Posted by: Alyssa Henry
Commitment. Courage. Dedication. Perseverance. To be an activist for any cause takes all these qualities and more. I’ve found these qualities in the 30 other Climate Summer Riders in these last few weeks. I’ve also found these attributes in the wonderful people we’ve been working with in cities and towns across New England.
To say the weather in Lowell has been awful is just a bit of an understatement. It poured down rain and we were constantly freezing, but guess what? We stuck with it, we refused to ride in cars, though we were offered a ride dozens of times. The act of turning down a ride in a safe, dry and warm car when riding a bicycle at that moment would have been none of those things, truly made me realize what it takes to build a movement.
We have the commitment to live out our values, even when it looks grim. We have the courage to stand up and fight for what we believe in, even in the face of adversity. We are dedicated to the cause so much that we all decided to forgo our summer plans to sleep on the floor in churches and live on a limited food budget, because that is what it takes. We persevere through the struggles, like the inclement weather, 50,000 flat tires, or the people who flip us off on the road, because we have a support system to get us through. We know that we are doing the most important thing that we could be doing at this moment.
The Mass 1 team is not alone in these qualities, every Climate Summer rider and team deals with issues, we all encounter frustrating weather or getting completely lost, we all encounter rough roads and people’s vulgar vocabulary, but we all persevere. We go out and keep the energy up because we are strong and we that what we are doing is right. As a team we are powerful, as a team we can make a difference, as team we lift others up and show every community that their commitment, courage, dedication and perseverance are not forgotten.
The many people through out our respective towns and cities in New England have shown us college students about what it really means to live out these qualities for longer than a summer. We’ve been dealing with the hazardous roads and frustrating drivers for just a week, but the people who have been fighting in these towns have been dealing with it for much longer, and they’ve persevered through it all and kept on fighting. Team MAss
Acceleration met some people in Lowell that have been fighting for years and years and have barely scratched the surface, but they NEVER gave up. There are SO many people from Lowell who have truly inspired me with their commitment, courage, dedication and perseverance, and I am sure it is the same for the rest of the Climate Summer Riders and the people they have met all across New England.
Thank you to everyone who has helped Climate Summer in the past and who will in the future. It is your commitment, courage, dedication and perseverance that helps to fuel us student cyclists to continue on our journey around New England.