Adventure Cycling celebrates 40th birthday
Bicycle tourists at local general store in
Moiese Montana model released
Adventure Cycling Association celebrated its 40th birthday year with its best-ever performance across the organization, hitting high marks for membership, income, tours, event participation and advocacy.
Launched in 1976 as Bikecentennial, the organization maintained its status as the largest cycling membership non-profit organization in North America, and undertook some of the largest cycling events ever seen on the continent.
“We took a deep breath entering 2016,” said Jim Sayer, Adventure Cycling’s executive director. “When we exhaled, we were blown away by everything our staff and volunteers accomplished.” Sayer added, “I’m especially proud of our two new global events, Bike Your Park Day and Bike Travel Weekend, which drew more than 23,000 participants, many of them new to bicycle travel. We’ll be continuing these events in 2017.”
As part of the 40th anniversary, Adventure Cycling launched three new events, including the Montana Bicycle Celebration, which drew thousands of attendees from all over the world to the Missoula area for a Bikecentennial rider reunion and for a slew of parties and trail dedications. Of special note were the first-ever Bike Travel Weekend — in which more than 11,900 people participated in over 900 do-it-yourself bike tours all over North America — and Bike Your Park Day in which more than 11,000 people participated in over 1,400 DIY bike events in national and state parks and on public lands. Together, the events amounted to one of the biggest celebrations of cycling in North America, and will be repeated in 2017.
Adventure Cycling invests net proceeds from donations, sales and tours into advocacy for safer cycling and better bike travel conditions in North America.
In that regard, 2016 was a banner year. A partnership with Amtrak yielded new carry-on service for cyclists on the Vermonter (after similar service was provided on the Capitol Limited between Chicago and Washington, DC) plus new train-side checked service on all of Amtrak’s long-distance lines.
Other highlights included growing the designated mileage and signed mileage of the official U.S. Bicycle Route System and developing partnerships with national parks (including Glacier, Shenandoah, Blue Ridge, and Natchez Trace) to improve cycling conditions and facilities. Adventure Cycling is working with partners on a best practices guide for active transportation (cycling and walking) in national parks, and is the principal partner working with the National Association of State Parks Directors on better cycling opportunities. Adventure Cycling staff and volunteers also worked with local and state partners to change potentially dangerous applications of rumble strips in states like Montana and Kansas.
For information, go to www.adventurecycling.org.