Biking from Seattle to Portland, Bill and I encountered unexpected summer rain, reminding us that we were indeed in the Pacific Northwest.
On the stretch of road to Portland, we crossed two major milestones. We reached 4,000 miles for the U.S. journey. If you combine this with my previous journey through Latin America, I have also now biked 20,000 miles through Ride for Climate – from California to the tip of South America, and from Boston to the west coast. (With only a three-week break in between trips!)
We are now in Portland, and we will finish this leg of Ride for Climate by biking from here to San Francisco. My first bike tour ever was this same route – from Portland to San Francisco in 1999 (a friend and I ‘biked to school.’) I remember at the time not thinking that it was even possible to travel such a great distance by bicycle – my friend convinced me otherwise, and we gave it a shot.
What has struck me about biking 20,000 miles over the past 22 months is not how hard it has been, but how easy it has been. All you have to do is get up each day, bike for a while (including rest days, this trip averages less than 30 miles a day), and, after enough time, you have biked halfway around the world.
We sometimes make this analogy in our talks. When people look at what we need to do to address global warming – reduce carbon dioxide emissions at least 80% by 2050, some think it is impossible. Almost everything we do uses fossil fuels – turning on a light switch or driving to the supermarket – how could we stop? The key is to start taking action now – invest in renewable energy, support energy efficiency, conserve energy. With these steps, however small some of them seem, we begin on a path to solve the problem. And, like biking halfway around the world, if we can solve this problem, I am sure that the result will be immensely satisfying. We just have to start now.