Gearing up for an epic adventure: Meet the ACE Climate Ride Team

You know those moments in life when you and a friend come up with a crazy idea? And then, before you know it, you’ve both committed to doing it without really knowing what you’re getting into?

That happened three months ago to me - twice.

My coworker Brian, my best friend Elizabeth and I all committed to riding Climate Ride, an epic 300-mile

The ACE Climate Ride Team The ACE Climate Ride Team

bike ride from NYC to DC on September 21-25 to raise money for organizations working to fight climate change. It didn’t take long for Brian to convince his best friend, Max, an avid cyclist, to join us.

We all signed up to ride and raise money for the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE).

For the past two months, we’ve been gearing up. Brian and I bought new bikes to save ourselves the pain of riding 300 miles over 5 days on our old commuter bikes. Elizabeth and Max filled in some gaps in gear, and, we started training.

Climate Ride is changing our lives as we get into topnotch fitness. Before this summer, I’d never ridden more than 30 miles in a day. This Saturday, I rode 58 miles and this week I’ll pass my 500-mile mark for training. Next week we’re riding 68 miles from Boston to Bristol, RI.

But Climate Ride is about more than just getting ourselves outside and moving.  It’s about raising awareness and money for incredible non-profits working to fight climate change – like the Alliance for Climate Education.

As an ACE cycling team, we each need to raise $2,400 to ride and we’re trying to raise $10,000 total to support ACE’s work.

We would love your support.  Please donate on our team page – just scroll down and choose a rider.

And so you know who you’re supporting, allow me to introduce the ACE Climate Ride team: 

Max Kraft 

Max Max

Max is our most experienced biker, originally from Ithaca, NY and now living in Somerville, MA (right next to Boston). In 2009, Max rode across the country 4,321 miles for a non-profit called Bike and Build and this summer completed a 200-mile ride in a single day in Massachusetts!

He’s excited to be riding for ACE because he’s passionate about climate research and education and wants to use his bike as a tool to raise money for a fantastic organization doing this work.

When not riding his bike, Max is an Associate Editor at a small academic publishing company, called JoVEThe Journal of Visualized Experiments, which publishes experimental methods in video format. Max’s main focus is on the Environmental section.

He also has a passion for the natural world and loves to cook, garden, ski, read, climb and just in general, be active!

Elizabeth Youngblood

Elizabeth is our team triathlete. She’s from Edina, MN (where she started her swimming career) and now lives in

Elizabeth Elizabeth

Somerville, MA (upstairs from me and down the street from Max!).

Elizabeth is a Project Manager of solar programs at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and a long-time supporter of ACE. She’s excited about Climate Ride for the camaraderie between teammates, the experience traversing a portion of the country by bike, and the guaranteed good nights of sleep during the trek!

Why ride for ACE? Elizabeth says, “ACE is an incredible organization and I’m excited to be taking on this challenging ride as a part of the ACE team. I feel it’s a great way to support ACE’s youth initiatives.”

When Elizabeth isn’t biking, swimming, racing in triathlons, or promoting solar energy, she loves to travel, sing and is an excellent beat boxer.

Rouwenna Lamm

Rouwenna Rouwenna

Rouwenna (that’s me!) is the Deputy Director for Outreach and Scale at ACE. She has been at ACE since the New England region started in 2009. She started out working in the field as an Educator, building the region from the ground up, and is now working on a national scale at ACE (but still out of Boston) to help the ACE team educate 300,000+ youth each year about climate change science and solutions.

She’s originally from Berea, KY and moved to Massachusetts to go to Smith College. She’s been in the state ever since and now lives in Somerville, MA.

Having never ridden a multi-day bike ride before, she’s pumped that her first one will be with such amazing friends and supporting ACE – the best organization she can ever imagine working for.

When not working at ACE or training for Climate Ride (which seems like not much time these days!) she plays the banjo, teachers clogging lessons, and, in the summer, tries to go to as many outdoor concerts and events as possible with friends.

Brian Stilwell

Brian is originally from Ithaca, NY (he and Max have been friends since childhood), and now lives in the Jamaica

Brian Brian

Plain neighborhood of Boston, MA.

He is the Associate Director of East Coast Programs at ACE (which, he says is “the best job ever!”) He presents ACE’s award-winning climate change assembly to high school youth across New England and helps empower students up-and-down the East Coast to become powerful leaders on climate change in their schools and communities.

He’s excited to be biking in Climate Ride for ACE because he loves biking and whole heartedly believes in the power of today's youth to utilize their talents, skills and energy to break through the challenge of climate change and create the future they want to see.

Fun facts about Brian? He owned seven llamas growing up, was born on Christmas, and had a mullet for 12 years of his life.

Whew! What an AMAZING team! Please visit our ACE Climate Ride team page, choose a rider, and donate to support us and ACE. Thank you!!!

Stay tuned for more updates from us here as the ride nears.

Rouwenna Lamm

Rouwenna Lamm is ACE’s National Program Director. She was a founding member of ACE’s New England team in 2009. She’s educated 67,000 students, trained 1,000 youth leaders, and built numerous ACE regional staff teams. Today, Rouwenna directs ACE’s regional programs and is focused on maximizing the collective impact of ACE’s programs. She loves playing outside and relaxing with friends.