New Yorker Rides Down California Coast for Green For All

Written by: Jonathan Norris

I want to make a difference and help end our reliance on polluting fossil fuels. That’s why I decided to ride down the California coast as part of the Green For All Team in the 2012 Climate Ride this September.

I am 27 years old and I live in Long Island, New York. I’m a graphic artist—I make lettering for fire trucks and ambulances. I love to get outside in the fresh air and ride my mountain bike. On two wheels, moving at a comfortable pace, you can really enjoy your environment. You can see, smell, and hear things you never notice in a car. On a bicycle you can take the scenic route and become a tourist in your own city. Every ride is an adventure.

Before I started riding I was your typical couch potato. I sat around a lot and ate fast food and drank soda. When I realized how much I liked mountain biking, I decided that I wanted to be able to peddle up the hills as fast as I flew down them. I wanted to stay on my bike for as long as possible, so I started to exercise harder and get into better shape.

I also started eating right and I began to have more energy and a better attitude. I lost weight and I now feel so good that I am positive I will never go back to the way I used to live.

If you consider that each mile you travel by bike instead of car prevents one pound of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere, the benefits of bike riding become clear. Add the calorie-burning, cardiovascular-building, body-slimming benefits and you have to wonder: Why doesn’t everyone bike?

Biking has changed my life forever. It’s not unusual now for me to ride more than 100 miles in a day—something I never thought I would do.

While I was getting in shape and riding past cars and gas stations with high prices, I began to think about the environment. I think that fossil fuel is an unnecessary and outdated form of energy. But it’s been so profitable that neither Big Oil nor anyone making big money from it will ever give it up on their own.

To leave oil behind, we need to invest in green transportation solutions. That’s why I joined this year’s Climate Ride.

Riding down the coast from Eureka to San Francisco for my first vacation in eight years will be an inspiring journey—and I’ll be meeting other people who share my same visions and goals for a sustainable planet.

The ride is all about raising money for clean energy. I need to raise $2400 to ride in the five-day event. Proceeds from Climate Ride support important projects at a collection of organizations focused on sustainability, green jobs, clean energy, climate education, and bicycle advocacy—including Green For All. 

You can support biking and clean energy by donating to my ride. To donate, please click here. 

Thank you!

Jonathan Norris

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