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.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One last cold spell (Ken)

We rode down the bike trail on Sanibel Island to J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. An Anhinga flew overhead. Reddish Egrets charged around out on the mud flats. Great Egrets, Little Blue Herons and Great Blue Herons waited patiently for fish to swim to them. Roseate Spoonbills swept their bills through the shallows. None of them looked cold.

“How are you?” Wendy asked the woman in the entrance booth.

“Cold,” she answered grumpily.

We stared at her, waiting for the punch-line that never came. It was about 70 (21 C). We were in shorts and T-shirts, soaking up the sun. Wendy and I mailed our long underwear home a week earlier, that’s how confident we were that we were done with cold.

“I didn’t come to Florida to shiver,” she added.

We didn’t tell her about the two-week cold spell that is squatting over our home in the Yukon. Last time I called home, it was 43 degrees below zero

The “cold” front came through when we stayed with our new friends Ken Burgener and Linda Warschauer in Cape Coral. I didn’t notice much change, although the humidity was a little lower and we had to pull our sleeping bags above our knees in the night. Linda has a precise internal thermostat. She told us she could tell when the front came through. Ken, who is relentlessly cheerful, was too busy laughing to notice anything. He once took a Scientology test that concluded that he was “unbalanced” because he was too happy.

One more thing about temperatures The price of campsites goes up proportionately to the mean winter temperature. Since I’m used to wilderness camping, I hate paying anything to set up a tent. Okay, okay – I don’t mind paying for a shower and a picnic table when I’m on a bicycle trip – but we were trying to find a place to camp up by Venice, Florida and the going rate was $50 (+ $5 for Malkolm). And that was for the privilege of sleeping on a concrete pad, surrounded by giant RVs. State Parks are cheaper, but they are impossible to get into unless you reserve months in advance, something that is tough to do on a bike trip.

Not that we’re complaining. Not when it is -40 back home.

No comments: