Pedaling for Progress
I woke up this morning for my first day in California. The sun is shining and it’s 60*. What a welcome, San Francisco!
A very gracious Climate Rider who lives here offered to host me tonight so that I don’t have to pay for a hotel. I made my way to Leslie’s place in downtown SF by cab. Naturally, the curious driver asked me “what’s in the box?” referring to my dissembled bike. After he helped me heave it into the backseat of the minivan, we talked about my upcoming adventure and why I would take on such a challenge. I asked him what he thought about climate change and what we need to do. His words struck me: “We need progress. We only have this one planet. We need new technologies that will keep our Earth clean and habitable for humans and we need to let scientists do their research to help us make more progress.”
I asked if he had a family and he said yes, 3 kids. It’s clear that he is worried about what they and their children might face if we maintain the status quo.
When we arrived at my host’s home, Jesse helped me unload my luggage and bike and shook my hand and wished me safe travels and to enjoy scenic Highway 1.
I spent the rest of the afternoon buying a few last minute necessities and reassembling my bike. I’m proud to say practice helped: I put my bike together at my fastest speed yet! And when I took it for a spin around these HILLY SF streets, everything seemed to be in order (except for maybe my legs which aren’t used to such hilly terrain!).
In a few minutes I’ll go to dinner with Leslie and her friends to “carb up.” I don’t know how much sleep I will get tonight because I am filled with anticipatory excitement to see some old friends tomorrow and to start making some new ones!
But what has gotten me most excited today is my 20 minute discussion during my taxi ride with an average American who gets it. So Jesse, a friendly cab driver in San Francisco, on Sunday I begin pedaling my bike for you and your 3 children in the hopes that we will wake up to the reality of our climate, changed, and do some hard work to “make progress.”