's 10-speed worthy portions), I am doing a different kind of "training" that I think you all would benefit from as well...

How to talk to a Climate Skeptic

Knowing the facts about climate change, the basics of how that information is compiled, and where the holes/doubts are in the available science is will be very important to having intelligent, productive conversations with the people we meet along the ride. (If possible, I think that Alex Hooker should all give us a lesson on "verbal judo" too.)

Plus, since I'll be driving a 15-passenger van for the majority of our 350 mile journey, I feel like I need to brush up on my case for taking action on big-picture environmental legislation, and the nitty-gritty of why (despite my gas guzzling vehicle) I think 350 is the most important number on the planet.

Study up!

P.S. Also, while you're on Grist's website, you should check out this somewhat frightening article about what 1 degree of temperature change could do for CA wildfires. (double yikes)


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The PDX team is now officially online.

Jules and I went on a great training ride yesterday and somehow managed to find the only block of time this weekend with no rain (0k...it rained a little).

We started out on some beautiful bike paths along the river and through Tryone Creek Park and then moved on to some good climbing (2,700 ft overall).

Here's the ride:

With Ride350 only about a month away, we're looking forward to doing some longer training rides.

More to come...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Visions of a Training Ride

Check out these images from this past weekends' incredible training Ride in Marin, appropriately named the 7 Sisters.

We had a great turnout and even had the opportunity to take some team shots. Many thanks to the selflessness of honorary Ride350 team member Darcy (who lugged her camera along). Coincidentally, she never found it necessary to get off her seat while going uphill, either.


Renewable Choice Energy Sponsors Ride350!

The Ride350 Team is, admittedly, not a carbon neutral bunch. That is why we are very thankful to have the carbon emissions associated with our week long edu-venture offset by the fine folks at Renewable Choice Energy.

We have purchased verified emission reductions (VERs) also known as carbon offsets, from RCE, in order to balance the emissions from our support van and from team members flying out for the event. Renewable energy credits are not the answer to global warming but they are a conscious step in the right direction.

According to RCE, "(purchasing) carbon offsets provide(s) economic support to make carbon projects more financially viable. A carbon offset is a reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent. It ensures greenhouse gases, or GHGs, are being removed from the atmosphere or prevented from entering it."

For more information on carbon offsets or Renewable Choice, visit their website.