In the spirit of Giving Tuesday and the start of the Holiday season, we sat down with Amar Patel, co-founder of Thousand and Master of Dad Jokes. (“Did you hear about the coffee who filed a police report? ...It happened right after he got mugged.” Boooo Amar!)
This past summer Amar rode 250 miles through Glacier National Park in Montana for the Glacier Ride, a charitable bike ride in support of Glacier National Park Conservancy. So, not just any old pleasure cruise. This 6-day ride helps raise awareness for climate change-related issues, plus Amar fundraised over $3,000 for his ride to fund preservation, education and research projects for the park.
In addition, he learned a lot, so without further ado: here are 6 Things Amar Learned During His Climate Ride Experience!
Hi there Thousand Bike Club! Amar here. I was lucky enough to go on a group ride of a lifetime, combining some of my favorite things- cycling, the planet, and friends and family. Here are some of the things I learned on this trip:
Prior to the Climate Ride I never did a long ride, let alone a multi-day tour. I was really concerned about the miles and being able to finish. However, as soon as the group got there, the miles were the last thing on everyone’s mind. Glacier National Park has one million acres of breathtaking beauty, pristine wilderness and sweeping landscapes. It was a great reminder that there are some amazing places out there to explore and cycling was an awesome way to do it.
2. The Environment Really Needs Us
Glacier National Park is at the center of understanding climate change. As part of our journey, we were lucky to hear Glacier National Park Superintendent and climate change expert Jeff Mow speak. Due to rising temperatures (3x faster than the rest of the country due to its elevation) Glacier National Park’s geological makeup has been severely impacted. Most notable, the Park has only 26 remaining glaciers, down from 150! By 2030, they are estimated to be completely melted and gone entirely.
3. The Human Will is Stronger Than Ever
It was incredibly heartwarming to see 50 people pause their lives for a week to help the national parks and bring awareness to climate change. I think people always tend to band together when something they care about is at risk. And it isn’t just this group of riders that wanted to make a difference- since concerns started rising around federal budgets being cut for national parks, private donations to the glacier national park conservancy nearly doubled.
4. We Can All Do Small Stuff To Help
The concept of climate change is pretty massive and sometimes I feel overwhelmed about what I can do to make a difference. But there really are small changes we can all make. For example, animal agriculture accounts for 15% of greenhouse gases- eating less meat, using organic materials, and buying locally can help curb the carbon impact. Or, if you’re like me and changing your diet is sometimes difficult to do, changing out lightbulbs to energy efficient LED bulbs is a pretty easy way to help. And one of the largest (and simple!) things we can do is making sure to properly dispose of refrigerant (chemicals used in air conditioners and refrigerators). Boom- helping!
6. Riding In A Group Is Always More Fun
Sharing conversations while riding, inspiring family members to push through injuries to finish the ride, bonding together to aid stranded riders, grabbing bits of litter on the road to keep our environment clean- this trip was full of moments like these and countless others. The old saying “The journey is the destination” couldn’t be more true; it was the folks that went on the ride that made it.
Thanks to everyone who made this ride possible for me- from people who donated, to those who lent moral support, to my co-workers at Thousand who kept things going. You truly made one of the most memorable weeks in my life happen, and I couldn’t be more grateful to share this experience with you.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Climate Ride, check them out here and join me next time!: http://www.climateride.org/