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A bicycle commuter who rides four miles to work, five days a week, avoids 2,000 miles of driving and about 2,000 pounds of CO2 emissions each year.

Climate Ride may be expanding to Midwest in 2014

If you haven't yet heard of Climate Ride, chances are you will hear about it soon — especially since the organization will likely expand to the Midwest during the coming year.

The idea behind the organization is simple: Over the course of four or five days,/ participants push themselves to the limit all in the name of a good cause and a sense of community.Get ready to sweat just reading about it.

Climate Ride was started in 2008 by Geraldine Carter and Caeli Quinn. The two founders combined their expertise in leading high-end bike trips with a passion for environmental causes. They quickly discovered they had something special on their hands.

Since its founding, Climate Ride has given over $1.5 million to 60-plus beneficiaries (including—ahem—your beloved Active Trans). All organizations that receive donations share Climate Ride’s desire to foster an engaged, athletic and green populace.

The two annual events they’ve run in the past are a four-day 320-mile ride through California (changing to a new 240 mile route in 2014) and a five-day 300-mile ride from New York City to DC.

In 2014 they’re unveiling a five-day hike through the beautiful Glacier National Park in Montana, and hoping to bring a ride right here to the Midwest in the coming year as well. The Midwest ride is tentatively planned as a four-day trip from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Chicago.

/Tim Frick, owner of Mightybytes, a web-design and digital media company in Chicago, has been involved with Climate Ride since 2010. He started as a rider but things changed when a sudden (but not severe) illness gave him a behind-the-scenes peek from the SAG wagon.

Climate Ride performs incredible, inspiring work across a variety of channels that all lead to a prosperous, healthy sustainable future for people and planet, said Frick. It's the kind of stuff that gives you goosebumps when you think about it.”

Frick wanted to do more with the organization, and when offered the chance to become a board member, he didn’t hesitate.

In addition to being on the board, Frick continues to ride—he’s completed five so far—and also serves as one of the speakers who provides evening entertainment for the riders. He and the rest of the staff have big plans for the organization, which continues to grow each year. They want to do more rides, more hikes and draw more people to their mission.

“The cause is what inspires me, the challenge is what drives me and the experience and people are what keep me coming back over and over,” Frick said./

The call is still open for riders and hikers for 2014, though if you’re not quite feeling up to a ride or hike you can also just donate. You can also create your own independent Climate Ride event centered around all sorts of physical activities.