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How far would you pedal for a clean energy future?

From September 26-30th, Durham residents Pablo Torres and Gabrielle Trapenberg will ride their bikes from New York City to Washington, DC in the 2009 Climate Ride (www.climateride.org). They will be the only two cyclists from North Carolina joining cyclists from across the nation in this 300-mile journey.

The 2009 Climate Ride is a fundraiser and a first-of-a-kind climate conference-on-wheels. Along the way, expert speakers will educate and inspire Climate Riders and local communities about the science, the policies and the solutions to global warming. Participants will meet knowledgeable renewable energy experts, climate activists, scientists, and leaders committed to making a difference. The ride will finish at the steps of the U.S. Capitol, where riders will have the opportunity to meet with the nation’s government leaders and make a powerful statement about the need for renewable energy and climate change legislation.

When asked about why they are participating in this ride, Pablo and Gabrielle stated their concerns for the impact that fossil fuels, energy use, urban growth and American consumerism are having on climate change and the depletion of natural resources.

For Pablo and Gabi, the 2009 Climate Ride is a challenge at many levels. First and foremost, it will be a physical challenge, not just during the 300-mile ride but also during the tough training regimen necessary to prepare for the ride. It is also a logistical challenge since they have to figure out transportation for themselves and their bikes between North Carolina, New York City and Washington, DC. Lastly, it is a fundraising challenge. Participants are required to raise $2,400 per person to benefit Focus the Nation, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and Clean Air – Cool Planet, and their climate, energy and alternative transportation projects.

As part of their fundraising efforts, Pablo and Gabrielle are holding a silent auction at the new West End Wine Bar in downtown Durham from 5-8 p.m. on September 3. Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door and include a complimentary glass of wine, food and music by No Regret Productions. Tickets for the event can be obtained at the West End Wine Bar, by emailing gabitrap@gmail.com or calling 919.548.3619. If you’re a local business, please consider donating items or services to the auction as a way to advertise.

Pablo and Gabrielle are also organizing an 80’s vs. 90’s dance party with DJ Nyt at Tallula’s in Chapel Hill on August 29th starting at 10 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5.

You can also provide a secure monetary donation by going to www.climateride.org, Donations, Give to a team, and searching for Pablo and Gabrielle’s team name, “Latinos por el planeta.” All donations are tax-deductible and benefit the three above-mentioned organizations. While we may not all be able to pedal 300-miles, you can support Pablo and Gabrielle in their efforts to promote a clean energy future.

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P.O. BOX 1357 · CARRBORO, NC 27510 · 919.740.5231 · editor@chathamcountyline.org