Next year is shaping up to be a big one for Adventure Cycling Association as it observes the 40th anniversary of Bikecentennial, the bicentennial event in 1976 that spurred interest in long-distance bicycle travel. More than 4,000 people rode their bikes coast to coast on the TransAmerica Trail that year.The Missoula, MT-based nonprofit is inviting bicyclists to join in next year’s celebration by hosting National Bike Travel Weekend on June 3-5, 2016.
Organizers say there are no rules for the event, except that folks use their bicycles for an overnight trip. They can camp in the woods or sleep in a comfy bed & breakfast inn. They can go 5 miles or 100 miles. They just need to use their bicycles to travel, and perhaps gain new perspectives on the area they live by not taking a car.
Says Jim Sayer, executive direction of the association: “Our goal is to inspire new and experienced bike travelers alike to enjoy an overnight bicycle trip with thousands of other people throughout North America on the same weekend.”
The association is inviting participants to register their rides to be eligible for a gift and prizes.
And to provide inspiration, Adventure Cycling created an interactive map where you can find rides that others are taking. Some of these are private, but others are public. In any case, it can give you ideas about what others in your area are planning.For instance, of the 54 rides registered as of Nov. 18, three are in the Seattle area. One is a overnighter on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail starting at Rattlesnake Lake near North Bend, another is a ride leaving Mukilteo for Whidbey Island and camping at Fort Ebey, and a third is a bike trip along the Olympic Discovery Trail to Sequim Bay State Park. All these rides are open to a limited number of other participants.
Rides are being set up in Oregon and California, as well as throughout the Midwest and on the Atlantic Coast. You can look for a ride to join, or register your own ride.
This will be a great opportunity to introduce many to the adventure of bicycle travel. I’ve never come back from an overnight without experiences to share and stories to tell.