When we measure impact at Adventure Cycling, we look at many metrics, but the most important is: how many people did we inspire and empower to travel by bicycle? By that measure, and because of your support, Adventure Cycling had its best year ever in 2017.
How do we know? Because we hit new highs in every regard when it came to connecting with people — and we saw fantastic numbers when it came to our program work on new routes and bike travel advocacy. Here are some highlights from the work you made possible:
A new high for our core community, our members. Last year, we grew to 53,060, keeping us the largest cycling membership nonprofit in North America.
A new peak for electronic engagement, with millions of unique visitors to our resource-rich website, plus major growth in our social media channels. Thanks to you, we are connecting more people than ever to information and networks they need for better bicycle travel.
Yet another new Adventure Cycling route, from Chicago to New York City — 1,679 miles of bike travel goodness, bringing our total route network to 46,846 miles, the equivalent of riding nearly twice around the world! We also finished research on an expanded version of the pioneering Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (coming in June 2018) and started work on an Arkansas High Country Mountain Bike Route.
A major increase in the number of bikes carried on Amtrak trains — 52,870 bikes compared to 5,000 two years ago — thanks to Adventure Cycling’s unique partnership with Amtrak.
Two of the biggest bike events in North America — the second annual Bike Travel Weekend and Bike Your Park Day, which catalyzed more than 2,000 DIY bike travel events and drew more than 16,000 participants. During Bike Travel Weekend, more than 2,500 people went on a bike overnight for the very first time.
A jump in our advocacy efforts with the addition of a new coordinator for work on the official U.S. Bicycle Route System (now nearly 12,000 miles in 25 states) and more partnerships with National Parks (such as Shenandoah, which sponsored its first car-free day on Skyline Drive — more than 1,000 cyclists enjoyed the relaxed ride). We also joined local groups to fight for better rumble strip policies (for example, in Nebraska) and “no-turn-away” policies for traveling cyclists at state parks (in Tennessee).
The release of all Adventure Cycling route data for digital devices. Now you can navigate your bike around North America, using paper maps or mobile devices or both! This easier access is probably why we sold more map products than ever in 2017.
Nine more inspiring issues of Adventure Cyclist magazine, plus dozens of free email newsletters (Bike Bits and Adventure Cyclist eDigest) to entice more people into bike travel.
More tours than ever, with new tours throughout North America, including new offerings in Canada.
Perhaps the most poignant highlight was the renaming of our special award for young adult bicycle travel after cofounder Greg Siple, who retired in early 2017 after devoting 43 years of his life to building Adventure Cycling and Bikecentennial. Appropriately, we had a record number of applicants for this award, which helps younger generations experience — and evangelize — the joys and benefits of bicycle travel.
None of this would be possible without your member and donation support. Thank you for everything you do, and for helping build one of the largest and most vibrant cycling communities in the world.
Adventure Cycling Board of Directors