2013 Ride

Day 1: Fourth, and Final, Ride for Renewables Underway

Tom & Stefanie at ride launch

Day 1: Had a great afternoon send-off at the Cleveland office of EcoWatch today, carrying our petition signed by more than 7,000 people from all 50 states and many nations. Many thanks to Stefanie Spear and her talented staff for helping promote our grassroots campaign to stop Keystone XL’s southern leg.


Was deeply honored to have Cleveland-based John Clark Tom & John at start of ride ride with me the first few miles out of town. John and I shared a DC cell block together as part of the first wave of 1,253 activists arrested outside the White House during a 2011 protest against Keystone XL, serving two nights in jail with 63 others. John’s cell was directly across from mine and I’ll never forget something I witnessed on our second day. It was Sunday morning and John told a guard passing by that he was Catholic and sincerely asked if he would be able to receive Eucharist. The guard’s callous dismissal of John’s faith-driven request was jaw-dropping. It left me thinking just how dehumanizing prisons are, not only for those who are locked away, but also for those with the keys. Here’s what John told me: “That experience impressed on me so sharply how little respect American authorities actually have for the nation’s legally established rights.”

Ohion & Erie Canalway & rocket trike


Rode the first 11 miles out of Cleveland on the Ohio & Erie Canalway, which included an impressive number of overpasses (like the one pictured here) designed for pedestrians and cyclists to avoid busy intersections. Great bike path.



Bike & Hike Trail & rocket trike


Due to the ridiculous government shutdown, however, I had to divert around Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which is officially closed. Fortunately, John knew another option that skirted the park boundary: the Bike & Hike Trail (pictured here). It required a sizable detour, but was well worth the effort, as the trail was smooth and quiet and the autumn scenery sublime.

Made it a total of 36 miles down the road to the home of John’s parents in Cuyahoga Falls, who were kind enough to house and feed a tired and hungry cyclist. Thank you, Lian & Nat!

This entry was posted in 2013 Ride. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Day 1: Fourth, and Final, Ride for Renewables Underway

  1. Here’s what I wrote on facebook on Monday after seeing Tom off:

    «I was very happy to join Tom on my own bike at the very start of this trip earlier today. It was the first time I’d seen him in over two years, since we were arrested together on August 20, 2011, and it was so good to reconnect with him.

    We had a really good conversation before we parted ways: Tom towards DC, and me on to continued planning for our local Pledge of Resistance action. Tom shared with me how frustrated he was that so many of the Big Green organizations are ignoring or at best understating the importance and historical reality of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline (that is, that Obama has approved it and that it is nearly—but, critically, not completely—finished). We discussed how broken the current political system is, and we mourned over how so many of these environmental organizations are still entangled in that system. We both long for all of us to come together as a community with a shared vision and shared belief that will empower us to speak the truth fearlessly and to move forward boldly.»

    Also, I wrote about my own experience in 2011, if anyone would like to read it: .

    And finally, here’s a shot where you can see Tom on the line in 2011 (although Ari really grabs the eye in the photograph): . It was such a good and life-giving experience to be there with you, Tom!

  2. Good to hear that things are going well. Your blog is very nicely done with report of the highlights of the day and photos. Hope it keeps up and thank you. Sate and rewarding travels, A&L

Leave a Reply

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