Peterborough climate activist Glen Caradus gearing up for 250-kilometre Climate Ride

Climate activist and environmental educator Glen Caradus is hitting the road once again to raise awareness about climate change and the need to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

For the third year in a row, Caradus will embark on a long-distance bike ride around the Kawarthas, dubbed The Ride For Our Grandchildren, on Sept. 30.

For Our Grandchildren, a national climate group with a chapter in Peterborough mandated to engage and mobilize the community to combat the effects of climate change, is supporting this year’s Climate Ride.

Caradus will begin his journey at the Camp Kawartha Environment Centre, on Pioneer Road near Trent University, beginning at 3 a.m.

From there, Caradus will bike to Omemee, then on to Lindsay, before reaching Fenelon Falls. He will then head toward Haliburton and on to Aspley and Coe Hill, before biking around Stoney Lake. At 3 a.m. the next day, Caradus will loop back to the Camp Kawartha Environment Centre.

The aim is to cover 25 kilometres an hour. The third annual Climate Ride will cover 250 kilometres.

Like previous years, the number of kilometres is not random.

“We always choose a number that has significance. Last year, 421 kilometres was the carbon dioxide (parts per million) in the atmosphere. So 280 is pre-industrial (parts per million) level of carbon dioxide,” explained Caradus.

“Next year, we’re trying to do 450 kilometres because the science is saying we’re really going to be feeling the effects of climate change.”

Caradus will be joined on the ride this year by Nick Ormone. Supporters are encouraged to hop on their bikes and join the ride too.

Once Caradus crosses the finish line, a family event will be held with live music on-site and 280 trees doled out to those in attendance.

This year’s Climate Ride has received support from residents and community partners alike, including the Runner’s Life store in downtown Peterborough.

So far, $2,000 has been raised — well on the way to reaching Caradus’ goal of $5,000.

“It’s really encouraging. I think a lot of people are concerned. We can all do our part and also in a fun way too. If we can all step up and do our part I think it can have a really positive effect,” Caradus said.

“It’s been great. When we ride because it’s a pretty positive initiative. What I find is that a lot of people are concerned. We made $9,000 last year. I think a lot of people are concerned … so that’s really encouraging and people are really supportive. The sobering reality is that our emissions are still going up, so that’s what we really need to focus on.”

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner