Remember back in May when we dedicated a portion of our around the world ride toward the spirit of “connecting the dots” between climate change and our precarious future? In the 350.org spirit (scientists warn that we have to reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level of 392 parts per million to below 350 ppm in order to preserve our planet) we asked others around the world to match the 350 kilometers we were going to ride from Loreto to La Paz in Baja California Sur.
We’ve finished that portion of our trip and, to be honest, we were a little disappointed that only two people pledged to join us (where are you, fellow cyclists and daily activists?!). BUT, as you know, we believe every little bit makes a difference and the people who did cycle with us, in spirit, were hugely motivating for us. To show our appreciation we’d like to highlight a few of those cyclists in this post.
Inspiration From 350 KM Pledge Rider Linda Hayek
Here’s a pledge note we received from Linda Hayek, of Nebraska, Omaha, USA, in May 2012:
“Hello Kai and Sheila, I plan to cycle 221 miles (350 km) in May with some women cyclists who have various interests in art and writing. We find cycling to be a way to live better. It turns up the volume on one’s senses so you can notice details. 221 miles is a good goal! Thanks for the inspiration! Linda “
We were so excited to get this message from Linda, a fellow cyclist we met back in Nebraska, who has given us loads of moral support from afar. Having been a mathematics teacher for 34 years, she now volunteers her time to providing education to those who live in urban communities with limited educational options. Beyond volunteering she cycles regularly, on her own & in groups, and has a goal of seeing the entire world from the seat of her bicycle! She’s got a pretty good start on that goal having toured in Spain, Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the United States, but she’s honest too. “When I do the math comparing the expected days remaining in my life with the number of countries yet to be traveled, I predict that I will run out of time, but I continue this quest because the pursuit is as enjoyable as attaining my goal.” Spoken like a true mathematician (and touring cyclist)!
THANKS to Linda & The Women who Joined us in our 350 KM challenge:
Need more inspiration?
Read Linda Hayek’s personal story:
“To understand my interest in bicycle travel, one needs some details. Allow me to begin with the school year 2006-07, the last of 34 in my career as a classroom teacher and the year after my husband, Dave, gave up his long battle against cancer. I was 55 years old, and the world as I knew it seemed to fall apart. I struggled to envision life without Dave, without students, and without school activities, but I felt lost, sluggish, and stuck to the recliner. The inspiration for what happened that winter is still a mystery. I decided to train for a bicycle tour in Europe to honor Dave, and in memory of our dream to do this together one day. I settled on a 10 day tour riding from Prague to Budapest. A little nervous, I paid the deposit, got out of the recliner, and never looked back. For several months I worked out, building strength and endurance and gaining confidence. Then, three days after I locked my classroom door for the last time, I found myself flying across the Atlantic to travel by bicycle through four countries in Eastern Europe. It was June, and the poppies were in full bloom in the Czech Republic. Entire hillsides of huge blossoms, brilliant orange with the blackest black centers, appeared en masse, bombarding me with color and showing me that I had been seeing in black and white. It was as if my world had come to life again, and I realized that biking was about me, too, and not entirely about honoring Dave. I was hooked!” ~From “Linda Hayek, Spotlight Writer” of Nebraska Writing Project
You can also read Linda’s online journal that covers her travels across Chile and Argentina here.