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.



Saturday, December 1, 2007

Stuff on the road. (Ken)



Wendy’s sister Sa is a great and eclectic artist. If you think I’m biased, check out her website: www.saboothroyd.com. Sa lives in Gibson’s, BC with our friend Jody and their two daughters Lucy and Pippa. Sa spends many hours on her bicycle. I don’t know everything that goes on in her head as she stares at the road ahead, but part of her brain is analyzing the treasures on the shoulder. She frequently stops to collect stuff – and if you buy her a good cup of coffee and a delicious scone I’m sure she’d be happy to tell you about it.

Don’t tell Sa, but the other day all three of us peddled past a quarter lying on the pavement. It was on an uphill and none of us wanted to lose momentum – especially now that a US quarter is worth less than a Canadian one. However, just south of Roswell, NM I saw a treasure trove beneath my tires. I immediately thought about Sa and wheeled back to check it out. It was a heap of coins: 7 quarters, a dime and four pennies. I couldn’t figure out how it got there in a neat, discreet pile. I almost checked behind the nearest cactus to see if someone from “Candid Camera” was hiding with a video camera. I picked up the cash anyway and bought scones with it at the next grocery store.

If you are in the mood for light-hearted reading, STOP now.

The other things we found along the shoulder of the highway were not treasures at all – but birds that had been hit by speeding vehicles. I guessed that more birds than usual had been concentrated along the road after the recent snowfall. The first was a stunned Cactus Wren. Malkolm picked it up and gently placed it behind a creosote bush away from the road, hoping it would revive. The rest of the birds were dead. Half-a-dozen Horned Larks, three Mourning Doves, a couple of Lark Buntings, a Harrier, a Short-eared Owl and a pair of Meadowlarks. There were many other unidentified piles of feathers.

The speed limit along that stretch of Highway 285 is 75 mph. As I cycled south, I wondered whether anyone has studied the relationship between high speed limits and road-killed birds. We know that slower speeds result in better gas mileage and less production of greenhouse gases. I wondered if people who cared about birds would slow down if they thought that might save a Horned Lark’s life. I hope so.

4 comments:

yukon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
yukon said...

Hello Malkolm, Wendy, and Ken;

It's -25C in Whitehorse today; cccccold with hoar frost covering everything. Common Mergansers and American Dippers along the river; hundreds of Bohemian Waxwings at Mountain Ash trees; Pine Grosbeaks, various chickadees, Downy and Hairy woodpeckers, and a few Dark-eyed Juncos have settled in at feeders; and the occasional Northern Hawk Owl seen around town. It's winter birding in the Yukon!

Malkolm's list of 374 species (and climbing) is absolutely amazing!!

All the best on your travels!

Thelma de la Cola said...

Hello Team Bird Year!

I've been doing a Canada to Mexico ride (just a fraction of your grand adventure) and in the last few weeks started noticing bird roadkill too--didn't see any in Canada, Washington, or Oregon, but when we hit central California it was suddenly common to see warblers, vireos, sparrows, or even egrets and coots dead on the shoulder. Wonder if it has something to do with nocturnal migration patterns? Certainly lowers the spirits some, but the awareness you're raising on this trip is great so keep those spirits up!
--Katura
http://kr-cn.livejournal.com/

Thelma de la Cola said...

Hello Team Bird Year!

I've been doing a Canada to Mexico ride (just a fraction of your grand adventure) and in the last few weeks started noticing bird roadkill too--didn't see any in Canada, Washington, or Oregon, but when we hit central California it was suddenly common to see warblers, vireos, sparrows, or even egrets and coots dead on the shoulder. Wonder if it has something to do with nocturnal migration patterns? Certainly lowers the spirits some, but the awareness you're raising on this trip is great so keep those spirits up!
--Katura
http://kr-cn.livejournal.com/