Jim Sayer to Step Down as Adventure Cycling Association’s Executive Director
North America’s largest cycling membership group will launch search for new leader in May
Missoula, Montana, April 9, 2019 — Adventure Cycling Association announced today that Jim Sayer will step down as Executive Director by the end of 2019, after 15 years at the helm. Sayer will stay on as the organization’s leader until a successor is found. The search for a new leader will formally launch in May.
“It’s been an incredible ride,” said Sayer. “Anytime you can combine your passion with your profession, you are a lucky person. I’m especially proud that we’ve built such a strong and effective nonprofit that will continue to connect hundreds of thousands of people annually with the power of bicycle travel.”
Sayer also highlighted Adventure Cycling’s new strategic plan: “We continue to build on our strengths, but with this plan we are making some exciting pivots to the future with investments in digital engagement, grassroots community development and DIY tours, twenty-first century cycling navigation tools, and more powerful safety advocacy.”
Joyce Casey, Adventure Cycling’s Board President, said, “We are deeply grateful for Jim’s service and leadership. During his time here, Adventure Cycling has grown our membership, more than doubled our staff, and nearly tripled our revenue. Most important, we have used those resources to provide the best services and advocacy possible for better bike travel in North America.”
Casey noted that the Board expects to hire Sayer’s successor by late 2019.
Sayer has not announced future plans but would like to take some time off and explore opportunities in public service. He also plans on pursuing more cycling and outdoor adventures, including a self-supported solo bike tour down the Atlantic Coast early this summer and possibly a trip along Adventure Cycling’s Northern Tier route in 2020.
Dan Meyer, Staff Writer
Adventure Cycling Association inspires, empowers, and connects people to travel by bicycle. It is the largest cycling membership organization in North America with more than 52,000 members. Adventure Cycling produces cycling routes and maps for North America, organizes more than 100 tours annually, and publishes bicycle travel information including the award-winning Adventure Cyclist magazine. With over 47,000 mapped miles in the Adventure Cycling Route Network, Adventure Cycling gives cyclists the tools and confidence to create their own bike travel adventures.
Phone: 800.755.BIKE(2453). Web: www.adventurecycling.org
Changes and accomplishments at Adventure Cycling Association during
Jim Sayer’s tenure (since 2005):
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Adventure Cycling’s staff and volunteers, and of course to our 52,000+ members, 4,000+ donors, and many partners, for accomplishing so much to inspire, empower, and connect millions of people to travel by bicycle.
- Adopted a bold and forward-looking strategic plan to steer the organization from 2018–2023. Now implementing major initiatives with investments in digital engagement, grassroots community development, do-it-yourself and overnight tours, twenty-first century cycling navigation and mapping tools, and more powerful safety advocacy.
- Expanded the Adventure Cycling Route Network to almost 50,000 miles, the largest mapped cycling route network in the world.
- Added many new and popular routes including the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route, Bicycle Route 66, Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route, Arkansas High Country Route, Texas Hill Country Loop, Chicago to New York City Bicycle Route, Allegheny Mountains Loop, Adirondack Park Loop, Washington Parks Bicycle Route, and the Florida Connector Bicycle Route.
- Revamped and extended the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from Jasper National Park in Canada to the Mexico border. The GDMBR is still the longest mapped mountain bike route in the world at 3,083 miles.
- Made all Adventure Cycling maps available on mobile devices through the Bicycle Route Navigator app, available on iTunes and Google Play.
- Increased the page count (by 50 percent) and advertising (by 100 percent) of the award-winning Adventure Cyclist magazine, one of the most popular bike travel magazines in the world and the most beloved in North America.
- Created and recently upgraded one of the best online resources for traveling cyclists, new and old: adventurecycling.org.
- Tripled the number of guided tours and bike travel instructional courses to 110. Offered more unique self-supported and supported tours than ever throughout the U.S. and Canada.
- Provided leadership and staff support to develop the U.S. Bicycle Route System, which will become the largest official designated and signed bike route network on the planet. Currently, the USBRS has more than 13,000 miles of designated routes in 26 states and the District of Columbia and will eventually grow to more than 50,000 miles.
- Coordinated the task force to significantly improve bike access on Amtrak national and regional lines. Amtrak now makes available trainside-checked service on all national lines as well as carry-on service on many regional lines.
- Initiated a formal partnership with the National Park Service to improve cycling to and through America’s national parks. Worked with national park units from Natchez Trace to Crater Lake on improvements and worked with the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop a best practices guide. Also worked closely with the National Association of State Park Directors on similar initiatives to improve cycling in state parks.
- Developed a national advocacy and bike tourism promotion program, including co-organizing the program for the National Bike Tourism Conference. Led the charge for a greatly improved national rumble strip guidance through the Federal Highway Administration and launched a new safety advocacy initiative, in addition to working with many state and local groups for better cycling policies and investments.
- Promoted more accessible and affordable forms of bicycle travel, especially through the bikeovernights.org website and the annual Bike Travel Weekend and Bike Your Park Day. In 2018, these two events catalyzed more than 2,500 DIY bike trips around the world and involved well over 20,000 participants.
- Boosted Adventure Cycling’s membership to 52,000+ members (more than any other dues-paying cycling group in North America), nearly tripled organizational income, and more than doubled staff from 20 to 46.
- Expanded and modernized Adventure Cycling’s headquarters in downtown Missoula, Montana, even working with the city of Missoula and the Missoula Art Museum to create a beautiful public art park outside the headquarters. On average, more than 1,200 people cycle every year to this “mecca of bicycle travel” in Missoula, up from 576 in 2005.
- Marked Adventure Cycling’s 40th anniversary in 2016 with a major national celebration, honoring our origins as Bikecentennial in 1976 and highlighting four decades of growth and change.