Cyclists plan 421-kilometer Ride for the Climate in Peterborough next month

Setting off at 1 am on Sept. 10, Glen Caradus and Nick Ormond will begin their Ride for the Climate, aiming to bike 421 kilometers over 18 hours to raise awareness about climate change.

“There’s a lot of discussion right now about transitioning into renewable energy,” said Caradus. “But we’re trying to keep positive and make it fun.”

For years, Caradus has performed environmental puppet shows and promotional videos for the community, bringing a light-hearted and entertaining vibe to the issue. By doing this, it helps keep kids engaged, and encourages their activism without scaring them, he said.

“You want to be positive, and give them agency to make change,” Caradus said.

Each kilometer represents one of the 421 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world needs to ensure carbon emissions are less than 450 parts per million to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

“Current projections say if we continue at our emission rates, we’ll hit the 450 (parts per million of carbon dioxide) in about eight years,” Caradus said. “So, I mean, that’s alarming. But it’s important, I think, to also celebrate the climate and finding agency.”

In addition to bringing awareness, Ride for the Climate, is designed to raise money to support education initiatives and tree planting. The donations will be split between Camp Kawartha and Rowan Tree’s Climate Education/Tree planting and bio diversity programs.

Caradus explained that these organizations were chosen because their primary goal is the children and their future.

“I have a four-year-old son and I’m always thinking about his future,” Caradus said. “We’re doing this for the kids, along with the climate, and raising money for the great programs that both organizations run.”

Last year, Caradus embarked on a 350 km bike ride, to highlight the level of carbon dioxide scientists initially wanted to stay at, a number that was surpassed in 1988 already. His ride raised $5,500 for Greenup, an organization focused on climate action and environmental education.

“I’d like to raise $10,000 this year, with half going to each organization,” Caradus said. “That’s the goal.”

The ride starts at the Rowan Tree Children’s School on Monaghan Road in Peterborough and ends at Camp Kawartha on Clear Lake in Douro-Dummer Township. To reach their goal in time, the pair will maintain 25 km/h speed with minimal breaks.

The public can join Caradus and Ormond on the final part of their ride. Donations can be made online at bit.ly/3OWqRtf

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