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!
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!