Friday, April 4, 2008

Student Cyclists Making a Difference

Eco-bikers begin 5,400-mile journey

For 22 days they'll meet with big-city mayors, christen biodiesel buses and plant ceremonial trees like eco-Johnny Appleseeds. For 22 days they'll blog, shoot video and call attention to global warming.

All while riding bicycles across the country.

And one more thing: They've got to turn in homework, too.

The six West Seattle students who will set out today are nothing if not ambitious. The youngest is just 10; the oldest, 18.

It's all part of what they call "An Inconvenient Ride," led by Chief Sealth High School teacher Gary Thomsen, who has organized similar student bike trips, including two that paid tribute to the legacy of Negro-leagues baseball.

"We want to show people that teens and youth can make a difference," said Arielle Washington, 15, who is not riding but making the trip to help organize meetings and speak with news media.
"If we can bike across America, hopefully it will get people thinking, why not turn off that light bulb or unplug that computer they're not using," said Jacob Kenny, 15.

The journey is scheduled to conclude with an Earth Day return to Seattle, where the students will be feted by Mayor Greg Nickels and acclaimed nature photographer Art Wolfe at a Benaroya Hall fundraiser with the goal of planting 2,500 trees in the city. (read more)

These kids are motivated to make a difference! They have a lot of distance to cover and a lot of people to influence. And it looks like they will be in Olympia April 21! I wonder if we could give them a welcome to our city and state capitol to show them we support their efforts! ~KT

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