Riding for Renewable Energy and Climate Change

Extreme skier and global cooling consultant Allison Gannett tells us why she is riding in the 300-mile Brita Climate Ride.

Allison Gannett is participating in the Brita Climate Ride to help raise awareness about global climate change. As a World Champion extreme skier fighting to save our snow, a champion ultra mountain bike racer fighting to save our singletrack, and an award-winning global cooling solutions consultant, latching on for the from New York City to Washington, D.C., was a no brainer. This 5-day charity bike ride from September 26 – 30, aims to raise awareness of climate change and the need for renewable energy legislation. The 300-mile ride is open to anyone and it’s a great event for experienced riders and novice cyclists (there are currently only 40 spots left. Register at ClimateRide.org). In my quest to make a difference, I’ve turned my passion for racing mountain bikes and cycling into a mode of long-haul transportation. Initially I looked for techy solutions, such as creating a solar powered hybrid SUV that got 100 miles per gallon. But I quickly realized that the carbon footprint of manufacturing a car can exceed 100 tons per vehicle, which virtually offsets any carbon footprint savings from the increased gas mileage. The answer? Drive less. But how to do it? I decided to try to ride my bicycle to my work events around the U.S. instead of renting a car. I needed to be able to carry my work clothes and computer, all without panniers or a trailer. My first attempt was a 6-state swing, spending two weeks on the East Coast with nine days of riding. My route: Colgate University, Pennsylvania-New Jersey-New York City-Boston-New Hampshire-Vermont, and back through New York via the Adirondacks to my starting point in Hamilton, New York. Gannett is an extreme freeskier and mountain biker who lives in Crested Butte, CO. Ever wondered how to get exercise while working? Try bike commuting in a more serious way – I’ve never had more fun or seen an area in more detail. My favorite parts were the extensive bike paths in New York City, touring East Coast cheese farms, and the windmills near Colgate University. East Coast riding is beautiful and the upcoming Climate Ride includes world class cycling in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington DC.

Back to Brita Climate Ride. I’m looking forward to another multi-day bike tour, as I have been mostly mountain biking through the wildflowers in my hometown of Crested Butte, Colorado. Climate Ride is a supported bike tour (they use Priuses and veggie-oil vans to get your luggage from camp to camp with as minimal of a carbon footprint as possible). But I plan on riding self-supported to decrease my carbon footprint further.

You don’t have to be an ultra mountain bike racer to do Climate Ride, so get on your bike and join me for this adventure! I’m looking forward to doing my climate solutions presentation while on the ride and I hope you can join us.

Well, cheers to those riding their bikes, whether for work or for fun. And special kudos to bike commuters everywhere. Learn more about how to make a difference at these three sites: www.AlisonGannett.com, www.ClimateRide.org, www.saveoursingletrackfoundation.org.

Get Outside and Enjoy the Ride

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