Malkolm is cycling on! He is now cycling from Alaska to Washington DC, and then continuing on to the UN Climate Change conference in Cancun in December.
It all started with Bird Year, Malkolm and his parents' year-long, fossil-fuel-free journey in search of birds. Cycling a total of 13,133 miles (21,144 km), they identified 548 different bird species and raised more than $25,000 for bird conservation. Bird Year turned them into confirmed cyclists and taught them that climate change was more serious than they had thought.
In 2009, Malkolm biked from Whitehorse to Ottawa as a part of Pedal for the Planet: the project called for the Canadian Government to become a leader in the struggle to come to grips with climate change. The Harper Government did not even meet with the young cyclists.
Malkolm is now 18 and just finished high school. On August 24, he dipped his foot in the Pacific Ocean in Skagway, Alaska. Then headed up and over the White Pass to the Alaska Highway on his journey to Washington and on to Cancun.

Friday, April 27, 2007

April 11, 2007 — (Ken)

It was Malkolm’s turn to write a blog, but I’m standing in for him since he is busy at school and is also writing an article about our Bird Year for Winging It – the newsletter of the American Birding Association.
It has been a late spring in the Yukon – March was full of windy, minus 30˚ days. If I was a migratory bird, I’d hang out a little longer in southern Arizona. The long-overdue annual melt started in the Yukon on the Easter weekend, but the snow patches in the forest will last long into May.
We’re excited by the response we’ve been getting about our project. We’ve received numerous invitations to meet groups and to give presentations – from Washington’s Olympic Peninsula to Los Angeles to Tucson to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. We just heard that the mayor of a major US city wants to come out to meet us. We know that birders care about birds and the environment that sustains them – and getting involved with Bird Year is one way to make a difference while also being active (and having fun!) We are particularly keen on our fossil-fuel-reduced Bird Day idea. Our goal is to find participants in every state in the US, every province in Canada, and every continent in the world. We haven’t reached out to other galaxies yet. Please check out the details under the Protect Birds section of this website – and let us know if you want to take part!
It’s hard to believe, but in two and one half months, we’ll be on the road.

March 18, 2007 — Wendy's bird-free blog . . .

Every time I look out the window, more snow is falling. I groan. More shoveling. Then I correct my attitude: “More skiing!”
Southerners may wonder why our “bird year” does not take place during a calendar year. Cycling in the winter is challenging. Pedaling is stiffer in sub-zero weather, and my cable lock does not want to bend. Cold is not the main difficulty. Snow is. Yesterday, I rode to a morning meeting. Two inches of fresh snow covered the irregular surface. I slithered all over the road. Luckily, no cars were out. My winter bike is a sturdy old Kuwahara. It weighs about 100 pounds. I lower the seat so my feet can touch ground. To avoid wiping out, I don’t brake suddenly or lean into turns. When we set off on our big year in June, the biking conditions will be much easier. Maybe I won’t even notice my heavy load.
In other news, Whitehorse recently hosted the Canada Winter Games. Thousands of athletes and visitors arrived, and our population increased by 10%. Malkolm competed in table tennis. Perhaps he should have tried out for badminton instead: then, at least, he would have been playing with a birdie.

February 21, 2007 — (Ken) — Maybe…

It is -25˚C this morning in Whitehorse. Blowing snow swirls around the lone Raven hunched on the fencepost behind our frozen compost heap. With feathers fluffed out against the cold, it looks as big as a vulture. The Raven looks content, but it feels cold to me. Maybe I’m getting soft in this warming globe after an unusually mild December and January.
I went for a two-hour cross-country ski yesterday afternoon. The trees swayed in the wind, but the only other thing moving was a spruce grouse that indignantly flapped away from its comfortable roost beside the trail. Maybe it wasn’t really indignant. I would have been if I was a grouse.
I heard a Pine Grosbeak singing when I got home. It was too cold to pretend that spring was here. Maybe it was responding to the height of the sun in the sky after the dark winter. This time of year we get six extra minutes of daylight every day.
It’s hard to imagine that a year from now we’ll be in Florida. Maybe it’ll be so hot that we’ll think longingly of the Yukon winter. Maybe we’ll be watching a Purple Gallinule stalking across a lily pad or an Anhinga spearing a fish. Maybe we’ll be sloshing through a wooded swamp, hoping that an Ivory-billed Woodpecker will flash in front of our binoculars. No maybe about this – for sure we’ll be thinking about Ivory-bills, hoping that they still exist somewhere.

February 4, 2007 — (Malkolm)

We’ve been having computer misadventures lately. It was a relief to get outside this morning and go birding. A Boreal Chickadee sang its nasal trill. It sounded oddly reminiscent of the noise our computer makes while connecting to the internet. I saw 11 species of birds today, including Common Mergansers, American Dippers, Bohemian Waxwings, Pine Grosbeaks, a Common Goldeneye and a Red Crossbill. 11 species may not seem like lots, but it is pretty good for the Yukon, where variety comes with the spring migration!
I have been busy for the past few weeks. Early this week I had a couple of computerized final exams at the end of the semester. The English 10 exam was supposed to go smoothly. To the contrary. One of the stories that we had to read took 10 minutes to load. I had it easy, compared to the horrors met by other students. The computers closed the exam to some, forcing them to start the whole thing over. For some others, the computer deleted their work when they went to submit the exam.
Internet headaches didn’t stay in the exam room. We have spent recent weeks working hard on our website. Ken is doing the technical work and I feel sorry for him. Thankfully, the end is near. In just 20 weeks, we will get on our bikes and head out of here, away from computer nuisances… until we reach into a saddlebag for the laptop used to update our website.