Happy World Environment Day!
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the day than to celebrate the start of Kate Strong’s 3,000 mile, 3-month Climate Cycle around mainland Great Britain. The EcoAthletes Champion, champion triathlete, adventurer, and one-time Guinness record holder, pedaled off at 8:30 this morning on her trek, starting in her home base of London atop a bamboo bike she built herself. Her purpose: To inspire more of her countrymen and women to take action on climate change.
In addition to physical and emotional strength, the aptly surnamed Kate Strong brings heaping helpings of fearlessness, warmth, openness, savvy, and persistence to her Climate Cycle that pedaled off on Monday. Those qualities will serve her well as she cycles 3,000 miles in a counterclockwise direction around the perimeter of England, Scotland, and Wales over the next three months to, in her words “inspire the nation into action around climate change.” To do so, she will visit with the community leaders and regular folk who are driving 30+ projects that are “positively impacting climate change”.
Read Strong’s EcoAthletes profile to get a sense of her incredible backstory…and backbone.
Strong’s trip is not for the faint of heart. Monday first leg took her from Westminster in London to Cambridge. From there, she will cycle northeast to Norwich on the North Sea. Then she’ll journey up the coast to Edinburgh before pushing all the way to Scotland’s northern tip in John O’Groats.
She will visit Glasgow and Liverpool on her way southward. Then the Welsh-born Strong will cycle along the coast of Wales, stopping in Swansea and Cardiff — where she will visit one of the aforementioned projects, Keep Wales Tidy, where she will address a youth climate panel in July — before reentering England in Bristol. Next, it’s a pivot to England’s southwestern-most tip at Land’s End in Cornwall before she heads back to London. If all goes to plan, and the bamboo bike she built from a kit bought from the Bamboo Bicycle Club holds up well she will arrive home on September 2.
Kate Strong’s bamboo bicycle (Photo credit: Kate Strong)
“[Climate Cycle] has been three years in the making,” she told the BBC. “I’ve never cycled more than five days in a row, so I’ve got 90 days in a row. Apart from the physical wear and tear, just mentally I’m unsure how I’ll feel, and that’s why I’ve opened the route up for people to come and join me.”
Strong, who works for Climategames, the climate-tech startup that powered the recently-concluded inaugural EcoAthletes Collegiate Cup, will be camping while, to paraphrase Blanche DuBois from ‘A Streetcar Named Desire, relying on the kindness of strangers when the need arises.
“By camping, it’s a way of saying we need to get more out in nature and get curious about it and start protecting it, otherwise we won’t care,” asserted Strong to her BBC interviewer. “If the weather is super wet, that’s when I will start knocking on strangers’ doors, going ‘do you have a spare room?’, or ‘could I sleep in your shed?’ — just something to soften the misery a little bit.”
Be on the lookout for GreenSportsBlog’s interview with Strong at some point along the Climate Cycle!
Photo at top: Kate Strong on the bike (Photo credit: CK Athlete Shots)