NR native to bike cross country with The Green Riders
New Richmond native and 2013 NRHS grad Amanda Anez recently made it her personal mission to make the most positive impact she can on the world in the time she has on Earth.
"Thanks to access to composting and a great recycling program in Mankato I have recently adapted a minimal waste lifestyle which focuses on sustainability and drastically reducing the amount of landfill trash I produce by refusing wasteful items, finding alternatives, and recycling/composting everything I can," Anez, 22, said. "I can already see what a huge impact I am making with my individual choices. Some of my friends are also seeing the benefits and making changes to their own lifestyles."
So when Anez heard about the Green Riders Tour from her friend Marissa Neitzke, another New Richmond native, she was immediately interested in joining up when the group made its way through Ashland on July 2. The group will be stopping in Osceola on July 6. Anez plans to ride with the group, which started out from Central Park in New York City on May 29, through the Twin Cities area. The Green Riders plan to end their tour in Seattle on Aug. 18, after traveling 3,700 miles.
"It was important to me to be a part of this ride because I feel very passionately about the environment and making the most positive impact you can in the world," Anez said. "There are many things you can do as an individual, but there is certainly power in numbers. The Green Riders will be helping others grow their own food and live more sustainably leaving each place they pass through a slightly better place than they found it."
Along with being able to make a positive impact on the areas she travels through with the Green Riders, Anez looks forward to learning and practicing simple and sustainable living, zero waste, and holistic health as well as how to live with less money.
"All while traveling across the country on my bicycle; how sweet is that?" Anez said.
Anez is attending South Central College in North Mankato, Minn., for multimedia technology (photography, video, and graphic design). She also works at Fun.com as a graphic designer.
"I also currently volunteer for a non-profit organization in Mankato called Key City Bike which is a volunteer-run/donation-based community bike space where donated bikes are scrapped to be recycled or fixed up and put back into the community," Anez said. "I am a huge supporter of this organization because of their mission: 'recycle, reclaim, and empower' which shines in our community through bikes."
Anez will be the first to admit that she wasn't always into cycling. She was the runner in her family, although her parents tried to get her to join them on bike rides as they trained for triathlons.
"More recently I have become very involved in the cycling community since I've lived in Mankato, there are so many trails, resources, and amazing people there," Anez said. "After buying a newer, more reliable bike I have been putting in many training miles in preparation for the trip. It sure is tough to bike long distances with all of that gear loaded up on your bike. I plan on taking the trip one mile at a time."
At each location they visit, the Green Riders will interact with the community by doing service products, without the expectation of receiving any compensation for their work. The group, which is made up of 30 core riders as well as several riders who joined up with the group to bike a portion of the route, will average 50 miles a day on the eastern side of the country, then 70 miles a day on the western half. Cyclists will ride at their own pace, and everyone meets up at the end of the day.
"After seeing what the Green Riders have accomplished together already on their journey I think biking with them will be a very empowering and challenging experience and I encourage anyone who is interested to join us," Anez said. "I'm very excited to meet this group of harmonious Earth-conscious cyclists to learn from them and experience the growth and improvement of our world one community at a time. I am also looking forward to my personal growth and experience of this trip because I feel that it will help me become physically and mentally stronger."
Anyone interested in joining the group along their route should join the Green Riders Facebook page (Green Riders - Good Deeds on Bikes), Anez said. And anyone interested in hosting the Green Riders for the night as they make their way to Seattle, have a project for the group or would like to donate food to the group can make contact with the Green Riders on Facebook or by email at email@example.com.
The Green Riders are led by Rob Greenfield, an Ashland native, who is an adventurer, environmental activist, humanitarian and is dedicated to leading the way to a more sustainable and just world. Greenfield is the creator of The Food Waste Fiasco, a campaign that strives to end food waste and hunger in the U.S. For more information on Greenfield, visit robgreenfield.tv.