Ian Mackay considers himself a cyclist and a birder a nature buff who gets lost on lush trails near his Washington state home for hours every day. But if popular opinion had its way, many people wouldn’t expect Mackay to be able to pursue this passion. He says they’re usually a result of nature trails that are relatively inaccessible to those on wheels a problem bicyclists and parents with strollers all grapple with, too. Mackay is advocating for this to change and he’s using fairly radical means. The outdoors enthusiast just embarked on a 10-day journey, which started on Aug. 13, that will take him more than 300 miles.
As Mackay puts it, he’s “rolling across Washington” to bring awareness to the need for accessible trails and bike paths. And he’s dubbed the journey Ian’s Ride.
On June 4, 2008, Mackay was in a bicycling accident at age 26 while traveling a nature trail. He was riding home from college on a familiar path in Santa Cruz, California but what wasn’t familiar was unexpected patches of sand on the turns of his regularly traveled trail made him slide out and lose control. Mackay went headfirst into a tree.