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Bicyclists practice what they preach

Managing editor

“How did you spend your summer vacation?”

Three young people from Colorado and New Mexico, will have an interesting answer when they tell of meeting strangers and seeing the U.S. from the seat of a bicycle.

Their destination is Washington, D.C. where they hope to arrive July 26. Trek to Re-Energize America is a rally to raise interest in environmental issues such as climate changes and clean energy.

Remington Franklin, 18, of Taos, N.M., and Lucy Richards and Kelly Graves, both 20 of Durango, Colo., started their journey June 13 from Pueblo, Colo. They arrived in Marion Sunday morning.

“We look for people on bikes,” Franklin said.

They happened to meet Harry Bennett of rural Marion. The trio stayed with the Bennetts Sunday night and left for Emporia Monday morning to meet Franklin’s sister, who was going to join them on their ride.

The bicyclists ride about 60 miles per day. The six-week, 1,700-mile trek has been planned for two years.

Richards is filming a documentary of her experiences, interviewing people about renewable energy.

“The people we’ve met have been phenomenal,” Graves said.

So far, they have been fortunate keeping themselves safe from summer weather. The nights there have been storms, they have been indoors, staying in churches, libraries, and houses. Otherwise, their nights are spent in public parks.

When they arrive in Washington, there should be 100 bicyclists who rode from their respective residences. The group will converge in the nation’s capital for the rally and lobbying efforts.

The event is lead by J.P. Kemmick of Seattle, Wash.

Last modified June 25, 2009

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