From September 8 to October 4, 2021, I undertook a 27-day ride across the USA. We started in San Diego, CA and rode 2,908 miles to Tybee Island near Savannah, GA. I rode with an organized tour, sharing the cycling experience with 20 or so others. To make this more than just about the ride, I shared it with you and made frequent short social media posts relevant to climate change… for several reasons.
First, this is to remember Valerie, my wife of 47 years, who died in January 2021. In doing so, I want to bring attention to the disease that took her from us far too early, younger-onset Alzheimer’s. Read Valerie’s story, and consider supporting the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund in her memory, as 100% of donations go to Alzheimer’s research.
Second, because of our five grandchildren. I want them and their grandchildren to grow up in a sustainable world. So, as a challenge under the umbrella of Climate Ride, I will focus on two aspects of the climate crisis. The Solar Village Project supported by my church, Rock Spring United Church of Christ, provides climate-friendly energy to the most vulnerable. The Chesapeake Climate Action Network, working in the Central Atlantic region of the USA, offers just the kind of regional advocacy and action needed to address a global problem.
Third, because even in my 70th year, I believe I can. At one level, that reflects my privilege: I have the resources, time and health to do it. Even after an encounter with prostate cancer, now apparently gone, thanks to early-enough detection, surgery and radiation over the past three years. One last piece of advocacy (no fund-raising!)….men over 40, get tested regularly. Early detection is possible; treatments are often highly effective.
Finally, it was immensely satisfying. And addictive? And it gave me a chance to visit several states I have never seen before, giving a hugely different perspective on America than when traveling by car or plane. I did it once before in 2016, a northern route across the US. I thought I’d never do it again. I may be a bit slower than I was five years ago, but I was just as persistent!