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2013 Ride

Day 15: Bike Hosteling It

Bike HostelDay 15: Cocooned in the sleeping bag until the sun could do its thing, then strolled down to the local Subway to set up shop and post the last four days worth of blogs. Spent most of the day at an outdoor bike hostel bunkhouse (pictured here) in Hancock, MD making preparations for DC. Grateful for the rest day, before the final push. 391 miles down. About 100 left to go.

Here’s the missive I sent out to friends and colleagues last Friday (my thanks to the CU Football Blog, from which I borrowed liberally for the play-by-play):

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

As Margaret Mead once famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

With half of the 485-mile journey now behind me, I am extremely grateful for the enthusiasm of those planning to join us outside the White House on Nov. 7. If you are a petition signer, and would like to join us, please contact me directly for details or stay tuned to RideForRenewables.com. What we may lack in quantity when we gather in DC, we will more than make up for in quality.

Here are six blogs (complete with photos and videos) documenting the first half of the 485-mile journey (you can also follow on facebook, twitter and YouTube):

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

Day 2: Rocket Triking Down the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath

Day 3: Pulled Over by State Highway Patrol

Day 4: Pulled Over, AGAIN

Days 5 & 6: Power Shift in Pittsburgh

Days 7, 8, 9 & 10: What About KXL South, Raucous March, Campfires & Coal Mines

If you will indulge me a football analogy, I want to try something a little different in terms of framing the immense challenge We the People face in stopping KXL’s southern leg (if you’re not a football fan, you can skip the next three paragraphs):

Some have already left the stadium, thinking it’s too late to stop a pipeline that is already 95% built. Our team is down 26-14 with 5:08 left in the game. We have a first-and-goal at the four-yard line and are driving for a score, when our quarterback fumbles away the Keystone ball. Many teams at this point would just give up. Instead, our TSB defense stands firm and holds TransCanada to a three-and-out, but we burn two precious time outs stopping the clock. We get the ball back at our own 28-yard line with 3:52 remaining. After a 12-yard run and several pass completions, our quarterback scrambles for 21 yards. This time on first and goal, we punch the ball in for a touchdown and now trail 26-21 with time running out.

Our onside kick attempt fails with 2:16 remaining, but our GPTSR defense again holds strong, refusing to allow TransCanada a game winning first down. After a short punt, we call for a fair catch at our 15-yard line. The game clock now reads 0:14. Our quarterback drops back and hits a receiver for 21 yards. Hurrying to the line of scrimmage, he spikes the ball to stop the clock. We’re now at our own 36-yard line with 0:06 left in the game.

Our quarterback gets the play call: “Jets, Rocket, Victory.” Dancing behind the line of scrimmage, he buys time for three receivers to get to the end zone, then rockets the ball from the 27-yard line. WATCH what happens next (one of the greatest plays in the history of the game).

There’s a reason why teams practice Hail Mary passes: sometimes they work. Stopping Keystone XL and lethal tar sands exploitation is not a game, but just as I never stopped believing Colorado would prevail in that classic showdown, so am I convinced that we can still prevent the southern leg of KXL from coming on line, but we need our strongest players on the field.

Please support our team however you can.

Tom

P.S. It’s snowing outside here in Pennsylvania and I need to get back on the trail. I’m 1/2 way to DC, but only 1/4 of the way to raising my budget. You can help power me the rest of the way by donating a penny, a dime, or a dollar a mile here.

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