Avon resident joins Green Riders, biking across US and volunteering
All money raised will be used to buy seeds, seedlings, fruit trees, gardening materials, tools, and supplies to build rainwater harvesting units and compost bins.
EAGLE COUNTY — Bike to Work Day 2017 was Wednesday, and Nicole Abrams got up early for a ride into Vail.
The Avon resident has been biking to work every day, and starting July 1 she’ll take the bike to work concept to a whole new level when she starts biking around the U.S. with the Green Riders initiative, traveling by bike from town to town and volunteering at gardens, farms and nonprofits.
The Green Riders group calls the concept “Good deeds on bikes,” and in May about 30 volunteers departed New York City on their journey, which is expected to last most of the summer. They’re currently in the Midwest. The entire journey will be nearly 4,000 miles, and Abrams will pick it up about halfway through in Minnesota.
The group was started by adventuring activists Rob Greenfield and Cheryl Davies who say they started by simply go for a long bike ride in the service of others. They say the journey will be an “immersive experience in sustainable living” with the intention to inspire and inform others on how to be a positive impact on the world.
On their journey, the Green Riders plan on starting small gardens in communities, front yards, schools and church yards; planting native wildflowers to help the struggling honeybee populations; planting fruit trees, establishing a community fruit tree orchard in one lucky city; setting up compost bins and rain water harvesting units to help others; and randomly beautifying rundown places.
‘BEST DAY OF SUMMER’
Abarams works at Walking Mountain Science center and coordinates an after school science program for girls.
Living in Avon and working in Avon, the bike to work concept probably wasn’t going to get her in shape enough for the Green Riders trip from Minneapolis to Seattle.
That’s why she found herself in Vail on Wednesday morning.
“I’ve been getting up early in the morning to do some bigger rides,” she said.
In May, she gave up use of her car altogether.
“I’ve been working really hard, trying to get some good miles in.”
Meeting up with Bike to Work Day 2017 participants John-Ryan Lockman and Kaitlin Merriman, Abrams said she enjoyed one of her most pleasant mornings so far on Wednesday.
“Everybody gets prizes and food along the way,” she said. “Best day of the summer in my opinion.”
Abrams said one of her goals in the journey is to spread awareness of the Food is Free Project, a community building and gardening movement that launched in January of 2012.
The project aims to teach people “how to connect with your neighbors and line your street with front yard community gardens which provide free harvests to anyone,” according to their mission statement. “The gardens are built and offered for free using salvaged resources that would otherwise be headed to the landfill. By using drought-tolerant, wicking bed gardens, these low maintenance gardens only need to be watered every 2-4 weeks. This simple tool introduces people to a very easy method of growing organic food with very little work. A wide variety of vegetables along the block promote neighbors to interact and connect, strengthening our communities while empowering them to grow their own food.”
It pairs well with a concept Greenfield developed called “freestyle gardening,” where he plants food in unused places across the country.
“Freestyle gardening is spreading food gardens all over America and making food free, the way it used to be: naturally from the Earth,” Greenfield writes.
Abrams will be keeping a web log of her travels using Google Plus, keep up with it by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So far, her main followers are those third, fourth and fifth graders who are a part of Abrams’ Girls in Science after school program.
“I’m hoping to inspire them to get out there and ride their bikes, be healthy, be more sustainable and live simple lives,” Abrams said.