The Good Route: Biking, Climbing, Paddling Down to 350

Oct 21, 2009
Outside Magazine

By Mary Catherine O'Connor

This Saturday, October 24th, will be action-packed.Normally, this would not be news for Outside readers, for whom most weekendsare packed with biking, skiing, boating, etc. But this year, it's news. October24th is the much-anticipated international day of action, designed to get everyone—really,everyone—talking about climate change and demanding action from world leadersto make real strides in mitigating its impact by signing a new, aggressivetreaty during the upcoming United National Climate Change Conference inCopenhagen.

Hard to say whether this Saturday's actions will set off thechain re-action we imagined in the October issue (well, OK, that scenario is a real stretch). But you're probably going to beout and about this weekend anyway, right? So if you believe climate change ishappening, if you believe it is a real threat to humanity (not to mention youroutdoor recreation opportunities), and if you can count to 350*, there's reallyno reason not to add your voice—and sweat—to the choir.

Here's a small sampling of the more than 4,000 events thatare planned, or already in motion, around the world (170 countries and counting):

A dozen Bay Area cyclists took off Monday on a 350-mileride down the California coast. They'll arrive in San Francisco on Saturday. Ifyou're in that 'hood, join them for the very last bit of their giro (details here).

Legendary climberLynn Hill plans to unfurl a banner (from the top of anstill-undisclosed ascent)

Pro XC skiers onTeam Steinbock will warm up their legs in a rollerski race for atSoldier in Midway, UT.

Pro mountain bikerLea Davison is leading a ride in Jericho, VTand Kiwi mountain bikepro Kashi Leuchs is leading a ride in Dunedin, NZ.

Record-setting oceanrower Roz Savage will speaking at a event in London

Canadian World Cupskiers Thomas Grandi & Sara Renner are leading a ridein Canmore, Alberta.

In Portland, Ore., agaggle of boaters will form a huge 350 in the Willamette River

Speaking of oceans, inNYC cyclists are planning a "Future Sea Level Ride,"  complete with aquatic costumes, to drive—er,ride—the point home that climate change means rising oceans.

Over in Middlebury, VT (ground zero for the, sinceorganizer Bill McKibben is a scholar-in-residence at Middlebury College) youcan join in on 350 sun salutations, among many other events

And should you findyourself in Times Square on Saturday, you can watch highlights of these global actions asthey're beamed to a 30-foot screen.

      So what are you planning? Let us know. And if you can't joinany of the above, find an action on this handy map, orcreate your own.

      *According to NASA scientist James Hansen, 350 parts permillion is the safe upper limit for atmospheric CO2. Many leading scientistsconcur with this estimation. Right now, we're at about 387 ppm. So we've got some serious back-pedaling to do.

      --Mary Catherine O'Connor is a freelance writer, covering the environment, sustainability and outdoor recreation. The Good Route, her new blog for Outside Online, is focused on the places where the active life and sustainability merge.

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