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For Immediate Release

Contact: Caeli Quinn, Co-Director, 406/871 5477,
caeli@climateride.org, or
Blake Smith, 831/359-2786, piperfiske@yahoo.com


Blake Smith Will Help Guide 120 Riders From New York to Washington DC to Help Stop Global Warming

PALM SPRINGS, CA-- August 25, 2008: The Brita Climate Ride 2008 has selected gay travel expert and guide Blake Smith to join a team of seven leaders who will guide 100 cyclists on a 320-mile journey from New York City to the steps of the US Capitol in Washington DC. Smith will provide logistical and route support on the first-ever Climate Ride – a fundraiser and climate conference on wheels that will take place from Saturday, September 20 through Wednesday, September 24, 2008.

Blake Smith "I’ve always loved taking people on adventures and showing them a great time, but this is something completely different," said Blake Smith, a resident of Palm Springs. "I’m a huge supporter of the ‘green’ efforts that are sweeping the nation and I feel this event is a great way to raise awareness about global warming. The Climate Ride brings together two of my deepest passions: saving the environment and cycling. Plus, I’m excited to bring what I’ll learn on Brita Climate Ride back to my community in Palm Springs."

Smith spent more than four years on the road leading trips for Backroads Bicycling, the world’s leading active travel company, in destinations like Italy, Hawaii, Utah and the California Wine Country. He also held the position of Facilities and Transportation Director for Backroads’ Italian operations. For the past five years, Smith has worked for Atlantis Events, the largest gay tour operator, on Team Atlantis – the company’s signature team of talented hosts – on many international cruises and resort trips. Smith moved to the Palm Springs area last August from Santa Cruz, California where he served for two years as Executive Director of First Night Santa Cruz – a New Year’s Eve celebration of the arts attended by more than 20,000 revelers.

"The Climate Ride is like an AIDS ride event, but our goal is to find solutions to global warming," said Caeli Quinn, Co-Director of the Climate Ride. "To support the participants on our inaugural Ride and handle a myriad of logistical details, we need a team of guides with a great deal of expertise. We’re pleased to have Blake jump on board. His experience creating extraordinary adventures and community on the road for makes him a valuable addition to our team."

The Brita Climate Ride 2008 is the first multi-day bicycle ride to raise money for and awareness of climate change and renewable energy. Each day during the ride, expert speakers will address the riders as well as community members and officials along the way. Money raised through the Ride will benefit two organizations: Focus the Nation and Clean Air-Cool Planet.

Registration is currently open for the Brita Climate Ride 2008, but the Ride is expected to fill up quickly and only 4 spots are currently left. During the fully-supported ride, participants will cycle approximately 60 miles a day and spend nights at group campgrounds. Along the way, guest speakers will educate and inspire Climate Riders about the science, the policies and the solutions to the climate crisis. Topics will include climate science, sustainable energy, and the environment. Interested participants can visit www.climateride.org to register.

Each rider participating in the Climate Ride will be responsible for raising a minimum of $2,250, which will be donated to the project's two beneficiaries: Clean Air - Cool Planet and Focus the Nation. Clean Air - Cool Planet partners with businesses, campuses, city governments, and other organizations to reduce carbon emissions. Focus the Nation works with over a million participants on college campuses throughout the country to raise awareness of global warming issues. The mission of Climate Ride is to raise money for and awareness of Clean Air – Cool Planet and Focus the Nation, two innovative and groundbreaking organizations that are working effectively to educate Americans about the impacts of climate change, to engage Americans in the possibility of a renewable energy based economy, and to mobilize politicians to legislate meaningful climate change and energy policies. For more information, please visit www.climateride.org.

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