How to support the U.S. Bicycle Route System

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Imagine a nationwide network of numbered and marked bicycle routes that directs bike travelers to major destinations in all 50 states — that’s the U.S. Bicycle Route System.

This isn’t a pipe dream. Some routes already exist: Route 1 in Maine, New Hampshire, Virginia and North Carolina; Route 76 in Virginia, Kentucky and Illinois; Routes 20 and 35 in Michigan; Routes 8, 95, 97, and 87 in Alaska.

Currently, 40 states (including Washington state) are researching the best bicycle routes to win approval from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials for their addition to the USBRS.

The non-profit Adventure Cycling Association has taken on the job of coordinating and providing technical assistance in this effort among the states. It’s launching a fund-raising drive this month to help offset its expenses.

Called “Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It.” the campaign seeks to raise $50,000 during the month of May, National Bike Month.

In addition to paying for staff time, the Adventure Cycling will use the funds to create a “Best Practices Guide” that will help volunteers in the various states use the most effective methods to implement the routes.

Last year, Adventure Cycling surpassed its goal to raise $30,000 during the month-long campaign. It begins this month’s campaign with $13,000 raised from business sponsors.

In addition, during this first week of the campaign, Sun Bicycles and Origin-8 are offering a $1,000 match challenge to help make your donations go further. Also, today (Tuesday, May 1), Osprey Packs is offering a Viper 10 or Verve 10 (gender specific) pack to a donor chosen at random.

Follow this link to learn more about the US Bicycle Route System. You can follow this link to donate, or click on the “Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It.” box in the upper right corner of the BikingBis blog anytime this month.

Meanwhile, the state of Michigan and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials are hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony for USBR 35 in Michigan on May 19.

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