Maine teen aims to ride solar ‘trike’ across U.S.

solar-trike1There are different ways to “bike” across America. You can ride a motorcycle, electric or gasoline powered, or you can provide your own power, as my sister and I did when we bicycled 4,200 miles from Bellingham, Wash. to Yorktown, Virginia in the summer of 1994.

Of course, there are also electric bicycles and, though we don’t know of anyone who’s ridden an electric bicycle across America, I’m sure it’s been done.

But a solar-powered bicycle – now, as far as we know, that is something new. And it’s Alex Foster’s chosen cross-country mode of transportation.

Well, actually, Foster’s hoping to ride a solar-powered “trike” across the U.S., from Eastport, Maine to Neah Bay, Wash. – if he can generate enough cash to build the trike, which he says will cost $2,000.

The enterprising 19-year-old is definitely eager to get going on his unique cross-country ride. According to his web site, TrekToChangeTheWorld.Com, he’s working 60 hours a week in order to generate money to support the trip, which he wants to start sometime in September.

Why ride a self-built solar-powered tricycle across America?

To help spread the world about climate change – and to change the world. Foster wants to stop and meet “notable scientists, academics and social activists” along the way and hopes to film a documentary about climate change as well.

Creating change
“Times are tough for all of us, but I am hoping that with your help I will be able to set out on this journey and create even the smallest hope, and the smallest change – for all of us,” notes Foster of his larger motivation for the trip.

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There’s nothing on TrektoChangetheWorld.Com about the specifications of Foster’s solar-powered trike, though it appears to have one solar panel attached and, presumably, Foster will be providing a considerable amount of power via his own legs.

We’ll try to catch up with the change-the-world Foster via e-mail and post a follow-up piece if he gets back to us.

Meanwhile, we wish him luck as works to get things organized for his several thousand mile solar-trike journey across America, and given his calendar – his web site says he plans to finish his trip in Western Washington in December 2011, we’re thinking he’ll need quite a bit of luck as there’s certainly going to be some snow if he gets a chance to pedal his way through the Rockies and Cascades in November.

For more about Foster’s planned journey, check out TrektoChangetheWorld.Com.

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