“Wow, there’s just two of you, doing that whole thing . . . you’re really out there,” said motel keeper Inez after hearing CBFers John Rodenhausen and Beth McGee tell their story as they were checking in after another long day on their bikes. That was day four of the duo’s 1,300-mile circumnavigation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
And indeed “out there” they were . . . riding through corn fields, biking up Skyline Drive, running into black bears outside of Hancock, New York, hopping on ferries across the James River (and the Bay itself), soaking weary legs in fresh mountain streams, and telling their personal stories, raising awareness and money for cancer, diabetes, and the Chesapeake Bay along the way.
“One thing that we really tried to get across to everybody especially when we were up north in New York and Pennsylvania was that clean water benefits everybody," says Rodenhausen. "It’s not about the Bay when we’re riding through New York…it’s about you guys and your clean water.”
Sadly, that message didn’t come soon enough in some places. “Toward the end of our trip, we were coming through Laurel, Delaware, crossing Broad Creek—a tributary to the Nanticoke—which feeds into the Bay,” says McGee. “And there was a huge Microcystis, which is a blue-green algae—an algae that’s extremely toxic. If dogs would drink it or people would swim in it and ingest it, it would cause gastrointestinal issues and actually it’s a neurotoxin . . . really bad stuff.” Rodenhausen adds, “the [clean water] issues that we’re talking about now are very pertinent and germane to everyone’s lives and livelihoods.”
Read "The Bicycle Diaries, Part One," here!
To learn how you can fight for clean water click here. To read more of Rodenhausen and McGee’s extraordinary journey, please visit their blog. Check out our Facebook page for more photos of their big welcome home and find out how you can both bike and save the Bay here!
Finally, to donate to Rodenhausen and McGee’s causes, please visit the following pages:
- Child cancer treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital: www.active.com/donate/johnwatershedride
- American Diabetes Association: http://main.diabetes.org/goto/watershedridebmcgee
- Chesapeake Bay Foundation: www.cbf.org/watershedride or www.cbf.org/bmcgeewatershedride.