Friday, September 4, 2009
In just a few days, Alexander Grushow, chair of the Chemistry, Biochemistry and Physics department, will embark on a 300-mile bike ride from the Big Apple to the nation’s capital.
On Saturday, September 26, Grushow will join 200 other cyclists as part of the five-day Climate Ride East, a grassroots effort aimed to raise money and awareness for climate- change issues and alternative energy sources. The ride begins in New York City and ends on Wednesday, September 30, on the steps of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.
Grushow was inspired to participate after he supported climate riders during an event organized by Melissa Greenberg, sustainability coordination manager, and Rider’s Energy and Sustainability Steering Committee in Lambertville, N.J., last year.
“I have always been concerned about the atmosphere and climate, but you can’t change your life completely,” he admitted. “You have to live. I’m not an environmental fanatic.” An avid cyclist, Grushow saw the Climate Ride as a way for him to get involved. “I think it is a good idea.”
Grushow has raised almost $4,000, making him one of the top 10 fundraisers, as each rider must raise at least $2,400 to participate. All funds will go toward programs working to educate Americans about the impacts of climate change, engage Americans in the possibility of a renewable energy based economy, and mobilize politicians to legislate meaningful energy and climate change policies.
“I’m taking a week off from work to participate,” said Grushow, whose departmental colleagues will cover his classes. A number of faculty, staff and students have contributed to his fundraising. Last spring the Rider chapter of the American Chemical Society held a “Pie your Professor” contest to raise money for his cause. “It’s a cooperative effort,” he added.
Climate Rider cyclists will cover 60 miles a day during a scenic journey through New York City, Lambertville, Valley Forge, Pa., Lancaster, Pa., Maryland and finally, Washington, D.C. Each night, the cyclists will pitch a tent, have dinner and listen to speakers engaged about climate issues.
Grushow, who grew up in Lancaster and currently lives with his family in Lambertville, has been training almost every day. He has biked into work from his home, in under three hours – approximately 40 miles – round trip. On the weekends, he has cycled more 60 miles through Doylestown and Carversville, Pa., and Frenchtown, Stockton and Ringoes, N.J. To read more about Grushow’s training, please visit his blog, http://alexgrushow.blogspot.com/. He plans to update his blog while he is on the trail.
Greenberg and the Energy and Sustainability Steering Committee are organizing a trip for all students, faculty and staff to Lambertville to cheer on the cyclists, including Grushow, and support a good cause for climate action. The cyclists will bike through Lambertville/New Hope between 9 and 10 a.m. on Sunday, September 27.
Transportation will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Pick-up at the Lawrenceville campus is scheduled for 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. at the Westminster campus. Buses will return to campus about 1 p.m. While there is no organized ride this year for supporters, individuals are welcome to bring their bikes, but are encouraged to transport their bikes on their own.
If you plan to attend or have questions, please e-mail Melissa Greenberg at megreenberg@rider. To learn more about Climate Ride, please visit http://www.climateride.org/.