What a trip so far! I’m at the Eagle Grove library getting online for a few minutes. I didn’t get a chance to get to a computer Monday, so here’s the quick re-cap: people LOVE our “Cycling Against Global Warming” bike jerseys. All nine of our riders have gotten tons of requests to buy them, and they are great conversation starters on the road. So many cyclists have said hi and asked us about our team and what we’re doing – and we love telling them!

We rode from Spencer to Humboldt on Monday – about 80 miles. We stopped in Laurens to meet with the Laurens Sun publisher – he took our picture and the paper will do a story about our effort. Turns out the publisher is a longtime member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America and he was very familiar with NWF. He said he’s not too up to speed on global warming, but he recognizes it’s a problem.

When we got to camp Monday afternoon, KGAN-TV out of Cedar Rapids was waiting, wanting an interview with Don and Miles Hooper, who are our father-son duo from Vermont (Don works for NWF) who are riding and presenting a slide show about global warming on a couple of evenings this week. We’re hoping the interview will air today (Tuesday) at noon and/or 10 p.m., and also on the FOX affiliate in Des Moines at 9 p.m. When asked what the NWF team was doing to address global warming, Miles was quick to say, “We’re riding our bikes across Iowa – isn’t that the best mode of transportation?”

We’ve spoken to several farmers in the last day or two – corn, soybeans and more corn – farming is definitely THE industry in these parts. Farmers we’ve spoken to say they are seeing the effects of drought – many of them are older and hoping to leave their farm to sons or daughters. They’re concerned about what is in store for the future. Ethanol is popular here, though some farmers are concerned there will be too much production. I saw one filling station where E-85 was $3.26 per gallon. Regular unleaded gas was at about $3.09.

So far, no presidential candidates, but Lance Armstrong invited any and all of them to ride with him. Former Sen. John Edwards, D-NC, is the only one who has taken him up on it and will be out riding with Lance on Wednesday morning. We’ll be on the lookout.

OK – the quick Lance update – I rode with him! For about 3 seconds. He and his “Livestrong” gang came past me and Kate Hofmann. He said, “Hi guys.” We didn’t realize it was him until he was past us. I tried to speed up to catch him…yeah, that didn’t last. Miles rode with him later – he was so excited to meet him, he forgot to say anything about global warming. Ah well, he’ll try again today! But we all have our jerseys on!

Today, we’re headed to Hampton. Tonight, Ranger Rick will make appearances at camp. There are lots of kids doing the ride (talk about getting your Green Hour! These cycling families are amazing!), so we expect he’ll be a big hit at camp. More later!

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Published: July 24, 2007