By Cathleen Leitch
To help raise awareness about environmental issues, Dr. Alexander Grushow is training to ride his bike 300 miles for Climate Ride 2009. The charity event tries to raise awareness of global warming, climate change and the benefits of renewable energy.
The Energy and Sustainability Steering Committee (ESSC) has been a major contributor in increasing awareness on campus, and even joined in for a portion of Climate Ride 2008, but it is Grushow, chair of the chemistry and physics department, who is taking matters into his own hands this year.
Climate Ride is a September marathon bike ride of over 300 miles, from New York City to Washington, D.C. The ride lasts for five days with nightly stops along the way. This is why it was so easy for Grushow to get involved. He learned about this annual trip from ESSC’s Melissa Greenberg, sustainability coordination manager. “She mentioned that it would be passing through Lambertville, where I live, on its way down to D.C.,” Grushow said.
So he decided to get involved in the actual riding for the second annual Climate Ride.
“[I thought], ‘Sure, I can do this,’ and I liked the mission,” he said.
Climate Ride may have the goal to educate Americans about global warming, but Grushow’s hope is to “learn more about the situation and relate it back to Rider.” The knowledge he discovers may be useful to convey the importance of conservation to Rider students.
The chemistry professor used to ride his bike when he was younger and has recently started training for the September event. One of the good things about this organization is that it moves the equipment for the riders, according to Grushow. All the riders have to do is make it from checkpoint to checkpoint and not worry about carrying heavy equipment or getting lost. Last year there were 100 riders who participated; the number for this year has not yet been determined.
The purpose of this ride is to raise awareness about the current state of the environment and what should be done to revitalize the health of the Earth. According to the Web site, climateride.org, Climate Ride promotes a future fueled by renewed energy and a green economy. It also raises money for two environmentally based charities: Clean Air-Cool Planet and Focus the Nation. Grushow needs to raise at least $2,400 before the event.
The ride will begin on Sept. 26 and will end on Sept. 30 in Washington, D.C. Each night the experts on climate control, who are involved in the ride, will speak to the riders about global warming to help explain the purpose and goals of the event. When the riders arrive in Washington, Congress will be in session and the participants will have the opportunity to speak to representatives and express their desire for a green economy, among other things.
People interested in becoming involved with Climate Ride can find out more information on its Web site, climateride.org. Students and faculty can sign up to participate as well as donate through Grushow or any rider. Each rider has his or her own Web site, so to give on behalf of Grushow, people can just search his name under “Donations” on the Web site.