Members of the Maine Green Independent Party will lead a second annual Ride to Common Ground to raise awareness for solutions to climate change. The three-day, 100-mile bicycle ride to the Common Ground Fair will start at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, at Portland City Hall, 389 Congress St., Portland.

Riders will make stops in Brunswick, Augusta and Unity, and arrive Friday, Sept. 25, at the Rose Gate of the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, according to a news release from Maine Green Independent Party. The ride is free and open to the general public, and can accommodate the pace of bicyclists of all abilities. The fair is an annual event organized by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.

Bicyclists get themselves to Common Ground Fair without burning fossil fuel, then volunteer for the fair’s Composting and Recycling team. The common theme among bicycling, composting and recycling is that they are all practical ways to immediately reduce your carbon footprint, according to the release.

Leading the ride again this year will be former Maine Green Independent Party chairperson Asher Platts, of Portland, and former treasurer Fred Horch, of Brunswick. Lisa Willey, of Casco, and also a former party chairperson, is organizing the composting and recycling team. Anyone with a bicycle is welcome to join the riders along the way, especially at Founder Hall and Wyman Commons at Unity College, 90 Quaker Hill Road in Unity, on Friday, Sept. 25 at 8 a.m., to ride into the fair when the gates open at 9 a.m. The ride leaders encourage everyone attending the fair to volunteer with the composting and recycling team on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

“Climate change is a huge, urgent problem that we can only solve by working together,” said Horch in the release. “Maine can play a leading role in the world as we transition to clean energy for heat and transportation. “Sensible investments in new energy infrastructure will not only prevent pollution, but will create rewarding, meaningful and important jobs for an entire generation. We have long had the economic ability to solve climate change. Now it’s time to muster the political will.”

Riders are scheduled to arrive Wednesday, Sept.23, at the Brunswick Amtrak Train Station at 16 Station Ave., Brunswick, and then depart at noon towards Augusta. They plan to arrive at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, at the steps of the Maine State House.

Bikers have arranged their own overnight accommodations along the way with many planning to pack camping gear and tent at each of their stops.

“I think the fact that we are riding our bicycles to Unity for Common Ground is too poetic. Climate change affects us all, and we must come together to address it. Last year, I had a lot of friends who were in NYC for the climate march. Since I wasn’t able to join them, I wanted to do something in solidarity here in Maine that would bring attention to this issue,” said Platt in the release.

Anybody interested in participating in this year’s Ride to Common Ground, or helping to plan an expanded ride for next year, can get more information online at climateridetocommonground.org or mainegreens.org.

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