'Galileo on a bicycle': MSU alumnus cycles 150,000 across the world, raises awareness about population control
After bicycling over 150,000 miles across six continents and visiting almost 100 countries along the way, MSU alumnus Forrest Wooldridge anticipates more adventures in his future, as he strives to fulfill his goal of serving as a 21st century “Galileo on a bicycle. ”
“I’ve really made it my life mission to alert America and its citizens and leaders that we have to change course as a civilization,” Wooldridge said.
Just as Galileo was committed to convincing the Catholic Church that the earth was not the center of the universe, Wooldridge said he uses this metaphor of “Galileo on a bicycle,” because he is facing a similar situation while attempting to educate the American people and the government that exponential growth of the human population cannot be sustained or ensure a viable future.
Currently living in Golden, Colorado, Wooldridge said he was instantly hooked after participating in his first bicycle tour across the United States in 1974. Since then, some of his expeditions have included cycling the entire length of South America, around the perimeter of Australia and even through parts of Antarctica. He has completed three trips around the world on his bike, and he just finished his tenth trip across America traveling from Canada to Mexico.
His devotion to addressing the accelerating population rate in America began in 1984 during one of his bicycle tours through Hong Kong, China, India, and Bangladesh.
“I had never seen such compaction," he said. “There was no quality of life and no standard of living. With overpopulation, poverty and human misery becomes intractable. After seeing that intractability, I said ‘I have got to do something.’”
Working as a journalist and continuing to write articles and books about this issue, Wooldridge has interviewed on ABC, NBC, CNN, CBS and Fox, while also appearing on about 1,500 radio shows where he has spoken about the ramifications and consequences of the overpopulation he has witnessed.
"I hope to be around for another 10, 15, or 20 years so that I can continue to be a voice for the environment, the other creatures on the planet, and certainly for all of humanity," he said.
Aside from his commitment to raising awareness about the population rate, Wooldridge is an author of 12 books, eight of which focus on his experiences while traveling. After visiting six continents, scuba diving in all five oceans, climbing 14,000-foot mountain peaks, and encountering a grizzly bear in Alaska, Wooldridge knows a thing or two about leading a bold lifestyle, and he is very passionate about teaching and encouraging others to live their own definition of an adventurous life.
His most popular adventure book is entitled, “How To Live A Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World,” in which he presents five concepts and six practices to achieving a fulfilling life.
“Adventure offers every human being the ability to live ‘the’ moment of his or her most passionate idea, fantasy, or pursuit,” he said. “This book gives out all of my secrets; I bare my soul on this thing.”
While maintaining his busy lifestyle, Wooldridge said he will always take the summer off and tour a new part of the world on his bike.
“It brings me knowledge, it brings me peace, it brings me physical, mental, and spiritual balance, and it’s also a great adventure,” he said.
Despite all of the accomplishments and unique journeys that have filled his life, Wooldridge said he still considers graduating from MSU in 1970 to be the single most significant event in his life.
“My greatest honor is earning my degree from Michigan State University because that was the springboard for my mind, it was the springboard for my spirit, and the springboard that helped me go out into the world and make a difference," he said. "I count MSU and my degree as the event that really made my life the extraordinary journey it has become."