The skies opened up on us about halfway through today’s fundraising bike ride from New York to Princeton, helping create a bike path from Maine to Florida. The normally best part of the ride, along old canals that are now lush and verdant, was thirty miles through mud in near-bone-chilling cold.
I can’t say I was miserable since once I was out, I’d prefer riding in that cold mud to sitting on a couch; but I wouldn’t choose to go out in it if I were on a couch. So in the moment on the surface I felt miserable, but for being out in it, I felt glory. Hence equal parts misery and glory. I mentioned that feeling to a few teammates and they nodded deep approval.
Here’s what I looked like:
And the bike:
It turns out the event people posted a picture of me at the start, before the rain:
As usual, plastic pollution from “environmental” causes
After seeing all the plastic pollution at last year’s ride, I contacted the organizers and tried to motivate reducing the trash pollution. They claimed safety, rider expectations, and such, but as far as I can tell, they didn’t try. People seem to measure the value of what they do by how hard they feel they try (in part by telling themselves it’s hard when the only hard part is in their minds) instead of the effect. Plus, companies sponsor them by giving “free” plastic garbage with some sugary doof inside and most people lack backbone to turn down sponsorship just because it lowers sperm counts, causes birth defects, displaces people from their land, and lingers in the environment for five hundred years. Why worry when you can not think about it?
Here’s what a typical rest stop looked like (before the rain):
See all that bottled water? There was bathroom with running water, a few steps away, offering one of civilization’s great inventions, fresh water, but no one else used it. See all the plastic wrapped doof? As a result, after breakfast at home, I rode about 75 miles on three oranges and a banana that they provided and a handful of nuts I brought.
Here’s a video of what everyone else did instead of using the fresh water, a few steps away:
Read my weekly newsletter
On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees