By KEVIN McCALLUM
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Jasmine Jolly is totally jazzed.
The 14-year-old eighth-grader at Santa Rosa Charter School just wrapped up a summer highlighted by an epic bike trip in Oregon with her family.
Over two weeks, Jasmine, her mother, Amy, father, Paul, and younger sister, Solana, covered 400 miles of some of the most gorgeous scenery in the nation.
Packing all their gear on their bikes, the family struck west from Portland to Astoria, then headed south along the coast, covering nearly 30 miles a day in the saddle. They camped most nights but treated themselves to a hotel room or two along the way as well.
Despite the often shoulderless rural roads that forced them to dodge RVs and an ill-advised detour up an insanely steep road through the Coastal Range, Jasmine couldn’t have asked for a better trip.
“It was so much fun. I loved it,” said Jasmine, whose friends call her Jazzy.
Now she’s gearing up for the toughest ride of her young life, the five-day, 320-mile Climate Ride to raise money and awareness for climate protection.
She’ll be the youngest of the 150 riders from around the nation who’ll cover 40 to 66 miles a day during their Sept. 9-13 trek from Fortuna to San Francisco.
“I’m kind of nervous because I’ve never ridden that far before in that period of time,” she said.
Jasmine caught the cycling bug from her parents. Amy Jolly heads the Climate Protection Campaign’s youth leadership program, which encourages students to commute by bike whenever possible. Her father teaches English at Windsor High School and is an avid cyclist.
Last year, she completed the 32-mile version of Levi Leipheimer’s Granfondo, called the Piccolo. She also helps out parking bicycles at Santa Rosa’s Wednesday Night Market. The family lives in the Railroad Square area.
She has two bikes, a Jamis 21-speed she uses for touring and a cool single-speed Bianchi she won in a raffle and sports for shorter jaunts.
Bicycling isn’t Jamine’s only passion. She swims with the Sebastopol Sea Serpents, has read all the Harry Potter Books, and loves science.
But at the moment, biking is a pretty big part of her life.
She and her mom will be riding the Climate Ride together, jointly raising the $5,000 goal. They’re up to $2,316 so far.
The goal of the ride is to raise money for sustainability efforts and bicycle-related projects, raise awareness about climate change and renewable energy and encourage people to change their habits.
“I’m hoping to inspire people to take a stand and help the climate, even if it’s just walking somewhere instead of taking the car,” Jasmine says. “And I want to show people that kids will and can do this.”
You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or email@example.com.
NAME: Jasmine Jolly
Birthplace: Santa Rosa
Lives with: Mother, Amy Jolly; father, Paul Jolly; 11-year-old sister; Solana; the family cat, Bessie; and a rescued rat snake named Ray.
What’s in her iPod: Florence + the Machine, Sheeran
Favorite hobby: Reading. Favorites include Harry Potter, Jane Eyre
Dream job: Pediatrician
Favorite movie: “Step up Revolution”
Favorite food: Mexican