Drip by Drip: The Sustainable Cyclist

Rob Greenflield has made it across the US in his cross country ride to promote sustainability…but he’s not done.  After a little time off in New York, he’s back on his bike and cycling to Vermont to complete his ride at the 1% for the Planet headquarters in Waitsfield.

But on the way there, he’s doing something insanely incredible once again.  He’s already went barefoot, gone with no seat, and is now cycling to Boston and living off water from drippy faucets only.  Yeah, that’s right.  During the ride, he’s only drinking water from leaking fire hydrants, hoses, kitchen faucets, or anything else he comes along.

Rob is very extreme in his sustainability practices and it’s not that he expects the rest of us to do what he’s doing.  But what he hopes is that people will at least do a few small things each day to avoid waste and live a little more on the sustainability side.

Off the Grid: Day 93; Drip by Drip day 5

By Rob Greenfield

Rob Greenfield Sustainability Cycling

At no point today did I know where my next drip, sip, or gulp of water was going to come from.  My tongue searched the desertous terrain around it hoping it would find water.  I knew I was controlling that… tongue and that it would find no moisture but it seemed to have a mind of its own, searching every corner of my mouth for a drop of water. As I rode along my eyes constantly scanned my surroundings for potable water.  I felt like a hawk soaring through the sky searching out prey only my eyes were scanning for half full water bottles on the side of the road, drips from spigots on the side of houses, and any sign of leaking water.

My hawk eyes brought me success many times throughout the day.  My first water came from a bowl sitting in the kitchen sink of my host, Chris.  Just in case he intended to use that water to wash the dish I left enough to get the job done.  When I hit the road at 11:00 I found my next water inside of two huge cucumbers.  I’ve learned on this trip just how hydrating fruits are.  Many times on this trip I have peed bright yellow from dehydration and then found my pee to be clear after eating a half dozen apples or oranges.  A cup of discarded ice that I found in a garbage supplied me with about 10 ounces of water around noon.  Just a bit later I found an unopened 17 ounce bottle of water to quench my thirst.  The day was moving along slowly and so were the miles.  More bad dreams last night prolonged the feelings of depression inside me, but today they were of much less intensity.

Mid day I stopped at a state park where I swam in a lake surrounded by forest for about an hour.  If I couldn’t hydrate my body from the inside I decided I would do it from the outside.  The cooling effects of the lake lessened my thirst and helped me to get through the afternoon.  The water refreshed my body and lifted my spirits.  Upon departing the park I spoke to one of the rangers and asked if she knew of any leaky faucets.  She said there were none around but she did give me the water from the bottom of her cooler that she was of course not going to drink.  This ice cold sixteen ounces of water provided me with great joy.  Shortly after leaving the park I found another thirty ounces in roadside water bottles.  At 4:15 I was feeling good and my mouth was moist.  My head did ache which I assumed was from a lack of sleep and a slight bit of dehydration.  At this point I had collected about three quarts of a gallon of water, which certainly was enough to survive.

Page 1 of 2 | Next page