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Ben Wideman

Ben Wideman


University Mennonite Church


State College


At this time of year I can almost feel my leg muscles start twitching in anticipation of the pedal strokes needed to get the PAIPL cyclists to Washington DC. Each time that I have ridden this trip has been slightly different - on my first ride everything was brand new and a little outside of my comfort zone. One year I rode just a partial trip, and another time I rode with the inaugural Philadelphia ride. In 2019 our ride had to be re-routed because of some late hosting changes. The weather patterns are unique each year, and we never quite know which element is going to be the most challenging for our group of riders. Yet each ride has come with a vibrancy and joy that is hard to articulate to those who have not done something like this before.

One of the best things about being a PAIPL cyclist for multiple years has been to see the political shift in the conversation around climate change during our hill visits. I remember my first years including conversations with politicians or political aides who refused to take us seriously because they did not acknowledge that climate change was real. At this point almost everyone has come around to admitting that change is occuring, and that humans are at least in some part responsible for this change. There is still much debate about ways forward among the halls of Capitol Hill, but I know that the voices of concern from our congregations, friends, and family members that past riders carried with them as we meet with our representatives have helped to shape this new political context.

As we reimagine what the 2021 ride will be, my hope is that the vulnerability that so many of us have experienced during the pandemic season will remind and inspire us to be working for a better world that takes the health and life of all its residents into consideration. Thank you to all who continue to support the incredible work of PA-IPL, and peace go with us all as we pedal toward a better earth and better future!


Michael J. Ford
Joyce and Marvin Hall
Peter Boger
Donna Humphries
Dean Lindsey
Jon E. Brockopp
Barbara Fisher
Monica Dawkins-Smith
James DeWolfe
Julia Kasdorf
Susan Buda

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