Climate Ride Really Makes a Difference

Climate Riders at San Francisco City Hall

Climate Riders at San Francisco City Hall

If you want an outlook-changing life experience, look no further than Climate Ride.

I just returned from my fifth Climate Ride and this ride was every bit as transformative as those that preceded it. Climate Ride California 2013 was a record-breaking event that offered an incredible experience to those who participated while making a real impact on its beneficiaries and the environmental causes they support.


The Shout-Outs

First, I must offer extreme gratitude:

  • a HUGE round of thanks to the 66 generous people who donated online to my ride and helped me make my fundraising goal of $5,000.00. I am inspired by your generosity and shared commitment to building a sustainable future.
  • Another HUGE round of thanks to those who attended our fundraiser in late April and helped us raise nearly $1,400.00 for Climate Ride and its beneficiaries.

Thanks so much for all your support!


The Stats

This ride was one of record-breaking firsts. Here are some interesting facts about the 2013 California Climate Ride:

  • A group of about 140 dedicated riders raised over $475,000.00 to support more than 60 beneficiary organizations focusing on clean energy, climate education, bicycle advocacy, and sustainability. This is the most money raised by a single Climate Ride yet.
  • Rider Satch Slavin raised $13,665.00, setting the record for most money raised by any rider in any single Climate Ride event.
  • These cyclists powered through 320+ miles of riding that included nearly 15,000 feet of climbing, 40-50 MPH winds, and one 102-mile day.
Climate Ride elevation profiles

Sample daily elevation profiles.


The Team

I was so lucky to be a part of Team B the Change, a group comprised of B Corps like Mightybytes and BrandGEEK, as well as staff members of B Lab, a Climate Ride beneficiary and the nonprofit that certifies B Corps (among many other cool things).

Team B the Change on day one of Climate Ride California.

Team B the Change on day one of Climate Ride California.

This inspiring group of riders raised over $23,000.00, putting us in fifth place among all fundraising teams. And they were excellent cycling companions too! We rode together daily, encouraging each other over every hill and around every curve, which makes a big difference when you’re tired, sweaty, and parts of your body you didn’t know exist are screaming for you to stop whatever the hell it is you’re doing. I’d ride with any or all of them again in a minute.

For more on Team B the Change’s Climate Ride experience, check out their awesome post Smiling Back at Climate Ride. Also, a big shout-out to team members Merlin Clarke and Lori Vandenbrink who unfortunately couldn’t make the ride but were with us in spirit. We missed you!


The Ride

The ride itself was spectacular. There were no injuries. The weather held out. Even my legs held out…though they reminded me often that I’m not 23 anymore. Or 33. Or even 43 for that matter. But it was a tremendous experience, punctuated every day by difficult climbs that paid off through breathtaking vistas and incredible views of trees as big around as houses, miles and miles of rugged coastline, and acre after acre of rolling vineyards. Then, finally, after five days and one last bitter climb out of Sausalito: The Golden Gate Bridge.


Team B the Change at Golden Gate Bridge

The final milestone until City Hall!

After crossing the bridge and meeting at Sports Basement, we rolled en masse to San Francisco City Hall for a rally and speeches by environmentalist and author Paul Hawken, San Francisco District 8 Supervisor Scott Weiner, and San Francisco Environment Director Melanie Nutter.


The Future!

This ride also included some great announcements that will bring Climate Ride’s events to more people and create more impact:

  • The California ride will have a new route that ends in Sacramento next year, giving riders the opportunity to make a real political difference like they do at the end of the NYC-DC Climate Ride.
  • Climate Ride Midwest will take place in Summer 2014, route TBD.
  • Climate Hike, a multi-day hiking event meant to showcase places most adversely affected by climate change will kick off Summer 2014.
  • Climate Ride DIY (working title) will give individuals, companies and teams tools to create their own events.

Stay tuned for more info on all of the above via Climate Ride’s website. In the meantime, click the image below to check out Climate Ride’s Flickr feed of images uploaded by riders during their five-day excursion:

Climate Ride Flickr feed

Click to view the Climate Ride California 2013 Flickr feed.


The Call-to-Action

Climate Ride has, to date, granted over $1,000,000.00 to its beneficiaries since the organization was founded in 2008. The 60+ beneficiaries that Climate Ride grants money to every year affect real, monumental change in the form of everything from protected bike lanes to protected forests, from creating climate-friendly legislation to creating a new sector of the economy focused on social impact. Couple that with the transformative experience of sharing a difficult five day-long physical challenge with 140+ new-found friends and you’ve got a truly winning combination.

I encourage anyone who wants to make a difference and work together toward a sustainable future to consider Climate Ride in their cycling or fundraising futures.

Better yet, why not sign up for a Climate Ride now?


  • Lara Pearson

    Such a pleasure being led by Team on Team B the Change. All I can say is “Do it.”

  • Tory Ortscheid

    It was a true honor to be part of such a strong and dedicated team of riders