FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2012
Contact: Winona Bateman
New Cycling Route Brings Underground Railroad Alive
518-mile Detroit Alternate guides touring cyclists through communities and landmarks in Underground Railroad's history from Oberlin, Ohio, to Owen Sound, Ontario
Missoula, Montana — Five years to the day after the unveiling of its 2,000-mile Underground Railroad Bicycle Route (UGRR), Adventure Cycling Association today announced the release of the final map section for the route's new Detroit Alternate.
The 518-mile Detroit Alternate provides alternate routing, and a host of new historic sites, for cyclists traveling between Oberlin, Ohio, and Owen Sound, Ontario. Departing from the main Underground Railroad route in Oberlin, the Detroit Alternate guides cyclists through Toledo, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan, around Lake St. Clair, tracing the shoreline of Lake Huron before heading to Owen Sound. The maps also provide a ferry option across Lake Erie from Sandusky, Ohio, through Windsor, Ontario. Maps are now available from Cyclosource, Adventure Cycling's online store and catalog.
"We're thrilled to offer this new alternate route between Oberlin and Owen Sound. Cyclists can now experience even more landmarks and historically important communities along the Underground Railroad," said Carla Majernik, Adventure Cycling's routes and mapping director. "The route also follows the Lake Huron shoreline to Owen Sound, which is an incredibly scenic ride."
"Detroit is an important highlight on the new route for its historic relevance and its contemporary efforts to improve conditions for cyclists," said Ginny Sullivan, special projects director and lead staff on the UGRR project. "Increasingly the city has invested in bike lanes, greenways, urban agriculture, and natural parks, making it an even more attractive stopover for touring cyclists on the new route."
Running through many smaller communities in northwestern Ohio, southern Michigan, and southern Ontario, the Detroit Alternate creates a cultural heritage corridor that not only offers education and recreational opportunities for people of all ages, but also promises increased tourism to the communities along this iconic corridor.
According to Jenn Milyko, cartographer, the Detroit Alternate links to other Adventure Cycling routes such as the Lake Erie Connector and the Northern Tier, "These new connections create numerous options for wonderful one and two week loop rides."
Adventure Cycling provides a list of key historic and cultural landmarks on each map section of the Detroit Alternate; a more extensive listing of historic sites can be found in the organization's online route highlights.
Important stops on the Section 1 map include:
The Buxton National Historic Site and Museum in North Buxton is an absolute must-see for those traveling on the Detroit Alternate's Windsor Option on the Section 2 map.
"We're so excited to welcome cyclists to the Buxton Settlement, which was the largest and most successful planned settlement for fugitive slaves and free blacks in Canada," said Shannon Prince, curator for the Buxton National Historic Site and Museum and 6th generation settlement descendant. "When you arrive, you will be able to visit the oldest home, built in 1850, and feel the original hand-hewn logs. You can enter the school built in 1861 or wander the 1866 cemetery to view the weathered headstones of some of the early settlers, or handle the original adult and children's ankle shackles. The experience will be memorable!"
More highlights on Section 2:
Adventure Cycling began working on the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route in 2004. After the main 2,000-mile route was established between Mobile, AL and Owen Sound, ON, Adventure Cycling committed to developing more UGRR routes, both alternates and spurs, in order to involve more communities and historic sites. The first Underground Railroad spur route was developed in 2007, and runs from Pittsburgh to Erie, Pennsylvania. This route highlights an important UGRR corridor while also honoring Adventure Cycling's partnership with the Center for Minority Health at the University of Pittsburgh.
Adventure Cycling's members and donors supported the creation of the Detroit Alternate, as did a generous $20,000 grant from REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), a retail co-op providing quality outdoor gear and clothing.
From February 22-28, Executive Director Jim Sayer will visit Detroit, Toledo, Oberlin, Cleveland, Columbus, and Pittsburgh to promote the new route.
Media contacts: Maps and photos available. Contact Winona Bateman at email@example.com.
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Adventure Cycling Association is the premier bicycle-travel organization in North America with over 43,500 members. A nonprofit organization, its mission is to inspire people of all ages to travel by bicycle. It produces routes and maps for cycling in North America, organizes more than 50 tours annually, and publishes the best bicycle-travel information anywhere, including Adventure Cyclist magazine and the online Cyclists' Yellow Pages. With 41,399 meticulously mapped miles in the Adventure Cycling Route Network, Adventure Cycling gives cyclists the tools and confidence to create their own bike-travel adventures. Contact the office at (800) 755-BIKE (2453), firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.adventurecycling.org.