This is one of my favorite times of the year, when I get to communicate with you about all that we have accomplished together over the past year at Adventure Cycling Association. The only problem is that I can sound a little repetitive because, as in 2014 and the years preceding, 2015 was another banner year!
I cannot thank you enough for your role – whether as a member, donor, tour participant, map buyer, volunteer, or perhaps all of the above – in making Adventure Cycling the most successful cycling non-profit in North America. As you read this list of new milestones and achievements, sit back and realize that you played a part in making these good things happen for cycling.
Here’s what happened in the past year:
A brand new long-distance route – Bicycle Route 66, 2,486 miles from Santa Monica to Chicago – and the announcement of our next long-distance route, Chicago to New York City;
Release of our first-ever digital map packages, useable on just about any mobile device – for the Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route and Bicycle Route 66 – with a plan for converting our many other routes into these packages over the coming 18 months;
Research work on our next short-distance route, the Texas Hill County Loop;
A new high for membership (48,200), keeping us the largest cycling membership non-profit in North America;
More pages and stories than ever in our beloved magazine, Adventure Cyclist, plus a new digital program (Readz) for you to read feature stories from the magazine;
An expanded www.bikeovernights.org website, featuring more stories, photos and resources on how and where to do one- and two-night bike trips;
Major new milestones for the U.S. Bicycle Route System, including 11,000 miles of designated routes, 23 states with U.S. Bicycle Routes, and new signage on many routes, including the TransAm Trail (USBR 76) in Missouri;
The successful launch of new roll-on, roll-off bicycle service on Amtrak’s Capitol Limited line between Chicago and Washington, DC – the result of a special task force staffed by Adventure Cycling;
An expanding partnership with the National Park Service, resulting in better bike facilities on the Natchez Trace, and a project to develop a best practices guide for car-free days in our national parks;
Partnerships with state parks to improve camping and overnights services, for example through a $200,000 investment by Montana State Parks to create better hiker-biker sites in four parks along popular Adventure Cycling routes;
Expansion of our new Young Adult Bike Travel Scholarships program, which now enables four young people to take our Introduction to Road Touring or Leadership Training course and then become ambassadors for bike travel around the U.S.;
More major exposure for bike tourism, as we co-organized the largest new conference on bike travel, presented at numerous national and global conferences, including the National Youth Bike Summit, the New York Times Travel Show, the Bicycle Leadership Conference, and many state tourism, cycling and transportation gatherings;
More map sales than ever (print and digital); and
Record levels of participation in our electronic media, with more subscribers than ever to Bike Bits (our e-newsletter), Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels.
So what a year! And I didn’t even go into the roll-outs of special websites for our 40th anniversary (in 2016) – I’ll save that for next year’s report, after we’ve enjoyed the first-ever National Bike Travel Weekend (June 3-5), Montana Bicycle Celebration (July 15-17), and Bike Your Park Day (September 24).
Thanks again for your steadfast and vital support. We couldn’t inspire and empower so many people to travel by bicycle without your generous help.
With warmest wishes for an excellent year of cycling,
Adventure Cycling Board of Directors