Authors: Mimi Torres
I've always considered myself an environmentalist. As a young girl, I was the one that encouraged the family to recycle, and I always signed us up for beach clean-ups.I became vegetarian when I was 10 and vegan when I was 20. In college I become more directly involved with activism through on and off campus environmental groups. It was also in college that I made the conscious decision not to drive. I went and looked at a few used cars after getting my license, but then I realized that if Ihad a car, I would drive it all the time, especially to see friends that lived out of town, and then I would feel like a hypocrite.
I soon realized that there are many more local benefits of the bike economy, from lowering families’ health care costs to reducing a business’s need to invest in costly parking spaces for staff and customers. And you can’t place a monetary value on happiness. I love to ride my bike.
As an only child I had over-protective parents that would not let me ride my bike outside of our driveway or empty parking lots. I didn't go on my first real bike ride until I was 17. While I found that I loved biking, I didn’t buy my first bikeas an adultin the summer of 2007. Since then I have easily logged several thousand miles. I love the freedom that bike riding provides, and I love living in the Bay Area because I can ride all year.
I love bikingduring commuting hours and being able to cruise past long lines of cars held up at red lights.Whiledrivers are breathing exhaust (studies have shown that cyclists breathe less exhaust),and honking at each other, I feel thebreeze andenjoy the sights off the roadside. Not to mention that I always get a great parking spot.
In September I am riding my hybrid road bike on the 2012 Climate Ride California as part of the Green For All Team. The longest trip I've gone on so far was a two day bike trip to Santa Cruz. I am really looking forward to the Climate Ride, but I need to raise $2400 to support sustainable solutions, bike advocacy and environmental causes. If you would like to donate to my ride my page is- http://climateride.donordrive.com/participant/mimi710
My friends and family are very supportive of my decision to ride down the coast and raise money for a cleaner, greener environment-hopefully you are too!