Summer 2015

Pedaling for the Planet

By Scott Kirkwood
Summer 2015: Pedaling for the Planet

NPCA’s employees and supporters raise more than $50,000 to address climate change in the parks by simply riding their bikes.

Five days, 300 miles, two wheels.

That’s the journey thousands of people have tackled as participants in Climate Ride, a series of events that have raised $2 million dollars in the last seven years for NPCA and more than 100 other organizations addressing climate change.

“Climate Ride really is a group ride—not a race—and the best thing about it is the fact that everyone’s out there to protect the environment,” says Ben Sander, NPCA’s Climate Ride liaison, and manager of NPCA’s ParkScapes travel program.

Sander is one of a dozen NPCA employees who have participated in Climate Ride events including the route from New York to Washington, D.C.: “You start off riding through part of Manhattan, then take the ferry across the Hudson River, and go by Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and get your first chance to meet all the riders, then you all launch as one huge peloton in New Jersey and tackle that first hill together,” he says. “And every evening, you have wonderful conversations about the things you saw on the ride: the baby goats, or racing the Amish buggies in Pennsylvania, or a brutal headwind that seemed to last all day.” Those evenings generally end with cyclists gathering for presentations from various nonprofits, learning how their fundraising effort will make a difference. This year’s events will take cyclists through Acadia, Golden Gate, and Indiana Dunes. For those who prefer boots to bikes, Climate Hikes of four or five days will take place in Glacier National Park in Montana, and Bryce and Zion in Utah. In 2016, to celebrate the parks’ centennial, Climate Ride is planning several special events that would exclusively benefit NPCA.

Get involved by pledging your support to a rider or a hiker or, better yet, sign up for one of the excursions yourself at



About the author

This article appeared in the Summer 2015 issue

National Parks, our award-winning quarterly magazine, is an exclusive benefit of membership in the National Parks Conservation Association.

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