Sometimes, the best defense against global warming is a good offense, and Hopatcong resident, Suellen Malloy and her daughter-in-law, Christine Rojas found that the best way that they can make a difference in this world is to get on their bikes and ride.
“You can see a lot of what we’re doing to the environment from your bike,” Ms. Malloy says in relation to passing garbage on her many trails.
But besides just saving on gas emissions and carbon, she’s also taken it a bit further by entering the Brita Climate Ride, a five day fundraising event that starts in Manhattan, snakes its way through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, and eventually ends in Washington D.C., making for a 300 mile trek.
“I do about 100 miles a week for a race,” Ms. Malloy says in regards to her training for the big event that starts on September 20th.
Her daughter-in-law follows a similar path.
“She (Ms. Malloy) is like my mentor,” Ms. Rojas says, “I would call her up and say, I did 50 miles today, and she would say, ‘Oh, great.’”
Outside of the grueling training, which the mother-daughter team have been doing cross coastal via text messages, emails, and telephone calls since Ms. Rojas currently lives in San Diego with her husband, another one of their biggest challenges is the actual fundraising part.
Both have to amass $2,500 dollars apiece for the ride, with proceeds going to Focus the Nation and Clean Air-Cool Planet. At press time, though, they still had a bit to go with that number, with Ms. Malloy at $550 and Ms. Rojas at $1000. Both hope to get more sponsorships for the race, with Freedom Waterless Carwash, Mason Street Pub, and Lakeview Acupuncture, just to name a few, already chipping in. But The Malloy Girls, which they call themselves, are ready to eat the cost if they can’t make the rest of the money in time.
“We’re in it for the long haul,” Ms. Malloy says about paying for the rest of it if she has to. “We both really feel like it’s worth it,” Ms. Malloy says.
A trooper to the very end, this isn’t Ms. Malloy’s first race. It is her daughter-in-law’s, though, who wanted to do it to help save the planet and also spend some time with her mother-in-law.
“I was so up to do it,” Ms. Rojas says, “She said, ‘would you like to do it,’ and I said, oh yeah, I totally would.”
Ms. Malloy’s first race was for another beneficial cause, that one the fight against AIDs in an event called AIDS/LifeCycle. AIDS/LifeCycle is a bit more recognized than Brita Climate Ride since it has a few years under its belt, while this is Brita’s first year ever.
"In the AIDs race], you got to meet people who have AIDS who say, “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you,” Ms. Malloy says.
Who knows what anybody will say after this race? But there are still a few spaces available if you’re willing to join the cause. Sign up or donate to the Malloy Girls on the website today: http://www.climateride.org/.