Frankie Ridolfi

Contributed by Frankie Ridolfi

May 29, 2012



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First Reflections on the CA Climate Ride 2013

On Thursday, May 23rd, the CA Climate Riders rolled into San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza in high spirits for a rally to celebrate the completion of our 320-mile ride from Fortuna, CA.

Climate Riders arrive in San Francisco.

Collectively, we raised $450,000 that will go directly to important work on sustainability issues, from bicycle advocacy to energy efficiency. A heartfelt thanks goes to everyone who contributed to our fundraising efforts and for supporting the cause of great nonprofit environmental groups. Many Free Range clients, friends, and beneficiaries participated in the ride, including B Lab, Clif Bar (who provided a bottomless supply of snacks), Alliance for Climate Education, Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund, Epilepsy Foundation, ICF International, and the East Bay Bicycle Coalition.

A moment of celebration with Paul Hawken, environmental author and thought leader.

I thought you'd like to hear a bit about the trip. The ride was fantastic and the weather cooperated beautifully. We had cool to warm days and clear sunny skies for the whole trip, a monumental improvement from our 2011 "Storm Ride."

At the starting line in Fortuna, CA. 

We're rolling...after months of anticipation.

We passed through the Avenue of the Giants, the largest preserve of virgin redwood forest on Earth.


A little break and some shenanigans in the redwoods.

We scaled miles of steep inclines in Mendocino County, pedaled over countless rolling hills overlooking sea stacks on Hwy 1, zigzagged through wine country, and returned to civilization by climbing over the mountain ridge to Marin County. Each night we camped in fresh outdoor air, falling asleep happily worn out and waking again with the birds at sunrise.

On day four we had 25 mph head winds as we headed to the coast near Point Reyes. The challenge was fun — we formed pace lines to take turns drafting off of each other. Afterward, we gorged. It's amazing how much you eat after burning so many calories. Three sausages and chili didn't slow me down from devouring this clandestinely stowed baguette and cheese from a local creamery with fellow riders.

A treat stowed in my jersey: a baguette and Camembert cheese from Cowgirl Creamery.   

On Monday night I gave a presentation after dinner at our seaside camp site near Fort Bragg. The topic was, "Change Society in a Generation: Be a Mythmaker." At the end I showed a video about The Hero's Journey as a model for storytelling and the power of using the voice of a mentor, calling your audience to a heroic journey of self-discovery and maturation. A snafu with the audio system prompted me to narrate it live...which turned out to be great fun. The audience was full of people with sustainability stories to tell and many came up to me in the days afterward to say how the ideas shifted their world view.

Describing how new sustainability myths can heal society.

These few photos to give you a small sense of what we experienced. The best photos are yet to come — lots of action shots from a professional photographer who came along with us. I'll share some of the best photos when they're available. If you use Instagram you can also search #climateride to see photos posted by various riders during and after the trip.

The moment of arrival and a big open-armed hug to fellow riders in waiting.

I'm grateful to the leaders and organizers of Climate Ride who fed us, transported our gear, and worked tirelessly to make sure we had a safe, joyful trip. Thank you Blake, Caeli, Geraldine, Andrew and the whole crew! And, I hope our ride will inspire you to experiment with ways to live with a lighter impact and invite others on this collective hero's journey. To rephrase the Climate Ride tagline, we pedal the bikes, you power the movement.

Best Wishes,