Graham, Keene, and Cyrus met and became friends in 2011, in their first week as students at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Even in those early weeks together they bonded over a strong love of the outdoors. The notion to undertake a cross-country bike trip was first conceived by Cyrus and Graham, returning home from their annual backpacking trip in 2014. However, the seed was planted almost a year earlier when the two awakened a shared interest in cycling by riding from Washington, D.C. to St. Mary’s in the summer of 2013. As their senior year began, Keene, Graham, and Cyrus landed jobs as mechanics at the Campus Bike Shop, and, with this work, their interest in cycling grew. Good friends and always up for a challenge, it was not long until they began imagining the cross-country bike ride as an adventure to finish out their college years together.
Though their personal and academic pursuits vary widely, the three young men share a deep concern for environmental issues. In the spring of 2014 they enrolled in Environmental Ethics, supporting one another throughout the semester as they discussed how our society should rethink its connection to the planet. Eager to take an active role, they wanted to link their shared commitment to environmentalism and their yearning to see the natural wonders of our beautiful country. They saw an opportunity to further both ends by dedicating their cross-country ride to raising awareness and money to donate to an organization devoted to working towards a sustainable future. In May, they will Gear Up for a Greener Earth and raise money for Conservation International.
“Live simply that others may simply live” – Mohandas K. Gandhi