Shorts, smokestacks and Africa with cycling activist Cody Henderson.

by Jesse Giglio in

Cody Henderson takes a pause in Ventura from his San Diego to Seattle bike ride.Ventura, Ca: Cody Henderson's Ride Well team is on an 1800 mile, 40 day expedition up the west coast advocating clean water work in Africa through Blood Water Mission.  I caught up with him and his team over burritos and an evening of friends, conversation and cause.

JesseGiglio: Last year you biked across America, this year you're biking up the entire west coast, what do you do when you're not riding for clean water?
Cody Henderson: Until recently I checked emissions on factory smoke stacks in NY/NJ but...

JG: Wait, what?  What does that mean?
CH: (Laughs) Well, I'd have to climb to the top of factory smoke stacks and take emission readings.

JG: Whoa, that's like sticking your hand in the smoke
CH: Yeah, so now I work on a ranch in Montana that hosts retreats.

JG: That sounds better.
CH: Yeah, pretty much.

JG: Why Blood:Water Mission?
CH: At first it was really less about Blood Water and more about feeling a need to do something.  To live a life of adventure and difference and community...and a friend happened to tell me about the Ride Well Tour.

JG: And you were in?
CH: And I was in.  And since them I've really come to believe in the long term work Blood Water's doing in sub-Saharan Africa to bring sustainable health through clean water.

JG: What if I'm not a cyclist, can I still participate?
CH: Absolutely, I think the last time I rode a bike before I set off across America was when I was 11 years old on my Huffy.  So yeah, no experience necessary.

JG: What's next? Where do you go from here?
CH: Honestly, I'd like to end up in Portland.

JG: Plans there?
CH: No, not really, just something meaningful.

JG: Speaking of, how well do you know Don Miller? (Don rode across America with Ride Well)
CH: (Laughs) We rode in the same car once.

JG: Ok, so pretty well.
CH: He did call a friend of mine because I told him she was in love with him.

JG: Could you have him call me?
CH: What?

JG: Never mind.  So bike shorts?
CH: Yes, bike shorts.  You begin embarrassed but end up grateful.

JG: What do you eat and drink to keep you going?  Shot blocks and electrolytes?
CH: Dr. Pepper and Pringles.

JG: Really?
CH: Really.

JG: How do we find out more?
CH: and

JG: Thanks.
CH: Anytime.