Mount Rainier man bikes all the way to Brazil

Cyclist hopes to collect support for environmental cause

Thursday, Sept. 28, 2006

Paul J. Park is on his way to northeast Brazil on a frame and two wheels.

Trekking across North, Central, and South America by bike, Park hopes to promote information on global warming and to collect signatures and donations to support a bill that is now before the United States Senate.

The Climate Stewardship Act, co-sponsored by Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), is intended to set limits on America’s emission levels in 2010.

Park’s goal is to collect a million signatures in support of the bill.

‘‘The moment at which our nation takes action on global warming is just around the corner,” Park said.

‘‘The bill will cap our nation’s emissions in 2010 at 2000 levels, and use the market to make emissions reductions as cost-effective and flexible as possible.”

Park, 26, was born in Minnesota but has lived in Mount Rainier for 18 years. He is a graduate of Ohio’s Oberlin College where he studied environmental science.

He dedicated a year to work as an intern with

Nick Francis, head of Gateway Community Development Corporation that includes Mount Rainier.

Since graduating from college, Park has pursued his dream and formed the Mount Rainier Bike Co-op. The project, located behind the Mount Rainier library, received an award for the Best Community Project in Maryland.

Perhaps the most vital investment Park made recently is the Miyata World Traveler bicycle, which will carry him to his destination.

During his first full week on the road, Park updated friends and family on his adventure via an Internet journal.

Here’s how he described his descent into Raleigh, N.C.:

‘‘After 55 miles and a long hill ahead of me, my legs were giving out. I sat down by the side of the road and re-hydrated and refueled ... I finally got back on my steed and pedaled up the hill,” his blog reads.

‘‘God had placed a corner grocery store right there at the top of the hill for me, and I parked my bike and went inside ... I explained what I was doing [to a woman working at the store] and she said, ‘I’ll sign this even though I didn’t understand a word of what you just said.’”

Park is expected home in May.

Follow his journey by logging on to

E-mail Sarah Nemeth at