A Cause Worth Riding For
As previously announced in our social media, I joined up with Climate Ride to raise funds for our Educational Program in this year’s California Ride. Along with 150 other riders, I peddled from San Francisco to Sacramento via an immensely beautiful scenic route. Cue music, “Over the bridge, and through the vineyards, to our thriving planet we go!” Turns out riding over 250 miles will make you come up with some not-so-creative jingles and one-too-many “Top Five” lists. Sparing you the audio, here is my definitive top 5 reasons to consider riding your bike for the Greenhouse Gas Management Institute.
1) In the midst of a significant climate finance gap, Climate Ride delivers. In the past five years, non-profits working on climate change have become increasingly beholden to international government funding. This restriction on finance leaves most entities in a position to either terminate programs dependent on un-restrictive funds, or keep them afloat via creative fundraising initiatives. Collectively the riders on the California ride raised over half a million dollars.
2) Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity. The international community can’t suffer another decade of ill-informed policy makers, plant managers, and world-leaders. By raising money via this ride, the Institute is able to grow our Scholarship Fund, which enables us to deliver roughly 30 scholarships each year. While we work hard every day to equip future carbon professionals with the tools and training they need. It can be even harder for individuals in low-income or under-connected situations to seek the skill-sets they need to make the world a better place.
3) Sustainable luxury touring at its finest. Yep, I’m combining two words that rarely go together. From pour-over coffee, route descriptions every tenth of a mile, energy efficient and bike-friendly winery and brewery visits, reusable dishes, deluxe vegetarian catering that doesn’t skimp, climate comedy, olive oil tasting, activism, fully supported gear schlepping, massages, zero-worry logistics, and immense fundraising “how-to” support. The impeccable California weather was icing on the cake.
4) Fly-in, fly-out conferences are for the birds. Sharing the road and sharing meals for 4 days with 150 other people working on climate change was an instant shot of inspiration. In a line of work full of skepticism, nay-sayers, and declining optimism; it was refreshingly human, to exercise and break bread with folks working at all levels of climate change. At one point I delighted in conversation with a person working on energy efficiency state-side, while moments later I was intrigued by an individual bringing human waste digesters to all of Africa.
5) I can do it, you can do it. I’ve never labeled myself as a cyclist, or for that matter, a good fundraiser. At the beginning of the year, my road bike and I hadn’t even broke the single-day 30 mile mark. Nor had I ever asked friends or colleagues to donate to work I believed in. Exercising, leveraging money, and setting up camp in some of the most beautiful places on planet earth exceeded all of my initial expectations for having “fun” during this event. Achievements, even if seemingly minor, work wonders.
Interested in participating in a ride to raise money for the Institute? Don’t delay, there are still 2 rides left this year. I invite you to give it a try! Send me an email if you’re wondering how to select us as a beneficiary, or likewise, if you’re interested in donating directly to our Scholarship Fund.
(Ps. Want to give me a virtual “high-five” for completing the ride? My fundraising page will be open until the 1st of December.)