Posts Tagged ‘Bicycle’

Bike to Work

Today is Bike to Work Day, in fact the whole week has been Bike to Work week, encouraging us all to pump a little less pollution out into the skies and pump a little more blood through our veins. Don’t let it stop today, take advantage of the season and your own pedal power—you definitely won’t regret it.

There are lots of bike-based volunteer options out there as well…think about getting involved with on eof these or similar projects near you:

Community Cycles helps reclaim discarded bikes and get them “out of the waste stream” so others can enjoy the physical and community benefits of riding. It is based in Boulder, Colorado, but there are probably programs around you that have a similar empowering way to explore your own passion and help others as well.

The Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol works with volunteers to operate the volunteer bike patrol helping support and protect trail users and natural resources (plants, wildlife, trail quality) in San Francisco’s East Bay trail network.

Community Cycling Center in Portland, Oregon has volunteer opportunities for all of its two-wheel community programs, the most beloved being the “bike drives” where donated bikes are collected, repaired, spruced up, and given to kids from low income families.  Is there a program like this in your town? There certainly ought ot be–maybe you can start one?

There is a bicycle project open to volunteer sin South Africa (as a week-long volunteer vacation stint) through Oasis Overland that gives you the chance to support user-generated transportation in small communities. It helps small communities save time and reduce carbon emmissions.

Charity Guide has a web page dedicated to creating volunteer opportunities to get discarded bikes to the homeless. It’s a volunteer effort where you can make a difference with just a few hours of work in your community.

You can volunteer to do bike path and trail mainteneance, making sure everyone has safe access to biking in a region, like this volunteer project in Marco Island, Florida.

Every one of the big Bike-a-Thons, AIDS Rides, Rides for a Cure, and other one-day or multi-day, high mileage rides (including the Amgen Tour of California, going on right now, May 16-23…get involved next year in this statewide, Tour de France-style elite race to raise money and awareness for cancer research) is run by volunteers. These huge, super-organized charitable fund-raising efforts are Herculean tasks of volunteers along every step of the way. If you don’t want to ride in the saddle yourself and log mileage for a cause, make it happen for those who will. It is all in service to amazing charities, and both sides of the equation are required for success.

And when the bike is simply done, unrecyclable, can’t function as a bik anymore…there is still a great opportunity before it gets put out to pasture. Globe Aware has a volunteer vacation program in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where the week’s work includes building wheelchairs for victims of landmines form old bicycle parts, and delivering them directly to patients. Talk about changing a life!

There are so many more–this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface–so today, on Bike to Work Day, even if you didn’t pedal into the office–use the day to be inspired to find a way to make a difference.

Climate Ride

You know the water filtering pitcher you’ve got in your fridge–the one I hope you’re using to refill a non-plastic water bottle more often than you’re buying bottles of water–if you are like  most households that have filtering pitchers, it is probably a Brita. Brita has plenty of big ol’ commitments to the planet, and one of their terrific initiatives is the Brita Climate Ride. Are you looking for a biking challenge/getaway that is more about best for the earth than personal best? This is a 300-mile, five-day bike ride from New York City to Washington DC. Once at the steps of the capitol in the capital, riders will meet with their elected representatives from their congressional districts to encourage action.

It’s not just a bunch of Spandex-clad jocks—in addition to motivated riders, renewable energy experts and environmental activists provide talks and discussions each evening at the rest camps where you’ll learn as much about the issues as you can absorb. It is a “Climate Conference on Wheels.” Above is a video clip from the 2008 ride.

Riders pay an entry fee of $100 and are asked to raise an additional $2,400 in tax-deductible donations (feel free to raise a bunch more), and the money raised goes to Focus the Nation, the Rails to Trails Conservancy, and Clean Air Cool Planet. (click the links to find out more about these hard-working organizations)

The ride takes place September 26-30 (there are special arrangements for Climate Riders who observe Yom Kippur) during the beautiful beginnings of autumn coolness along the scenic corridors connecting New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland on the way to DC. It’s a pretty great active vacation plan—and a great way to make a difference for yourself and the future.