Annual fundraiser kicks off to support creation of the largest official cycling network in the world
Missoula, MT— For the fifth year in a row, Adventure Cycling is kicking off its celebration of National Bike Month by launching a month-long U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) fundraising campaign, Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. Thanks in part to more than $270,000 raised over the last four years by this spring event, 5,973 miles of U.S. Bicycle Routes (USBR) have been designated, with thousands more to come.
This year, Adventure Cycling plans to raise $125,000 by May 31. “Last fall, we celebrated with our partners as new U.S. Bicycle Routes were designated in Tennessee and Maryland,” said Adventure Cycling’s Executive Director Jim Sayer. “The momentum from those designations has inspired other states to pursue USBR development.” Presently, more than 40 states are working on U.S. Bicycle Routes.
Adventure Cycling provides staff support for development of the U.S. Bicycle Route System, which is a project of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). AASHTO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. A powerful voice in the transportation sector, its primary goal is to foster the development of an integrated national transportation system.
“Cycling is a wonderful way to discover America, get to work, and promote physical fitness,” said Bud Wright, executive director of AASHTO. “The goal of the USBRS is to connect communities of all types — urban, suburban, and rural — through a network of cycling facilities that everyone can use. We’re proud of this effort. This marks the fifth consecutive year that AASHTO has supported the U.S. Bicycle Route System’s annual fundraising campaign.”
During the USBRS campaign a year ago, AASHTO’s Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering designated U.S. Bicycle Routes in two states: a new section of USBR 45 in Minnesota which completes the 700+ mile route along the Mississippi River Trail, and USBR 76 in Missouri, which follows the TransAmerica Trail. The committee also approved realignments for USBR 76 in Kentucky. Last fall, AASHTO designated USBR 23 in Tennessee and USBR 50 in Maryland. Presently, 12 states have designated U.S. Bicycle Routes. This month, at its spring conference in Providence, Rhode Island, AASHTO is expected to designate routes through five more states: USBR 1 in Massachusetts, USBR 50 in the District of Columbia and Ohio, USBR 36 and 37 in Illinois, and USBR 10 in Washington. These designations will bring the number of states with designated routes to a total of 16 along with Washington, DC.
“Every year, more and more state and local agencies and non-profits are finding ways to collaborate on this incredible project to create the largest official bike route network in the world,” commented Ginny Sullivan, Director of Travel Initiatives at Adventure Cycling and coordinator of the USBRS project. “We are seeing USBRS progress take hold in local communities and spread across state lines. It’s exciting to watch the network grow and be a part of the process.”
Another key element of this year’s USBRS campaign is that foundation and individual donors have pledged $40,000 in matching funds to encourage first-time and past donors to support work on the U.S. Bicycle Route System.
The 2014 Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. campaign is sponsored by Planet Bike, Primal Wear,Ortlieb USA, Bike Tours Direct, Sun Bicycles, and Team Estrogen. In-kind sponsors include Beer & Bike Tours, Bike2Power, BikeFlights, Bike Touring News, Cygolite, Detours, Growler Cage, Nutcase,Park Tool, Thunder Island Brewing, and Velo Orange.
The U.S. Bicycle Route System is supported in part by grants from the Tawani Foundation, Lazar Foundation, the SRAM Cycling Fund, and Climate Ride.