As Somerville was setting up for on Saturday, cyclists met in Union Square to embark on a group ride toward Boston's North End neighborhood, where they would join other environmentalists from the region at the Moving Planet rally to oppose climate change.
Some 40 cyclists, many of whom were students, made up the convoy, which was led by Maureen Barillaro, of Somerville Climate Action (SCA).
Before taking off from Union Square, Barillaro urged the group to "lead the fight against fossil fuels."
SCA has taken up the 350 Challenge, a global movement that in Somerville means asking people to act to make the city "cleaner, greener and healthier" by biking or planting a garden, for example. The number refers to the amount, in parts per million, of carbon in the atmosphere that scientists consider safe, according to 350.org.
The Moving Planet mass meeting in Boston was one of more than 2000 events in 175 countries that hoped to mobilize people to demand reduced use of fossil fuels, the website reported.
Once at the rally, Tufts freshman Darcy Anderson held up a sign painted with the words “Moving Planet.” Anderson, who grew up in rural Vermont, is a member of the university’s Students for a Just and Sustainable Future group. She said that she came to the rally to “raise awareness for people who may have never been out of the city that there’s something else out there, and they need to protect it.”
Meanwhile, David Watson, the executive director of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike), checked bicycles into a temporary parking area on the grass.
He said he set up the valet to “encourage people to ride their bikes to events and make the connection to the benefits it has to the environment, their health and their wallet.”
He supported the mission of the rally, too.
“Raising awareness of climate change is still necessary,” he said. “A lot of people just don’t believe it yet.”