Renee's 2015 Climate Ride Adventure


Team Bike East Bay at the finish of the 2015 Climate RideHere are some highlights from my Climate Ride adventure this year.  I am so grateful to all the generous folk who donated to support my ride this year and helped me beat my goal of raising $5,000 for Bike East Bay!  Taking five days to cycle down the coast from Fortuna to San Francisco with 160 amazing Climate Riders was inspiring, exhilerating, sometime exhausting, and left me reinvigorated to come back to work at Bike East Bay.

Reflecting on this adventure I think one of the elements that I love the most about the Climate Ride is the chance to be a part of a rolling community of people who are making a difference on an issue that often feels overwhelming, intractable and sometime terrifying - climate change.  Spending five days taking action with others who are doing the same is a great antidote to the feeling of helplessness that the climate crisis brings up in me.  

And the ride was even more fun for being a part of our Bike East Bay team.  Many thanks to my co-captain Dan Leaverton and our rockin’ team of 8.  Together we raised over $37,000 for bicycle advocacy and sustainability.  Go Team Bike East Bay!

Day 0

Team Bike East Bay is charged up and ready for the Climate Ride, biking down the coast from Eureka to SF over the next five days! On the bus ride north to Fortuna we stopped at the Solar Living Institute in Hopland and got the whole team pedaling on on a bike-generator exhibit created by our friends Rock the Bike.

Day 1

I felt great at the end of Day 1. The highlights were riding with the ancient redwoods in the Avenue of the Giants, swimming in the Eel River at end of the day, our awesome Bike East Bay team, and just being on my bike all day. Tomorrow we ride to the coast over the Leggett Hill.

Day 2

Awesomeness. Started my day with morning meditation by the Eel River, got some good climbing in over the Legett Hill, had a glorious descent to the ocean, and am now enjoying a well deserved beer at the North Coast Brewing Co in Fort Bragg. It was team day today, so I got pics with my favorite teams. Our Bike East Bay team wore our Beautiful Machine shirts with pride!

 

Day 3

In a word, glorious. I did 95 miles. Not much time for pics. The only way I can get through so many miles is to spend every minute pedaling, eating, or doing both at once. The sun came out midday and the coast was spectacular. The ocean a Mediterranean blue. Bucolic, idyllic, pastoral. I had winged zephyrs giving me a gentle push up the hills. Riding at its best, when you feel you could ride forever. Then I capped off the day giving the last presentation of the night on our Measure BB win. Not many brain cells left at that point but folks were still awake at the end. I count that as a win.

Day 4

Sluggish start to the day rolling slowly through the Russian River valley. A caffeine stop in Guerneville was no help. Skipped the winery visit and continued grumpily into the pothole-ridden roads of Sonoma county. Things started to look up with a post lunch macaroon that really turned my mood around and got my legs going. I don’t know what that macaroon had in it but it was a game-changer. The last 15 miles or so were along Tomales Bay and quite lovely, thank you Marin Co. for the smooth pavement. Knowing myself as I do, I had planned ahead and booked a room at the Bear Valley Inn, very cute and a discount for biking in). Pampering was very much in order and a hot bath was sheer bliss at the end of the ride.

Day 5

The final day of the Climate Ride. I didn’t think that this year’s ride could get any better, but yesterday, our final day, was truly amazing. I am sure that waking up in a warm and comfy bed at the Bear Valley in got things off to a good start. After a full night’s sleep in luxury I felt well rested and not at all like I had cycled 280 miles in the last 4 days. I rolled out with my good friend Corinne, and was reminded how good conversation makes the miles fly by. Our route took us up onto Mt. Tam with an option to go to the summit, which I have never done. I didn’t think I would be up for it but when the turnoff came I felt strong and went for it. Miraculously, I just kept feeling stronger, climbing up through the clouds and fog. Almost to the summit we broke through to sun and I sang as I rode the last half mile or so. The view from the summit was spectacular and making that ascent at the end of a 5 day ride was an incredible feeling of accomplishment. Our whole group of 160 riders made a triumphant progress across the Golden Gate and into the Presidio for the finale. I am so proud of our Team Bike East Bay riders! What an amazing group of people to spend 5 days with! I am in withdrawal already.