The Adventure Cycling blog covers bicycle-travel news, touring tips and gear, bicycle routes, organizational news, membership highlights, guided tours, and more. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for daily updates.
Photo by Adam Coppola
When it comes to bicycle services on passenger rail, the U.S. lags behind many countries, especially in Europe. But this is changing as a partnership has formed between Adventure Cycling, Amtrak, and other bicycle and passenger-rail organizations across the country that are committed to making rail travel more bicycle friendly.
Rails-To-Trails Conservancy recently released a new report that studies rails-with-trails and provides helpful data and resources to help advocates and trail managers develop these kinds of trails. Rails-with-trails are public paths that run alongside active train corridors, and the growth of these trails over the last 20 years has helped expand the trail network across the country.
On Tuesday, October 15, Amtrak’s Capitol Limited ran a test run for roll-on bicycle service. Three Virginia Bicycle Federation board members along with Linda Boxx of the Allegheny Trail Alliance participated in the run. The test run was a great success and there are high hopes this will lead to more Amtrak services for traveling cyclists.
Meet Saara Snow, the most recent addition to the Adventure Cycling Team. Saara joins us as the new Travel Initiaitives Coordinator. Saara will work to ensure better bicycle-travel conditions across North America and she will assist with the on-going development of the U.S. Bicycle Route System.
This week we highlight the great work being done by the Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrain Federation and the Missouri Department of Transportation, on U.S. Bicycle Route (USBR) 76 which is now signed across the state. Brent Hugh, the Executive Director of Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation takes us through the details.
In order to cut costs on a repaving job south of Florence, ODOT contractors placed a new layer of pavement just a foot or two over the fog line, leaving an abrupt edge within the center of the shoulder — right where cyclists ride. Luckily, ODOT was quick to remedy the problem.
Meet Steve All, a software consultant and OpenStreetMap contributor whom Adventure Cycling volunteer Kerry Irons has worked with for the past several months. Kerry saw the potential for using an open-source mapping project to communicate route information both during the implementation process and after routes are designated. Once Kerry and Steve connected, good things started happening.
One of the greatest aspects of this job is seeing motivation walk through the door all summer long. Last week Adventure Cycling’s TransAm van-supported tour came through the office.
Toole Design Group recently completed a report, entitled U.S Bicycle Route System: Surveys and Case Studies of Practices from Around the Country, which compiles survey responses from state departments of transportation (DOTs) as well as volunteers and bicycle and trail advocates working on the project. After the survey was completed, Toole Design conducted in depth interviews with eight states, documenting the implementation methods each state used to plan and designate their U.S. Bike Routes.
Zach O'Conner, AASHTO's Communications and Publications Coordinator, shares how his coworker's multi-modal bicycle commute from the suburbs to the heart of Washington DC makes use of the newly improved DC bicycle facilities. A big thank you to Zach and please enjoy!
The U.S. Bicycle Route System is growing as anyone can see from the rising number of miles designated, U.S. Bike Route signs erected, and routes being mapped. Two pieces of exciting news made their way across the Great Plains from Michigan to our office here in Missoula.
Ginny Sullivan and the Adventure Cycling staff were honored with a visit from a group of cyclists that also volunteer for the Virgnia Bicycliing Federation. Long time supporters of the U.S. Bicycle Route System and the Adventure Cycling routes running through Virgnia, it was a treat to see this group in Missoula.
Travel Initiatives Assistant Adam Reel, had the opportunity to travel to the Miami River Valley Bike Summit this past week to speak about bicycle tourism and how the area can capitalize on their amazing cycling trails and infrastructure. Luckily, he also had the chance to leave Missoula a little bit early and meet with several United State Bicycle Route stakeholders in Indiana and Ohio while he was on the road.
As we work to develop the U.S. Bicycle Route System, we are always looking for ways to connect cyclists to the most beautiful and scenic places on the continent. Many of those places are on public lands. But access to these lands isn't always as easy as it should be for cyclists. Luckily, there is the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Technical Assistance Center (TRIP TAC) which is working to change this, one Park Unit and federal land area at a time.
National parks are one of our nation’s greatest treasures. Since the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872, the National Park Service has grown to encompass 401 park units, spanning more than 84 million acres. Enjoy this short list of a few of the best rides found in our iconic national parks!
Meet John Pope, a volunteer in Washington State working on the U.S. Bicycle Route System. John is an extremely valuable asset to the USBRS effort. He brings years of experience sitting on the boards of both the Bicycle Alliance of Washington and his Regional Transpiration Planning Organization
Meet Bonnie Winslow, a volunteer for the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) in Oklahoma. Bonnie has been working feverishly to designate U.S. Bike Route 66, which will follow the corridor of one of America’s most historic roads: Route 66. Working in partnership with Adventure Cycling, the proposed route for USBR 66 aligns with the same roads being mapped for Bicycle Route 66, which will be released by Adventure Cycling next year.
Steve Buchtel, executive director of Trails for Illinios, contacted me and told me his organization had just completed a study about six trails spread across Illinois. He mentioned that the data in this study might be good to use for my presentations about bicycle tourism at the conference. Intrigued, I took a look and I loved what I saw. Steve used a triple bottom line approach to study trail impact — economics, health, and environment.
America’s rising interest in active travel and the recognition of cycling as an important cog in the travel industry is by no means a small factor contributing to the boom in bicycle tourism. Cities are starting to take advantage of the dollars doled out by the increasing number of travelers keeping their bicycles in mind when planning a vacation.
We are thrilled to announce that AASHTO has approved Minnesota’s third section of U.S. Bike Route 45, which follows the Mississippi River Trail, U.S. Bike Route 76 in Missouri, which follows our TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, and realignments for U.S. Bike Route 76 in Kentucky.
Imagine taking a bicycle trip and only periodically glancing at your map to check for services in the area. Signed bicycle routes will allow cyclists the freedom to ride with the assurance that they are on the route. Signs will notify motorists to be watchful and mindful of cyclists, and to share the road. We're excited to share the news that there are multiple states working on signing U.S. Bike Routes.
Our friends at Two Wheeled Travel, Carolyn Bys and Tyler Robertson, currently live in Warsaw, Poland and wanted to remind us that bicycling infrastructure reaches well beyond the Iron Curtain. They have been traveling by bicycle not only in Western Europe, but also Poland and the Czech Republic, taking spectacular photos of infrastructure as they go.
Last week, we received a package from the Department of Interior. Adam, my colleague, snapped a photo of the envelope and posted it on Facebook. Wow! We didn't realize how excited our supporters would be to know that the final version of the national agreement between Adventure Cycling Association and the National Park Service was finally in hand.
AASHTO is proud to be among the many supporters of the 2013 National Bike Summit. This week, the premiere advocacy event for cycling brings more than 800 enthusiasts of all types to the nation's capital. If you haven’t participated in the National Bike Summit before, I highly recommend you do. The summit provides a solid voice for bike advocates and their allies, as well as a space for seminars on advocacy and the benefits of cycling. I'm sure you already know the health and economic benefits of cycling, and AASHTO does too.
The U.S. Bicycle Route System, as an AASHTO project, follows many of the same guidelines and rules as any transportation project. For signing, the guiding document supplied by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUCTD).