As a team, we have a history of getting lost, and our recent journey from Slatersville, Rhode Island, to Natick, Massachusetts, was no different. We realized that we were lost after five miles of
riding in the wrong direction. We had biked to the end of the Upper Charles Bike Trail only to find out that we had gone the wrong way down the bike path. We looked at the map of the trail and the surrounding area and we consulted our GPS. It seemed as though our best option was to ride back the way we had come and continue on in the right direction.
We tried to remain positive, stating that at least the view was nice and the trail was flat, though this was hard knowing that we were adding an extra ten miles to our trip. While we were stopped, Alissa looked at her phone and noticed a missed call and voicemail. She listened to the message and found that it was a message from Carolyn, who volunteers with 350MA in Worcester. Her message was filled with positivity and words of encouragement. It was exactly what we needed to keep pedaling. Instead of setting off with grimaces on our faces, we set off with smiles.
This is the kind of support that has been following us on our journey. In Rhode Island, a woman from a local Baptist church received an email that we were in town, and that email described our mission. She saw us biking and flagged us down because she wanted to tell us how
happy she was that we were doing this work. Her support brightened our day and made those hills a little bit better. We are often met with friendly honks and cheers of support, and this is very reassuring. The negativity that surrounds the topic of climate change can often be overwhelming. The facts are scary. It is easy to feel as though we are alone in this movement and that we are just a group of 21 college students on bikes, but the support from our community members remind us that we have support in the work that we do.