This summer, an enthusiastic team of four cyclists will cross the country to inspire others to ride bicycles as their primary form of transportation.
No, these folks arenï¿½t professional athletesï¿½theyï¿½re self-described ï¿½average Americans" who simply bike for fun and transportation. Yet, thereï¿½s nothing average about their enthusiasm for spreading the word on sustainable transportation or their steadfast commitment to eat an entirely vegetarian diet for the duration of the trek!
You can keep up with their journey all summer long by visiting their blog (www.jointhecycle.blogspot.com), and if you live somewhere along their route, theyï¿½re on the lookout for hosts, a veg 4th of July barbecue, or a hot shower! Plus, you can ride by their side for a day or even just a mile, and youï¿½re all invited to Boston for their Welcome Party on September 26! For more info, check out their events page (www.jointhecycle.com/events)!
Here, Join the Cycle co-creator Casey DePasquale answers a few questions before the team gets going.
Qï¿½ When and why did you decide that the team should go veg for the trip?
Aï¿½ From the time I started planning Join the Cycle, I imagined the participants completing the trip as vegetarians. Since our main goal is to get people involved in environmental change, it would have been hard for me to ignore the staggering fact that the livestock industry is an even stronger contributor to global climate change than all of transportation combined.
Qï¿½ Are you and/or other team members already veg?
I have been vegetarian for about 10 years and am very healthy and happy with my choice! None of the other Join the Cycle team members are vegetarians, but they are all interested in living healthy and sustainable, so thankfully they were excited about eating vegetarian on the trip. (I did have to convince them that the co-creator, Hannah Hamilton and I are great cooks!)
Q I heard you plan to consume 6,000 calories a day! Are there other ways that a healthy veg diet differs for a highly active person than for a moderately active person?
Aï¿½ Surprisingly, it isn't a very complex issue. When participating in an adventure like this, you have to pay a lot of attention to eating to make sure to have many small meals a day, to get your complete proteins, and to consume a variety of different foods. . . that way youï¿½re assured to get all your essential vitamins and minerals, and you just burn off all the rest of those calories pedaling! These are choices we should be considering daily anyway!
Q What will you be eating during the trip?
Well, we plan to eat tons of quinoa! Itï¿½s a complete protein, and a great calorie-rich grain that cooks quickly and packs easily, so itï¿½s perfect for camping and travel. I really like quinoa in a mixed salad with grilled summer veggies and herbs. We are excited about finding locally grown veggies along our route through different areas of the U.S. and coming up with new ideas. . . and weï¿½ll be posting the full recipes on our blog as we go, so check back often!
Qï¿½ How can others get involved?
The best way to get involved is to visit our website ?(www.jointhecycle.com). From there you can check out the blog?for recipes, pictures, and stories from our trip. You can buy an organic cotton tee to support our ride, and even sign our pledge to bike more and drive less! If you really want to get involved, check our events page to see if were coming through your area. Weï¿½d love to meet people along the way!
ï¿½Jolia Sidona Allen, Vegetarian Times Associate Editor/Web Editor