May 17, 2013
This summer while I was headed back from a running event in Idaho Falls, I came across a young man, barely out of high school, who was traveling cross country from Virginia to Seattle. I came across "Evan" on a state road with no shoulder, lots of trucking traffic, in 100 plus degree heat, and a good 50 miles to the next service station with water available. Evan wanted to take a direct route cross-country that would connect him with his friends in different cities, but he didn't know much about bicycle touring or what to expect in terms of planning for adequate supplies. Evan was in a little bit of trouble.
I stopped and talked to Evan, offered him a ride to the next service stop (which he declined), and gave him all the ice and water I had on hand. When he was on his way again, I thought about the many people who try to ride not only cross-country but cross-city and cross-state without the essential information provided through a U.S. Bicycle Route System. That's where a national network like the U.S. Bicycle Route System can benefit all of us, including Evan.
Since the kickoff of the Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. campaign on May 1, USBRS supporters have donated $79,790 towards the $100,000 campaign goal. We have until midnight tonight to meet a $1,000 match challenge from BOB Gear by Britax Child Safety, Inc., so please donate right now.
You can give new and would-be bicycle travelers like Evan all the things they need to travel by bike. You can help create designated, signed bicycle routes that allow them to ride a bicycle from their front door anywhere their esires take them and how-to resources from Adventure Cycling to help them pack their panniers, choose gear, read cycling maps, and more.
Please donate today to support the U.S. Bicycle Route System and meet the match from BOB Gear by Britax Child Safety, Inc. And, if you donate by Tuesday, May 21, 2013, you'll be entered to win a SERFAS Bike Transport (SBT) case from Bike Flights. See the sidebar of the USBRS fundraising page for complete contest rules.
BOB Gear was founded in 1994 when Roger Malinowski, a bicycle industry maven, met Philip Novotny, an airline mechanic, in the California town of San Luis Obispo. Philip had turned a decrepit beach cruiser bike into a versatile, lightweight, single track bike trailer. He called it the YAK and was rolling them out of a machine shop on a small scale. Roger knew a great idea when he saw one and together, they took Philip’s invention and built a booming business.
Originally, the name of the company was Beast of Burden, which many thought was a burden unto itself. However, in typical California fashion, that mouthful was soon shortened to its acronym BOB. “BOB is easier to spell, funny and simple,” Roger explains.
What made the BOB trailer so genius is how it connects to the bike: the patented BOB Quick Release attachment system, an innovative mechanism that takes advantage of one simple fact: all bikes have a rear axle. What better place to hitch on a bike trailer? This provides optimal towing performance, excellent aerodynamics, the lowest possible center of gravity, compatibility with virtually every bike on the road and excellent handling characteristics. The Yak trailer revolutionized the way bikes transport gear and as a result, it has become the world standard for bicycle tourists, commuters and enthusiasts.
When Roger and Philip began to start families, they were inspired to design and build a superior jogging stroller that held the same high standards as their trailers. The result was the BOB Sport Utility Stroller, complete with patented suspension system, tough polymer wheels, easy-fold frame, a reclining, padded seat and several other features no one had ever put on a stroller before. They also created the IRONMAN stroller, with its lightweight, high-pressure tires, stiff shock absorbers and close association with the grueling event, raised the company’s visibility and awareness among athletic parents.
In 2005, BOB introduced the swiveling front wheel, an innovation that revolutionized the stroller. In 2011, BOB Gear was acquired by Britax, a manufacturer of premium car seats, strollers, baby carriers, and accessories. Since its founding in Britain in 1939, Britax has established itself as a trusted juvenile prodcuts brand, known for a commitment to thoughtful, innovative engineering of safe, top-quality and intuitively designed products. The addition of BOB to the Britax family reflects the company’s commitment to offering a full line of strollers to meet the modern family’s lifestyle needs, and continues the cherished BOB legacy of quality and innovation.
The 2013 BUILD IT. BIKE IT. BE A PART OF IT. campaign runs through May 31, 2013. All donations are tax deductible and support Adventure Cycling's organizing efforts and technical assistance for the U.S. Bicycle Route System.The campaign is supported by Adventure Cycling members, bicycle industry partners, bicycle clubs, and cyclists across North America.
Campaign business sponsors include Bikeflights.com, BOB Gear by Britax Child Safety, Inc., Ortlieb, Planet Bike, Primal Wear, and TeamEstrogen.com. Bicycle club sponsors include Cascade Bicycle Club. In-kind sponsors include Bikeflights.com, Cygolite, Hans Bagworks, J&B Importers, Nutcase, Ortlieb, and Osprey Packs.
The U.S. Bicycle Route System is supported in part by grants from the the Lazar Foundation, New Belgium Brewing, Climate Ride, and the Tawani Foundation.