Sorry about the tardiness of this post, the internet’s been out for a few days now.
First of all, I want to say thanks to everyone who has been following so far. I started this project with the main goal of having a big adventure and learning about the world before I sat down and became a real adult. While I cared about climate issues, I attached the idea of raising money for 350.org kind of by default–I saw an opportunity to turn a random adventure into a net positive for the world. Now, though, I don’t know.
Now, the different parts of this project are starting to cohere. In large part thanks to conversations with friends and family, especially my sister Maia, there’s an ember here in my hands. I have something that I can see and that I want to make real.
So I wanted to take a moment to update everyone and tell you where this is going. So here’s the new “The Plan: Cycling”
My goals for this project are manyfold. At the most surface level, I want to show people the power of active transport. I want people to know that given the right infrastructure, they can go anywhere on a bike and lead a better life because of it.
At a deeper level, biking around the world will let me get at the primary goal of this project, which is to document and help build the global climate movement. I’ll do this in three ways: education, storytelling, and fundraising. As I travel, I will use my Chinese and Spanish language skills to spread the word about climate change’s causes, effects, and solutions. I will interview people that I meet along the way, trying to understand how climate change has affected them and how it could affect their lifestyles in the future. Using this blog, I hope to tell their stories and place those stories within the scientific and political context of climate change and the global climate movement.
In addition to telling stories, I hope this website can also contribute more concretely to the global climate movement. I will use this site as a tool to expand my educational efforts, and on a more tangible level, to collect donations for 350.org. I see 350.org as the vanguard of the climate movement, and donations to them as a way of directly and concretely stoking the movement. (Please consider donating here)
My plan for the tour itself continues to evolve daily, but here’s what I know:
- I will bike one circumference of the earth (24,901 miles or 40,075 km) over a 3-4 year period, starting my tour in Shanghai, China and ending in Valparaíso, Chile, where I studied abroad (see below for details)
- I will break down my riding and fundraising into 3 main phases:
- China Crossing–I will bike 2,500 km across China in the summer of 2015 with Noah Willingham and Chris DeLacy
- North Silk Road and the Mediterranean–Beginning in the Spring of 2016, I will bike from Central Asia to Europe, then south through Iberia and Morocco
- The Americas–In this third and final phase, my sister and I (and potentially others) will bike south through the Americas, beginning at the Arctic Sea and biking south to the Andes, then heading southeast through Brasil and Argentina to Cape Horn, and finally northward along the Carretera Austral, ending the adventure in Vaparaíso, Chile
- Anyone is welcome to join me, for a day or a year.
- Questions? Comments? Submit a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As far as the fundraising itself goes, this is the deal: I will be working with climateride.org to raise money for 350. When you donate on my climateride page, 80% of the proceeds go directly to 350.org. While it’s not quite as efficient as donating directly to 350, the money that doesn’t go directly to 350 goes to furthering other fundraising programs that climateride runs. (A development officer in charge of fundraising at 350 advised me that this was “the best option” for my project).
Please consider including this project in your donations this season. Man-made climate change is the biggest problem we’ve ever faced as a species, and we need to give organizations like 350 the resources they need to change the world. If you want to support this project, or you just like reading the blog, please consider donating here. (I promise I won’t ask again on this blog until I’m getting ready to start the tour)
Keeping Things Whole
by Mark Strand (April 11, 1934-November 29, 2014)
In a field
I am the absence
always the case.
Wherever I am
I am what is missing
When I walk
I part the air
the air moves in
to fill the spaces
where my body’s been
We all have reasons
to keep things whole.