COP21: To Paris via pedal power

Among the group cycling from Dublin to Paris for the close of  the COP21 conference are (left to right) Nils Sundermann, Anna-Mieke Bishop and Charlotte Bishop.

Among the group cycling from Dublin to Paris for the close of the COP21 conference are (left to right) Nils Sundermann, Anna-Mieke Bishop and Charlotte Bishop.

 

Somewhere among the 50,000-plus crowd expected to attend the conclusion of the COP21 environment conference next Friday will be five enthusiastic, but a little tired, Irish cyclists.

“We wanted to be in Paris but we didn’t really want to fly over. I suppose it would be slightly hypocritical,” said Anna-Mieke Bishop (25) who has organised the Pedal to Paris campaign with her sister Charlotte (29).

The six-day journey from Cherbourg to the French capital is motivated by a belief that ordinary people can be inspired to change en masse.

People have volunteered couches via social media for them to sleep on along the 355km route.

The group will document the six-day journey online, highlighting sustainable transport and other environmental themes.

“Ireland is getting there but I don’t feel there is a huge awareness and it’s something we would love to work towards,” said Ms Bishop.

“We are raising awareness and hoping to inspire people to try and do things that might help the world more.

“For that to happen it really needs people to mass together, whether it’s protesting on the streets or contacting politicians.”

The Bishop sisters are being joined by Sean Prior (24) and brothers Nils (23) and Killian Sundermann (22), all committed to grassroots activism.

The quintet set off on Sundaywith “climate change themed bikes” .

They can be followed at www.facebook.com/dublintopariscycle