Save the world by bike! The 2008 BEE Ride

2008-05-15

2008 BEE Ride

Japan has a lot to offer in terms of natural beauty. From flowing rivers and rice fields, to the idyllic snow capped-peak of Mt. Fuji, it's easy to fall in love with a country that demonstrates such ecological diversity. Unfortunately many people living in Japan (foreigners included) tend to lose sight of Japan's natural beauty as we streak by in bullet trains and sing our hearts out in karaoke booths. For a country straining to combine the natural and the technological, the compromises can sometimes be overwhelming.

In 1997 three foreign English teachers decided to start an environmentally focused bike tour from the northernmost point of Hokkaido to the southernmost point of Kyushu. Over the course of two months they gave lessons on environmental stewardship, and participated in volunteer activities all while traveling exclusively by bike.

From these humble beginnings we are now gearing up for the 11th Annual BEE Japan Ride. The roughly 3500km route encompasses the rolling hills of Hokkaido, the urban jungles of Osaka and Tokyo, and the daunting climbs of the Japanese Alps. From north to south the 2008 BEE Team hopes to travel exclusively by bike, shun over packaged convenience store and vending machine products and, as much as possible, eat locally grown organic foods.

Our riders and support team are a diverse team of foreigners and Japanese who want to put their pedals where their mouths are and promote sustainable, earth friendly living, from their bike saddles. The team will stop at community centers, schools, help out in community clean ups, host lectures, participate in home stays, and aims to be a highly visible platform from which to inspire others to be mindful of their daily environmental impact. If we all just take a good look at all the stuff we use, the trash we produce, and the things we waste in our daily lives, the volume of waste is surprising. With that in mind the 2008 team wants to demonstrate to others how fun, productive, and healthy using a bike as an alternate means of transportation can be. In the past we have been featured in NHK, The Daily Yomiuri, and various web sites, and are constantly looking for other venues to promote our message.

2008 BEE Ride

The 2008 BEE Ride begins in Wakkanai, Hokkaido on August the 3rd and is scheduled to end on October the 8th in Kagoshima, Kyushu. We are looking for motivated and environmentally minded riders, support staff, volunteers, host (homestay) institutions, and event organizers. The ride and the work we do would not be possible without the support of everyone who donates their time and energy to make this possible. Whether you are looking for a physical challenge, a great way to see the natural beauty Japan really has to offer, or maybe you just want to save the world by bike, BEE ride is probably right for you. Check us out at www.beejapan.org and drop us an email anytime, we would love to hear from you. Anyone interested in riding or helping can send an email to team leader Colin Johnston at teamleader@beejapan.org

自転車で地球を守ろう! Save the world by bike!

The 2008 BEE Ride (www.beejapan.org)



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