“Fun with letters and states- let’s quiz each other’s knowledge!” called Ken cheerfully. “Quiz # 1, how many letters in the alphabet are not used at the beginning of a state?” We were on a back road without much traffic. It was even quiet enough to talk. To pass the endless miles of flat, agricultural land (mainly rice and cattle) we played guessing games. We tried to name as many state capitals as we could, we even tried to figure out how many two letter words we could make using the first letters of states and their capitals. For example the Texas combination makes the word AT. Very exciting. We also tried to name as many countries beginning with a given letter. But we were trying to name obscure places like Myanmar and Omen, so we missed obvious countries like Iraq, Italy, Iran and Germany. I guess that means that we haven’t been watching much soccer or political debates! We also had long arguments, such as the status of Singapore. Is it a country? If you think that this is boring, you are correct! But it ought to give you the impression of what life is like on the road. Usually there isn’t much to do other than peddle and watch out for cars. And of course to mull over complicated academic theories. If Einstein had been a long distance cyclist he’d have had enough time to himself to come up with even more revolutionary discoveries.
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.