Welcome to Gemma’s blog – updates, meanderings, and aches and pains of a first time cycle tourist crossing the USA on a sustainability, do good adventure with the Green Riders. . . (more info at http://robgreenfield.tv/greenriderstour/)
I haven’t been to the USA before. I’m not even a very good cyclist. It’s exciting though, isn’t it?!
Ever a fan of trying to do the good, saving some pounds, and having a positive impact on the world (particularly whilst trying odd new things), I unearthed a passion for community and sustainability when I moved to Coventry 2 and a half years ago. In that time I’ve taken the lead on a citywide timebank, learnt how to upcycle, sew, reuse, restore, compost, and grow vegetables to varying degrees of success.
(Thinking back, growing up in a pub in South London meant I was used to having a ready made community around me. As for sustainability, well, we reused the same 2 buckets to catch seemingly constant leaks from the ceiling for years…)
Whilst my purpose for learning these new skills has been a mixture of pleasure, environmental guilt, and penny pinching, what has struck me is the impact of sharing knowledge and the connections that this builds. In our increasingly isloated society, I feel that this kind of sharing can not only benefit the planet in some small way, but also build inspired and trusting communities. I’ve been lucky enough to meet many motivated individuals all looking for ways to make the world a slightly better place to be, and for a while I’ve been itching for an adventure..
So when I saw an open invite posted on facebook by activist Rob Greenfield for people to join him and others in a ‘do good’ sustainability cycle across America, I got very excited. So excited that, after a few wobbles and ‘could I’s’, ‘should I’s’, I decided to set myself the challenge to join him and others on a 3700 mile cycle – the Green Riders Tour.
From May to August, we’ll be crossing North America, helping others to grow their own food and live more sustainably – starting gardens in schools and in both small town and urban communities, freestyle gardening across the country, as well as visiting farms and gardens, sustainability centres, off the grid homes, and learning about the amazing things that people are doing across the country. The aim is to leave each place slightly better than we found it.