Another Crazy Bike Ride for Charity Stops by Baltimore

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Last month, we reported on a group of women who took on an intense, 365-mile bike tour of Maryland to raise money (and awareness) for the Baltimore-based charity World Relief. But that group wasn’t the only one to put its thigh-strength to work for a good cause; yesterday, the 5 Gyres Last Straw Plastic Pollution Solutions Bike Tour passed through Baltimore on its triumphant 1400-mile (!!) bike ride to raise awareness of how much plastic clogs our beaches, rivers, and oceans. So, no, even if they get REALLY thirsty, they’re not drinking out of plastic water bottles.

At this point, we’re so used to daily doses of plastic — plastic bags, plastic water bottles, plastic packaging — that we barely even register it anymore. But because plastic doesn’t biodegrade quickly, it has to go somewhere — and that somewhere is often our oceans, where there are enough discarded bags and bottles to make a sort of floating landfill/island. And, as the group reminded us on its Facebook page, this is a life-and-death issue to some; this summer, a sperm whale was found dead with the remnants of more than 100 plastic bags in its stomach.

The 5 Gyres group rolled up to Baltimore right after a storm — and found plenty of plastic.

So the 5 Gyres group decided to do something about it. They’re biking all over the East Coast, raising awareness and conducting beach cleanups along the way. (You can follow their adventures on their blog here.) And if you spend 5 minutes cleaning up plastic in your neighborhood or a local park, send them a picture of the trash you’ve collected — you might win a prize from one of their sponsors. They stopped by Baltimore this weekend, but if you missed that you can catch them at the National Aquarium in DC on Tuesday from 3-5 p.m.; more info here. After that, they’ll wind their way down the east coast to South Carolina. We wish them strength, fun, and no flat tires!

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