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.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Encouragment (Wendy)

People often ask us what is the hardest thing about our trip. Malkolm answers “Cycling through cities”. I think the biggest challenges are (1) headwinds and (2) finding campsites in southern Florida (they are gridlocked with Snowbirds in RV’s). Ken says “Dealing with all the computer stuff associated with our website.” Ken has a point. Finding places to plug in the computer at the right time of day (outdoors in midday there is too much glare to see the screen), finding places that have WiFi, it all takes time. After a full day of cycling what I want to do is relax with a cold brewsky and a book. Instead, I have to take that beer to the computer. We need to computer in order to do our conservation project, but sometimes we wish we were not carrying it.

Fortunately, we receive tons of encouragement.

We were encouraged by Carol. She flagged us down beside Route 19, north of St Petersburg. “My mom said why are you pulling over? And I told her, I’m stopping because those are the Bird People! I’m so excited to meet you. I saw you on TV and I really like what you are doing.” She pushed a folded bill into my hand. (We are raising money for bird habitat protection.)

We were encouraged by Greg Harber’s message, one of the many that people have kindly sent to our website and our blog.

I have been following the tales of your travels and have been enjoying every moment, as I hope you are. The story of camping in the graveyard is a classic and Wendy’s description of the woman with the “Can’t Do Attitude” at the park reinforces the notion that we should associate more with the Jane’s of the world! Thanks for the opportunity to “peer over your shoulder” via your blog entries as you bike across America.

I would like to contribute to Malkolm’s Bird Day Challenge effort by making a pledge to contribute to Dauphin Island Bird Sanctuaries, Inc. I pledge to donate 50 cents/species to DIBS based on the total number of species Malkolm has seen by the time he returns to Alabama on his way back west. I am originally from Florida (Fort Lauderdale native but most of my family now resides in Sebastian, FL (home of the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, our nation’s very first refuge. I do hope you get the chance to visit the refuge on your swing up the east coast!) but now I live in Birmingham, AL. Like many Alabama birders, Dauphin Island holds a special place in my heart and we are trying to preserve and protect as much of it as we are able. So, here’s hoping you hit 500 species before your return to Alabama!

Take care and be safe, Greg

Keep encouraging us! We still have a long way to go.


kburgener said...

WELL now have have to retype my last message, It is better to stay with birders than to camp in Fl. The nice people in Cape Coral show the bikers some amazing things. .... sleeved mummy bags and gave Wendy a book that her Dad told her to read years ago.

Marilyn said...

I'm enjoying following your progress since your visit to Manatee Springs State Park. The folks here are still talking about your visit and are inspired by your ambitious trip. Our ass't manager, who is also an artist, asked me what medium you use to draw the pictures that are posted. I shared with everyone that you had posted a picture of one of our vultures. I am a volunteer here for the winter and guess what one of our jobs is. We get cleanup duty on the boardwalk! But, along with that comes the opportunity to visit with many wonderful people like yourselves. The other day we observed an osprey sitting among the vultures. Almost missed him. I also want to apologize for the unfriendly way you were treated on the panhandle. I hope you have a much better experience in the future. Put that experience out of your head and I wish you 'safe travels'. Marilyn from Delaware

Bird Year said...

Hello Bloggers -
Malkolm does his art with watercolor pencils mostly.
Luckily, the people in Florida are mostly kind and generous, like the people all over the country. I write about the crabby ones cause they stand out so much!