We did it!!
We cycled 600 miles to COP26 in Glasgow, to feed the positive upwards spiral that is bringing our planet back into balance...
Our team, Pedalling For A Bright Future, is 3 impassioned females determined to do something to resolve the climate crisis:
ELSIE - 13 yr old school-girl activist from north Devon, who believes now is the time for the youth to speak-up for their future
TESS - 73 yr old author, adventurer and charity fundraiser from north-east Hampshire, who works for a peaceful Earth - Elsie’s Granny.
RIMA - IT professional from north Surrey, campaigner for sustainability & zero waste, who pulls tyres in marathons to highlight the burden we place on our planet
Our journey started near London at the Ankerwycke yew tree in Runnymede where the Magna Carta was born giving rights to humans, highlighting today’s need for rights for the planet.
We cycled along beautiful Sustrans cycle trails for the next three weeks steadily wiggling northwards, covering distances of 30 to 40 miles per day. Tess and Elsie’s mountain bikes carried heavy panniers weighed down with camping kit. Rima pulled a trailer stuffed with equipment. Speed was not an option, it was all about endurance.
Accommodation was the 5-star hedge and hay-barn variety, along with many floors and spare beds at the insistence of people we met. We were living in the immediate timeless world of ‘now’, taking each moment as it came. To this end we trusted that the Universe would provide all our needs. And indeed they were met - the basics of survival, that of food, shelter and human kindness.
We grew in understanding as we went along. For Elsie it was patience. Her young legs, fit from surfing, were happy to race ahead and eat up the hills. Rima was coping with the frustrations of pulling a trailer, sticking in muddy ruts and awkward to carry over barriers. For Tess it was the struggle of a slow body with painful knees, feeling the cold. And then there were the punctures - 21 in all! For this was hedge-cutting season with sharp thorns littering the track. Fixing them became a challenge through cold, rain and tiredness - at first taking an hour but eventually completed in a record 10 minutes!
But always we were a team. What happened to one happened to all. Like when Tess’ chain came off at the bottom of a long steep hill and Rima came back down to check on her so had to climb the entire hill again… Food was shared. The safety of each was everyone’s priority. and we sensed the other’s sadnesses and joys. We were indeed as nations on one planet…
Our common purpose held us together like the ever-useful duck-tape Elsie carried. We were on a mission, bearers of a precious load - three thousand Climate Action Pledges made by individuals, many by children, each declaring personal action to make a difference for the climate crisis. We had been entrusted with them and would play our part, carrying them to the United Nations gathering in Glasgow to support the crucial COP26 work. The future of our planet was at stake.
So we stopped at schools along the way, raising awareness and speaking with children who wrote their own Climate Action Pledges. They were inspired by our oft nonchalant 13 yr old who showed that children can make a difference, can get around without using fossil fuels, and can stand up and be a voice…
We were drenched and chilled to the bone when we reached the end point of our 600 mile pedal - the Tree of Hope in Glasgow. This oak planted by the Suffragettes over a hundred years ago had been badly storm-damaged and represented collective hope to repair our planet. Here we lit the World Peace Flame and spoke out the Climate Action Pledges joined by passers by - the vibration of the words taken by the winds…
The Pledges were then presented by Elsie to the Bahamas Minister of State for the Environment who passed the precious sentiments to the Bahamas Prime Minister just before he addressed world leaders. The Minster put his arm around her and said “Because of your actions the world is a better place.” Finally the originals were placed on the Tree of Promises at COP26 for all to see.
“Job done!” agreed Tess and Rima with tears in their eyes as they watched Elsie confidently being interviewed by the frenzy of world media… She was representing the worthy voice of youth. “Please, do your bit… do what is right for the future of the planet.”
The work continues… And each and every one of us can make a difference. Not only by our beneficial actions, but by holding good thoughts, prayers and light for a positive outcome - Indeed the bright future…
SEE THE BRIGHT FUTURE...
We would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to all those who supported us, making such a difference by:-
sending Climate Action Pledges, looking after us along the way, and sponsoring our 3 climate crisis charities.
We still warmly welcome donations to:-
1/ Protect Our Winters - Protecting the world we love from Climate Change
2/ Sustrans - Creating a UK-wide safe cycle/walking network
3/ WWF - Project Tiger Heartlands, saving the tiger from extinction
See the bright future...