Bicycling across Montana to raise awareness of climate issues

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Posted at 10:03 AM, Jun 20, 2024

GREAT FALLS — Bill Barron has a heart for climate issues and bike riding.

"The bike tour is sort of connecting my passion for cycling with advocating for what i really believe in," said barron, the mountain west regional coordinator for the advocacy group Citizens' Climate Lobby.

"We are nationwide and we are non-partisan. We're focused on empowering volunteers to advocate for bipartisan solutions to climate."

His latest bike tour began in Pablo in western Montana. Weather forced him to reroute around the south side of glacier park. The longest leg was the 120 plus miles from browning to Great Falls. From there he biked on to Helena. Other stops will include Bozeman, Columbus, Red Lodge and Cody, Wyoming by way of the Beartooth Highway. With a couple rest days mixed in, he'll end in Cheyenne, Wyoming on June 30th if all goes according to plan.

At each stop, he has events planned to meet with supporters and the public to bring awareness to climate issues which can be difficult to to talk about.

"Certainly people are concerned and a little frustrated about politics that are making it a little harder to move on this issue," said Barron. "But the reality of it is things are happening. We just need to keep advocating and speaking up for what we think is important."

Barron admits his message can be a tough sell in energy rich states like Montana and Wyoming. He says we need to appreciate the fossil fuel industry and realize it can play a role in the future.

"For instance, we have to work towards carbon capture and sequestration, which is something that we will also need," said Barron. "But it's it's a it's a ways down the road. In order for us to really accomplish what we need to right now, there are things we can do right now as these other tools, the carbon capture and sequestration, nuclear, and other things are made utility grade and utility scale."

It's not the first time Barron has used his bike to bring awareness to climate issues.

He ran for federal office three times and covered a total of 2500 miles by bike as a single-issue climate candidate in Utah. He used his bike as a unique way to reach constituents, bring attention to the issue, and discuss solutions.

While he's doing the bulk of the work through his ride, he credits volunteers and support staff to help spread the message.

"Really, i couldn't do it without them. It's nice to ride through some snowstorms and have a warm car to sit in her one for a minute along the way," said Barron.

If you'd like to learn more about the organization and Barron's trip, click here.