The seduction of speed

It was not surprising that the article on the climate ride (Oct. 8) didn’t feature any pictures of riders disembarking from airplanes after flying to the West Coast. Nor were there photos taken in front of the van they used to carry their gear across the country. The extensive use of fossil fuels to facilitate the climate ride was an inconvenient truth and a topic predictably avoided. I feel deep grief that the sustainable path was not taken.

Consider this alternative vision for a bike tour tasked with raising awareness of our ecological predicament: Set aside a year (Voluntary Service terms are often a year), but only ride for 50 weeks so you get some vacation time to relax. Only ride five days a week so you have weekends to meet with people and talk about climate issues. Ride 30 miles a day so the ride will be accessible to people who are not super athletes and so you don’t need to buy bike-specific clothing. The modest daily mileage also allows folks to ride simpler, refurbished old bikes loaded with all the clothes, tents and food. This scenario gives you a 7,500-mile budget to ride all the way from east to west and back again. No airplanes or vans needed. The climate ride demonstrated that the seduction of speed is hard to resist, no matter what we believe.

Ben Wyse, Harrisonburg, Va

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