This photo was taken by Hanna Jakobson. She flew from her home country of Sweden to Vancouver to ride her bike south from there to central America. Along the way she met up with us through a friend of a friend and on the fourth day of riding I rode sweep and when we came around the bend into this view I wished I'd had my camera and was thankful that she wanted to stop. We spent most of the day together exploring the coast, meeting people, and stopping to get a better sense of the scope of what we were seeing. I had the pleasure of the surprise of a leisurely seventy mile ride in the company of this wonderfully intuitive and observant woman who, by the end of our trip, was as much a part of our team as any of us.
Yesterday's epic climb over the legendary Legget Hill took us to an unparalleled vista of the Pacific just north of Westport. Here's a little video of the moment, as well as an impromptu interview with some smart folks on tour from Germany...
For the benefit of our numerous fans who've expressed outrage at our lack of blog updates since the ride kicked off, let me apologize - the coal fired satellite uplink trailer was just too heavy to haul and we've been making do with a slightly more tenuous set up. But here we are beside the Eel river at the Pacific Lumber Company town of Rio Dell enjoying our first proper night on the road… Spaghetti and Sierra Nevada refueling our aching bones and good conversation circulating among us all.
Let's fill you in -
Today began literally at the crack of dawn in Arcata, sleeping soundly on the office floor generously provided by Kirk Cohune of Greenway Partners. We awoke to a stirring of citizens who arrived for the week's first 350 action - a short ride to neighboring Eureka. Arcata's mayor, Mark Wheatley, and an impressive host of local dignitaries (see below) arrived to speak of some of Arcata's many environmental accomplishments.
And then we were off…
Between Eureka and Rio Dell we had a shocking four (!) flat tires among the 17 riders, the morning mist lifted above the gorgeous farm country of the North Coast and some of the crew even witnessed the birth of a cow. Lunch was had in the charming hamlet of Ferndale, the kind of place you pass through saying "man, I could live here"… but conversation was on the topic at hand - climate change, the realities of what it means, what we can and cannot do to prevent it and some pretty deep discussions about the future of humanity in general.
Master photographer Peter Prato was on the ready all day. If we had the bandwidth we'd upload the whole shebang to flickr, but we can't so here are a tiny sample:
(The ride is on! Downward dog and upward slog)
(Lost again? map consultation)
(Looking awfully confident)
(On the road - gorgeous north coast cow country)
(rollin' on through the sunshine)
(end of the first day - a successful arrival at Rio Dell!)
Come join Ride350 on Saturday, 10/24, as we finish the last leg of our 350 mile journey from Arcata to San Francisco. We will meet no later than 2:00 pm at the parking lot on the nortwest corner of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Everyone is welcome - as long as you're on a bike!
David Kroodsma is a hero in the realm of climate change activism. And it's pioneers like him that serve as inspiration to bicycle enthusiasts like team Ride350.
The video above is an audio-visual sampling of his recently completed 21,000 mile journey, by bicycle, from California to the southern tip of South America and then some, the whole time preaching the climate gospel to schools, churches, media outlets - basically anyone who would listen. He recently completed a book about his adventure, and, having been a friend and casual adviser to the Ride350 team since inception, I had the chance to catch up with him the other day to congratulate him on the accomplishment.
His words of wisdom to Ride350: “Congrats in advance to all of you on the 350 ride! Don't underestimate the transformative power of a bicycle journey!”
Thanks David, and good luck in all that you continue to do so well.
Next Wednesday night, October 14th, Ride350 is holding a fundraising party at Amnesia in San Francisco. Music will be provided by Gaucho, the best left bank jazz band in all of SF. Proceeds will go directly to the team of 15 dedicated Riders to help us offset the costs of this ambitious adventure. Everyone is welcome so invite your friends.
But wait! It gets better. The event is free, but those who donate will get raffle tickets to win one (of two) sweet, large Zero messenger bags (like the ones below) donated to Ride350 by our local-bag-making friends at Rickshaw Bagworks. Thanks Rickshaw!
A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CAME OUT AND SUPPORTED US - financially and otherwise! It was a terrific night and we're excited to be on our way!
Good friend and Ride350 Team member Ben Jervey has recently assumed the role of "negotiator tracker" for the United States' representative to the Copenhagen climate talks. Working as part of the Tck Tck Tck campaign, Ben is currently in Bangkok, following the every move of Jonathan Pershing (pictured), the former WRI employee and co-author of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. While Ben and John aren't exactly sharing a set of bunk beds - a funny visual - Ben does have an inside track on what Jonathan is conveying in "the most important meetings in the history of the world". You can follow Ben's coverage of the negotiations here: http://adoptanegotiator.org/category/united-states-of-america/
It is truly an honor to have Ben on our team, and I'm already looking forward to hearing anecdotes from his experience during long stretches of California coastline. Keep up the good work, Ben. Or, more appropriately: