Exclusive: Ocean Activist Roz Savage to Row Across Indian Ocean


Photo via Roz Savage, Credit Phil Uhl

"It really does come down to one stroke at a time:" This is what ocean activist Roz Savage told the 100 riders gathered to listen to her speak on day two of Brita Climate Ride -- the 320-mile climate awareness bike trip that started in Eureka, California on Tuesday.

Savage, living up to her last name, intends to keep on stroking. In 2011, she will set off once again in her boat and head 4,000 miles across the Indian Ocean. Then, for what she calls the grand finale of her rowing career, she will row from New York City to London in 2012.
Ocean rower Roz Savage heading off to Bike day four of Brita Climate Ride. Photo copyright Mairi Beautyman

Savage joined Brita Climate Ride (check out the live Climate Ride Blog here) just in time for the 100-miler -- proclaiming she didn't train at all: "There is this misconception that I am some kind of athlete -- but really, I see myself much more as an adventurer or an environmental activist."


Roz Savage speaking during Brita Climate Ride. Photo copyright Mairi Beautyman

Of course, Savage then proceeded to be one of the few people to avoid the rescue shuttle service that picked up riders at the 65-mile and 80-mile marks. When I asked her the next day about this athlete statement, she grinned and said, "welllll....it just proves it's all mental."

So why is Savage taking off again? She explains:

Before I set off across the Atlantic, a fellow ocean rower told me that when I got back to dry land, I would think that the whole world had gone crazy. When you are out in the ocean, spending a 100 plus days alone out there, you see things in a different way. Mother nature has a way of letting you know who's boss. I've never felt quite so insignificant or so helpless as I do on the ocean. We live on a finite planet. I feel like I've learned these useful lessons but was still finding my voice as a campaigner.

Savage has not yet finalized the destination of her Indian Ocean row:

My boat is in western Australia, and I'm thinking possibly Zanzibar,
Tanzania, though I have also considered Dubai, as that is one of the biggest consumer societies on this planet. I also plan to avoid Somalia and the pirates -- even though I have nothing they'd want.

For her New York to London Row, Savage will depart, appropriately, from the Statue of Liberty:

Because what we are talking about is our freedom here, our freedom to enjoy a happy, healthy future on this planet.

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Tags: Activism | Bike-Friendly World | Bikes | Biking | California | Charities | Ride Your Bike

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