Friis Arne Petersen, Danish Ambassador to USA, Talks at Climate Ride 2009
Friis Arne Petersen, Danish Ambassador to USA, Talks at Climate Ride 2009

Today the energy flagged. I thought it was just me, and my lack of biking fitness taking its toll, but almost everyone I’ve spoken to has felt the accumulated weariness of 4 days and 234 miles. Even the pretty Maryland countryside failed to revive flagging spirits, and the rolling hills – some of which rolled just a bit too steeply – taxed our tired legs.

But this evening the energy stepped up again, with presentations by the Danish Ambassador, and Mike Tidwell of Chesapeake Climate Action Network, both of whom had some very interesting and stimulating thoughts on what needs to be done about climate change and what might happen in Copenhagen. Both the speakers participated in the ride today – very impressive.

Some of us are already planning a Climate Ride reunion in Copenhagen. Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out how I can be of most use in the run-up to the conference. My presentation last night seems to have been extremely well received. I’ve been very touched and flattered by the number of people who have come up to me with all kinds of comments and compliments – on the video, the presentation, my speaking style, the substance of my speech, and my perception of what we need to do collectively to take action on climate change.

But seriously – who could have wished for a warmer or more supportive audience?! The true challenge will be how to elicit a similar response from a more conservative audience. With all due humility, I want to do my utmost to help ensure a positive outcome in Copenhagen, and at the moment am thinking of little else.

Tonight we are staying in the beautiful Pearlstone Conference Center. When I walked into my shared room and saw the two huge double beds and the private bathroom, it felt like I’d arrived in heaven. At last I can dry out some of the stuff that has been wet since Day 1 of the ride. I am writing this blog sitting in front of the gas fire in the lobby, enjoying its toasty warmth despite feeling slightly guilty about the fossil fuel it is burning. My green guilt gauge is obviously on high alert after 5 days of hanging around with such keen greens!

Writing this in haste. Early start tomorrow. Bike rally in DC starts at 3.30pm – and we have to cover 68 miles before then!

Other Stuff:

My minor injuries from yesterday were no trouble today. The nurse embarrassed me by applying an enormous dressing over my knee to protect it – way out of all proportion to the actual injury!

Today’s drama was a flat tire. Thanks to Michael Proulx for helping out a fellow Climate Rider in distress! I’ve been seriously impressed by just how NICE all these people are! Are greens the new good Samaritans?!

Watch out for us tomorrow – hopefully there will be coverage of our DC bike rally in the media. I’ve never taken part in a political(ish) rally before – I’m excited!


  • Glad you are enjoying the Maryland countryside. It’s definitely best seen from a bicycle or horseback to really appreciate it. Now we just need you to kayak the Chesapeake Bay, and do some climbing in the mountains.

    Have you considered going to the National Aquarium in Baltimore? I’ll bet there would be some oceanographers that could teach you about ocean wildlife, and you could talk about the climate change affects. Good fit.

  • So proud of you, Roz. You’re that pebble in the lake, consistently casting wider and wider circles around you. Hope you get to spend a good long while in the bathtub at the Pearlstone . . . to soothe those aching quads so you’ll be ready to go the final 68 miles to DC in the morning.

    Being a veteran of some pro-peace marches on Washington, I can tell you (at least as an American) that it’s got a buzz all its own. As a Brit, and as an active mover/shaker of the world-wide climate change awareness movement, I’m sure your “buzz” will have a flavor all its own.

    I look forward to hearing about Day 4’s happenings … and feel privileged to have such a select seat right here in the “bleachers” of your blog. 🙂


  • You know what I love about Roz? Not only is she a shining example of how to do the right thing for the environment, and not only is she an inspiring and motivating woman (I always feel like I can DO MORE when I read about how much Roz does), but she’s also an *incredible* writer. Every blog entry is so vivid and entertaining!

  • I’ve spent some time trying to find if Tarawa was hit by the same Tsunami that hit Samoa and Tonga. Tarawa is almost the same distance from Samoa as Tonga but it is a much lower lying island and they have no hills to run for. Lets all hope they’re OK. Jim Bell. Australia

  • Hi Roz! Way to go!!!
    I’m sure you’ll have a grand time to night in Washington. Enjoy – enjoy – enjoy!

    Will you be in NYC after that or are you staying in DC? I’m going to NY today and would love to say hello in person. I’ll be there until Friday, though I’m busy most of Thursday.

    Congratulations on just hopping on the bike and riding. I’m sure most people have been training for months (um, oh yeah – so have you.)

    Laurey from Asheville
    828-242-6767 (cell)

  • Bill, this comment was posted on an Australian Broadcasting Company news report:

    30 Sep 2009 10:43:01am
    From Tarawa, Kiribati. This morning from Moroni High School the principal announced to all students and teachers to move from the classroom to the open field because the estimated time of the tsunami hitting Kiribati is around 9am but so far the time now is 12:41 and there isn’t any unusual waves.

  • Jim Bell – Thanks for your concern. A tsunami warning was declared, and all schools and offices were closed. Fortunately no tsunami eventuated and the warning was called off. For some strange reason the office workers and school students (my children included) didn’t return to work and school, preferring to take the rest of the day off. Our hearts go out to our brothers and sisters in Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga.

  • Tawita – Thanks for the information about Tarawa. I am happy to hear that you were unaffected by the tsunami. Keep us up to date if something happens.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *