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, July 31, 2008

All Media is Good Media (Malkolm)

Admittedly, there are few would ever undertake a year-long journey in search of different species of mice.”

That was printed in the Yukon News, just after we arrived home in Whitehorse, Yukon. We were joined by friends and family for the final 70 mile ride back home, after we cycled over the White Pass from Skagway. Then we were greeted by a flurry of interviews. But that whacky statement in the Yukon News was not the first of its kind.

Supposedly any press attention, whether it is positive or negative, accurate or riddled with errors, helps your project. We’ve been blessed with plenty of media attention during our travels, but nearly every time there have been mistakes, such as:

A TV program from our home in Whitehorse superimposed a silent clip of us all chuckling, when our voices were discussing the decline of Spotted Owls.

A news station in Florida showed footage of a Turkey Vulture while I said, “There’s a Bald Eagle!”

A newspaper in Florida wrote that the big year world record holder traveled 100,000 miles, (he traveled 270,000 air miles) and mentioned that he raised 60,000 dollars (as far as I know he raised no money, though probably spent way more than that amount on travel expenses).

An article that was syndicated to big city papers throughout Texas diminished Ken’s 57 year old age to 16.

But not all articles about us are flawed. Jane Braxton Little, the author that wrote the Audubon Magazine article (March/April 2008) meticulously went over every quote with us, and Audubon’s fact checker made sure the article was completely accurate.

If you find any inconsistencies in this blog, shhhh!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Memory Lane Blues (Ken)

Yesterday we cycled north down Memory Lane. Memory Lane, aka Chuckanut Drive, just south of Bellingham, Washington. The Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Swainson’s Thrushes and Winter Wrens were singing, just like a year ago when we were heading south.

“Today I feel sad,” Wendy told us. “When we were here before we had a year of feedom before us, and now it’s almost over.”

Malkolm looked into his bowl of cereal, bananas and orange juice. We had forgotten to buy milk yesterday. “I don’t know if I can finish this,” he said, gazing into the brownish-orange glop in his bowl.

I didn’t ask him if he was missing the freedom of the road.

Later today we are boarding a ferry north to Skagway. We’ll taste freedom again for a couple of days when we ride over the White Pass back to Whitehorse. Then, I hope, we’ll start thinking of the next adventure.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

CBC, Kiwis & a Coincidence (Wendy)

A security guard buzzed Malkolm and I through the bullet proof doors at Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Vancouver building. He directed us down a long corridor to Studio 5. We passed a lot of other studios on the way, but what I noticed was the large room for storing bikes. At studio 5 we met Rick Cluff, who has a huge smiling face. He interviewed us for “Sounds Like Canada”. It airs right across the country.

Think globally, act locally. Neil and Hazel MacMillan are sheep ranchers near the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. Hazel volunteers in the annual kiwi census, sitting up at night and listening for the whistles of these rare birds. They wrote to our website. “We have fenced one area of native bush this year (from our stock getting in there ) and are about to do a second one where we often hear the kiwi” Habitat protection at home....Way to go, Neil and Hazel!

Flashback - We rode the Greyhound bus from Ft Stockton TX to El Paso. Lugging my bulky, heavy carry-on bags, I sqeeezed into the last empty seat, near the back of the bus. The bus was full of young families. A baby squawked. Beside me sat a friendly young man heading home from auto mechanic’s college. “Where is Albuquerque?” he asked. Anticipating the long ride to Vancouver, I had decided this was the right time to tackle my book club’s chosen book. I pulled out War and Peace. Pencil in hand I started to read, scribbling notes in margins and cross referencing names. The man behind me tapped my shoulder. “Want to see something funny?” he asked. He showed me his book: War and Peace. Two War and Peaces in one Greyhound bus. What are the chances of that?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Boring Blog (Makolm)

Its a cold and nippy 70 degrees here in Vancouver. Brrr! But its a nice change from 110 degree heat that we were slogging through a few weeks ago. I know that my blogs are getting repetitive so I promise that I will I never mention the"heat", "degrees" or "110"again!
In Vancouver we've seen things that we haven't seen in ages, a Yukon liscence plate and thousands of cyclists (are there that many cyclists in all of Texas?)
Then we'll take the ferry down the coast to Skagway, Alaska and cycle over the pass back home. Then we'll embark on the task of figuring out who gets the Bird Day Challenge prizes. That will be fun. Sorry about this boring blog.