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.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Marathon Birdathon (Malkolm, May 27)

This weekend we put the last two syllables of the word “marathon” back into the Yukon Birdathon. Ken, Wendy and I are recovering today, after 16 hours of frantic birding and a few hours of deep sleep. We traveled about 50 miles, scouring marshes, spruce forests and a putrid sewage lagoon. We finished our birdathon along the Yukon River admiring a singing Warbling Vireo, or 77th species. The star bird of the birdathon was an Eared Grebe, only the fifth Yukon record. It was conveniently swimming alongside a pair of our more common Horned Grebes for comparison. I thought that it was considerate, although the grebe no doubt did not have our welfare in mind.
Wendy hopes that our Bird Year will not be as exhausting as the birdathon. If it turns out to be, either we’ll end it with loads of species – or we’ll finish it halfway through, in a hospital with fatigue-induced something.
(to the left is Malkolm's drawing of the Eared Grebe)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Shakedown (Ken, May 15)

While Malkolm was cycling to Haines, Alaska with his class, Wendy and I did a three-day “shakedown” trip of our own. Didn’t go far, but we discovered:
We aren’t as young as Malkolm.
It isn’t that easy to tell a Pacific Golden Plover from an American Golden Plover.
When your friends tell you to go light on bicycle touring adventures, listen to them.
It is less than six weeks until we set off.
Lake Laberge was still thick with ice, but in the sliver of open water at the mouth of Deep Creek there were Goldeneyes (both Barrow’s and Common), Trumpeter Swans, Mallards, Pintails and Blue-winged Teals. A couple of dozen American Widgeons strolled on the mudflats like sandpipers, which didn’t seem to bother the real sandpipers (we didn’t have Malkolm to identify the peeps) and plovers (both Golden and Semipalmated). A female Smith’s Longspur poking along the shore looked lonely. The Killdeer nearby looked at home.
The 55 kilometer (34 mile) cycle home into a headwind took a long time.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Building Bikes (Wendy, May 1)

During the winter, we built our sturdy, simple bikes. We are not naturally mechanical. Philippe,our teacher – owner of Philippe`s Bicycle Repair - had a challenge. My bike is funny looking. But, it works well and it is the most comfortable bike I`ve ridden. Yesterday we took a training ride. We looked for our first crocuses (none). On the clay cliffs, dry sage plants rattled in the breeze. This was a `recycle`- the pungent aroma of sage wafted up as I leaned over to collect squished aluminum cans. No crocuses, but we did see our first robin of the year!
Today, on our training ride, we saw our first shoveller! And our first yellow rumped warblers! Yeah! Butter-butts are back!