Sept. 20, 2021

Road Magic

We are joined today by Aaron Stephenson. Aaron is a Spanish teacher who lives with his family in Massachusetts and uses his summer breaks to cycle for a cause.

We are joined today by Aaron Stephenson. Aaron is a Spanish teacher who lives with his family in Massachusetts and uses his summer breaks to cycle for a cause.

At age 13, Aaron began working in a bike shop where his dream of cycling across the country was born. He has always been fascinated with the beauty and simplicity of the bicycle. The speed of a bike is perfect for encountering the world around you. The 360° view engages all of your senses and is so refreshing. Every sense in your body gets turned on when you are on a bike.

When Aaron was younger, he did a few short 5-day tours with family and always knew he wanted to tackle a long-distance ride. He was captivated by the idea of riding cross country on a bicycle. Tour for Becky began to honor the memory of his late mother-in-law, who passed away after a courageous battle with breast cancer. Despite the challenges that Becky faced, she was always sunny and ready to help others. Aaron feels that the tour is the perfect vehicle to continue her generosity.

In 2019, Aaron started the first leg of his tour and set out from Massachusetts, ending in Minnesota. Along the way, he stayed almost exclusively with Warmshowers hosts. Aaron loves the uniqueness of the Warmshowers organization and has benefited greatly from its hospitality. The first leg of the tour raised over $8000! The funds were divided between a group supporting cancer patients and another organization that helps alleviate childhood homelessness.

Although the landscape Aaron encountered while touring was amazing, it was the “people-scapes” that captured his heart. Along the way, he met so many amazing people, including some wonderful Warmshowers hosts. Their warmth and hospitality fed his soul and made him feel like part of the family. He calls this unique Warmshowers phenomenon Road Magic! Aaron is so appreciative of everyone that has hosted him that he makes a donation to in each of their names to help offset the costs of keeping our technology safe, secure, and up to date.

After a year in Covid delay, he is just back from his second journey pedaling from Minnesota to Montana. He is still supporting the cancer organization, but the majority of the funds will go towards buying high-quality carbon offsets this time. His interest in climate preservation began at the tender age of 9 when he read an article in a cycling magazine about how efficient the biological engine (our body) is. Aaron believes many people are paralyzed by the enormity of the climate change issue and wants to offer a communal way to do something that has a tangible impact.

To date, he has raised enough funds to mitigate over 350 tons of CO2. But he is not stopping there; his goal is 1000 tons! Aaron is passionate about finding ways for us to make progress together against this genuinely enormous challenge.

Aaron is very encouraged to see the bike culture growing across our country. He loves that younger people are being encouraged to hop on a bike instead of jumping behind the wheel of a car. His wish is that this bike culture will grow in all areas of our country.

Up next for Aaron will be the third leg of the Tour for Becky, pedaling from Montana to Seattle.

Follow Aaron’s travels on his video blog and website Tour for Becky and learn more about Trees for the Future.

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