When I heard that Heartwood would be holding its annual forest council meeting in the Appalachians, I thought ‘Oh great. I can ride my bike to that’.
Heartwood is the leading environmental organization for the protection of eastern forests in the US. The issue for this year’s annual Forest Council meeting would be on preventing mountain top removal for coal mining in the Appalachian Mountains. This is where they tear down the top of a mountain and fill up the gorges to get at the coal.
So, I thought, if the larger issue is to reduce our carbon footprint, then I’ll start with mine. I would ride my bike the 230+ miles to the conference. I’ll release some CO2 thru exhaling, and a bit of methane aft, but my goal was to have to lowest carbon footprint possible. And what better place to do it than an environmental conference.
So, what did I have going for me? An excellent bicycle and all my gear. And against me: zero bicycle conditioning this year. I had spent all my time working on my farm. Excellent exercise, but not cycling. The conference began may 22nd. So I decided to leave on May 18th. That would give me plenty of time to get there, or fail trying. My goal was to arrive at the camp south of Mount Sterling, Kentucky using 100% muscle power. Because it is the Spring planting season, I would catch a ride back home with a friend. Maybe I can miss one week of planting in the Spring, but I cannot miss two weeks. Read More…