Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cyclists Raise Money to Protect Open Spaces

By Kate Kirby
Gordon College News Service
August 4, 2010
(This story appeared in the Boston Globe, North print section, August 26.)

When the alarm sounds at 4:30 a.m., former Iron Man World Championship finisher Joe Walsmith gears up to train for a new kind of challenge. On Saturday, August 28th Walsmith will join other elite athletes and dedicated conservationists in the second annual Ride for Green, a rugged cycling event to protect the natural landscape of Massachusetts.

Walsmith, 38, hatched the idea for the Ride in 2007 while cycling 100+ miles along the South Shore and weaving west through cranberry country into farmland once inhabited by his great grandparents. Originally from Southern California, Walsmith said he wanted to protect Massachusetts from the kind of development he saw on the West Coast.

“I absolutely love it out here and I have a deep appreciation for all of the green space because I’ve seen the opposite happen in California,” said Walsmith, a current resident of Scituate, MA, who works at LEK Consulting, a life science biotech company in Boston. “Seeing what an excess in development does to the landscape is hard to come to terms with.”