BISMARCK – On August 27, Mindy Ahler and Ryan Hall dipped their tires in the Pacific to kick off an 11-week, 4,000-mile ride across the country to engage communities along the route in conversations on climate change solutions. The duo is scheduled to pull into North Dakota on September 27, making their way through Medora, Dickinson, Glen Ullin, Bismarck, and Cannon Ball.
While on their journey, Ahler and Hall are interested in gathering with local people and hearing their stories and experiences about climate change. The pair will share their ideas for climate solutions with leaders at the end of their trip in Washington, D.C. With North Dakotans organizing around concerns over radioactive waste and oil refineries in the western part of the state, and Native American tribes and their allies coming together to protect sacred resources from the Dakota Access Pipeline, it’s clear that many people desire discussion around climate change and solutions.
“Connecting people to one another and their shared concerns is a more effective way of maintaining action for the long-term,” Ahler said. “Plus, we can help each other find hope in positive and practical solutions.”
On Saturday, Oct. 1, local community groups will host a community conversation at 7 p.m. in Bismarck at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bismarck. A free pizza party will begin at 6 p.m. – families are welcome to attend. Hosts of the community conversation also include Dakota Resource Council, Cool Planet, and Citizens’ Climate Lobby. RSVP and share our Facebook event to help boost attendance.
On Sunday, Oct. 2, community members are encouraged grab their bicycles and join Ahler and Hall as they depart Bismarck for Standing Rock. All levels of cycling experience are welcome to ride along, from families with bike trailers to professional cyclists. Cyclists may join for a short portion or for the entire 41.2-mile trip. Ahler and Hall will be visiting the camps near Cannon Ball to meet with and hear stories from the water protectors. Cyclists and well-wishers should meet in the parking lot of Epic Sports at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 2. Check out and share this event on Facebook.
The pair’s ride is sponsored by the LowCarbon Crossings program of the Edina, MN-based nonprofit Cool Planet, where Ahler serves as co-director.
“We are increasingly becoming a people that are affected, or know someone that is affected by the changes in how our planet functions,” Hall wrote from the road, “[W]e can respond with inaction and indifference to the suffering of others, or we can respond with compassion. Creating a better world for us now, and for the future, is something we must come together for.”
9.1-mile Beginner & Family Route
There’s a wider, family-friendly route that goes to Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, deal for the beginner cyclist or for groups of riders. The 9.1-mile route should take about an hour. The map links to step-by-step instructions.
Advanced Riders Route – to Sacred Stone Camp
Fans can follow Ahler and Hall’s adventures through 14 states thanks to the pair’s GoPro, iPad, and cell phones. Ride along online via LowCarbon Crossings’ Facebook page and website, www.lowcarboncrossings.wordpress.com. Also look for #Bike4Climate on Twitter.
For more information on participating in this event or on clean energy work in North Dakota, please contact Claire Lowstuter, Dakota Resource Council, 701.224.8587, Claire@drcinfo.com.