The Cause: What are you riding for?

It seems that trips like this have as a prerequisite some grand and overreaching “CAUSE”. You have to be riding to raise money for SOMETHING, as opposed to just doing it for fun. To be honest, the first thing I’d like to raise money for is the cost of this trip. So, if you too think what I’m doing is cool and would like to help defray the approximately 10,000 dollars it's going to take to do this, please feel free to write me a check!

Gratuitous photo of our babies. 
On the other hand, I DO have causes I’m passionate about and that I do intend to contribute to once I’ve covered the cost of my trip. Although I am sympathetic AND empathetic to causes such as the ASPCA, The American Cancer Society, Glaucoma Research and The American Heart Association, my true passion lies with bikes and trains.

This is not as whimsical as it sounds, nor is it merely a hobby. My students could attest to the fact that it is more of a personal ideology that I truly feel could help change the entire course of this country, and ultimately improve our economy to the point that all of the above causes would receive more attention and more money.  It’s very simple. 1) every person should have a bicycle, and access to a safe bicycle path on which to ride it.  2) Every town in America should be connected by a train or trolley system that would allow people to take their bicycles to every other town in America and explore.
Exploring Hanover, New Hampshire.
Think about it.  Connecting our country with trains would improve our economy in a multitude of ways.  More goods and services could make it across the country, more people could spend their money in places they wouldn’t normally have gone. Thousands of jobs would be created to build, maintain and run the train system. It’s a win win proposition!

And don’t even get me started on the bikes! We’d be healthier, happier and wealthier because we’d spend less on gas and more time on our bikes!

Imagine a world where you could walk downtown and take a train to anywhere in the country AND take your bike with you if you wish.  Don’t you want to live in that world?
Yes! We would love to live in that world.

I therefore make this public pledge: Every donation dollar which I receive above and beyond the cost of this trip will be donated to both of the following:
1) Rails to Trails Conservancy  
2) Railroad Research Foundation

Now, if you’re smart, I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking, “Hey, isn’t the Rails to Trails organization tearing up the old railway lines and turning them into bike paths?”  and then you’re thinking, “Doesn’t tearing up railway lines contradict the idea of adding more train routes?”

Is that what you were thinking?  Well if it was, my answer to you is  “YOU’RE RIGHT!.  I”m still working on that one and would be more than happy to pass along any ideas to these two seemingly contradictory agencies.

Ps.  The pledge of money to these two agencies does not include money’s my wife and I might receive from amazingly cool book deals or sponsorships that corporations might decide to bestow on us to be their poster children in highly lucrative contracts. If that does indeed happen, we will of course donate a PORTION of our proceedings to the cause, but not ALL of it. I mean really...would you?
Pinky and the Brain costume. We'd make great poster children!

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