Application for Participation in the 2021 CSCS Climate Ride

Application Deadline: December 1, 2020




About CSCS & the 2021 Climate Ride 


CSCS Vision Statement: We envision Anabaptists fully engaged in actions which mitigate climate change, and Anabaptist perspectives influencing the larger climate conversation. We envision the church responding to climate change as a moral equivalent to peacebuilding.


The 2021 CSCS Climate Ride is an opportunity to engage this vision via bicycle. The ride will connect with different Anabaptist communities over climate issues. The ride will go through multiple national parks and engage in conversation and education with diverse communities around climate issues. This is a nearly 4,000 mile ride from Seattle, WA to Washington, DC. 

What Will the CSCS 2021 Climate Ride Look Like?


The trip will begin on or about May 21, 2021 in Seattle, WA. This application is for participants who can commit to taking on the entire ride. The ride will be supported (by a van and crew providing food, carrying supplies, providing navigational and mechanical support), and led by CSCS trip leaders. The ride will consist of around 60 riding days, and 7 rest days. The average mileage per riding day is 69 miles, with the longest day being 107 miles, and the route will be on a variety of surfaces (road, rail trail, bike path). The trip will conclude in Washington, DC on July 25, 2021. The ride will go through notable locations such as: multiple state and and national parks, significant landmarks and mountain ranges, Anabaptist and other church communities.  As we go through these locations and different communities, we will also feature multiple chances for intentional learning and discussion around climate issues. The ride will traverse the Cascade, Rocky, and Bighorn mountains, the great plains, the Mississippi river, and the mountains and rolling hills of the east coast. 

Participants will be a part of a team of 15 riders, 2-3 trip leaders/coordinators, and a van support crew. Participants are expected to transport themselves to/from the beginning and end of the trip, along with their equipment (with the potential option to have the CSCS crew transport equipment). Support will be provided by the CSCS trip coordinator and leader in terms of equipment advice, team-building in the months leading up to the trip, and coaching to be physically prepared for the trip. 

Cost, Scholarships & Internships

The cost to participants is $1500, to be paid to CSCS prior to the trip.  A deposit* of $200 is due Dec 31., with the remaining payment paid by April 1.  This covers all participant lodging and food while on the ride.  All costs for bicycle equipment, camping gear, and transport to the start (Seattle) and end (Washington DC) are the responsibility of participants.  We are grateful to ride sponsors and CSCS donors who are covering all of the organizing costs (e.g. support van costs, staffing costs).  


In addition, the Justpax Foundation has graciously funded a ‘scholarship’ program to provide support for diverse young adults who need financial assistance in order to participate in this ride.  All young adult riders who represent those with 1) BIPOC (Black, Indigenous or Person of Color), 2) financial need, or 3) gender diversity are encouraged to apply for financial assistance.  Application for the scholarship is included on the general participation application, and awards will be announced when successful applicants receive notice of their acceptance to the ride.


Finally, we will have several internships available that will give students experience in assisting with specific aspects of the trip. At present, we plan on full or partial internships in managing media, assisting with leadership of the trip, and in coordinating and running events. The exact configuration of internships is not yet determined, you are welcome to talk with us if you have interest in a position.    


Trip Leaders

Trip Leader, Joanna Friesen will ride with participants for the entirety of the trip. She is currently a coach at EMU, (triathlon, cross country, and track), a seminary student at EMU (graduating in May 2021), and has a history of bike touring (including a cross-country trip in 2017). She will provide coaching and training support leading up to the trip, and work with participants in team and community building before and during the trip.


Trip leader, David Landis will facilitate planning and ride with participants for portions of the trip. David, an EMU grad (2004), has led and completed numerous cross-country and long-distance bike tours, including Bike Movement, a cross-USA trip facilitating conversations across Mennonite communities. David is the founder of Village to Village Press, specializing in publishing guidebooks and developing trails worldwide for community based adventure tourism, including the TransVirginia Bike Route, a gravel bikepacking route across Virginia, the Jesus Trail, a trek across the Galilee, and provided resources for many Camino routes in Europe. He lives in Harrisonburg with his wife and three children. 


Participant Responsibilities 

CSCS Climate Ride Participants are committing to a great adventure of almost 4,000 miles in two months, all pedaled under their own power! They will bike through multiple states, and have many formal and informal learning opportunities around climate issues and climate justice. Riders will be expected to work well in a team environment, in the midst of physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and endurance challenges. Participants will need to be resilient, and willing to contribute to their team at the beginning and end of long cycling days. Participants will also be asked to serve as ambassadors and representatives, both of CSCS and of their home contexts. 


Application Timeline

Applications are being received from now until Dec. 1, and the final group of 15 participants will be decided on by Jan. 3 after a process of participant interviews.   

COVID Contingency Plans & Risk Statement

  We know that this is a time of anxiety brought on not only by climate change, but also by the covid-19 pandemic, and by the reality of racial injustices which permeate our world.  Riding bicycles across the country is a way to provide emotional and spiritual support as we navigate these realities together.  Among our other goals, we see this ride as a way to cultivate healthy bodies, minds and spirits amidst these serious threats to our world. We also know that these threats, and the pandemic in particular, put constraints on the specifics of how we’re able to structure this ride.  CSCS is keeping a close eye on the state of the pandemic and will be looking at federal, state, and local guidelines and protocol and following all public health recommendations.  We will take every necessary precaution to ensure the safety of both the participants, leaders, and communities that we pass through. Participants will be primarily outside, including camping most nights. Leaders and participants will wear masks in any indoor settings or situations where physical distance cannot be maintained. Participants and group leaders will closely follow food sanitation protocols when preparing meals. Awareness events involving local communities will aim to be outdoors with social distancing, or possibly virtual if required.  In the event of a positive covid case, either asymptomatic or symptomatic, we will coordinate quarantine procedures for some or all of the riders, as the situation warrants. As the trip gets closer, riders will be informed of all protocols for the trip.  Participation requires riders agree to the following these protocols for the duration of the trip.  Riders also need to be flexible, knowing the pandemic situation may change during the ride, and that we may need to adapt the schedule.  We are prepared to cancel the trip or alter the route if the situation on the ground warrants it and will make a final call about the viability of the trip 45 days before departure. Further, it is important for the participants to know that biking is a naturally risky activity. Best efforts will be made to make this trip as safe as possible, yet risk cannot be entirely avoided, and is a necessary negotiation of bike travel. By participating in the Climate Ride, persons involved assume all risks.   *Deposit is refundable until March 1