LOLO, MONT., March 2, 2016 — Media are invited to a press conference on Wednesday, March 9 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Travelers’ Rest State Park, 6717 Highway 12 West, Lolo announcing the newly formed Bitterroot Trail Preservation Alliance and highlighting events associated with the Montana Bicycle Celebration scheduled for this summer. The press conference will include an optional bike ride leaving from Travelers’ Rest State Park at 11 a.m. with remarks starting at 12 p.m. inside the Travelers’ Rest State Park Visitors Center. Media are invited to join the bike ride or capture images of cyclists riding the Bitterroot Trail.
Press conference speakers will include Missoula County Commissioner Cola Rowley, Ravalli County Commissioner Ray Hawk, State Rep. Ed Greef, Bitterroot Trail advocates Roger Dibrito and Jean Belangie-Nye, and Eva Dunn-Froebig, events and outreach coordinator at Adventure Cycling Association.
The Missoula to Lolo Trail, a key section of the Bitterroot Trail from Missoula to Hamilton, is scheduled to be completed before the Montana Bicycle Celebration, July 15 - 17. This 8-mile section of trail is a missing connection to the existing Bitterroot Trail that runs from Lolo to Hamilton.
"The Missoula to Lolo Trail is the final piece of the Bitterroot Trail,” says County Commissioner Stacy Rye. “It completes more than 50 miles of a connected trail system, from Missoula through the Bitterroot Valley and represents the magnitude to which Montanans of all abilities value their trails and the recreation they provide. Trails play a vital role in our communities, for our collective benefit and are beloved by the residents of Western Montana. We are thrilled with the trail completion and look forward to welcoming thousands of people to the formal ribbon cutting later in July."
The Montana Bicycle Celebration was conceived by Adventure Cycling Association because the Missoula-based national non-profit organization is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of its founding event, Bikecentennial, a 4,250-mile bike ride across the United States in 1976. Adventure Cycling has invited members and supporters from throughout the United States and the world to the Montana Bicycle Celebration to celebrate the 40th Anniversary and to bicycle the new Bitterroot Trail. The Montana Bicycle Celebration prompted partners to form the Bitterroot Trail Preservation Alliance, create a Bitterroot Trail logo and website, BitterrootTrail.com, designed by Windfall, Inc., and make the Montana Bicycle Celebration an annual event for bicyclists of all ages.
"The Bitterroot Trail invites families and friends to recreate together, explore the valley, learn its history and meet the friendly people and merchants that call this place home,” says trail advocate Roger Dibrito.
The Bitterroot Trail Preservation Alliance is seeking donations to support and improve the Bitterroot Trail such as benches, rest areas, cultural, habitat, and mileage signage. In addition, the Alliance will assist in maintenance of the Bitterroot Trail. Donations can be made at any TrailWest Bank or by mailing to 4765 Carolin Lane, Florence, MT 59833.
Bikes will be available for members of the press who wish to ride the Bitterroot Trail on March 9 at 11 a.m. at Travelers’ Rest State Park. Please contact Meg Whicher with Missoula Parks and Recreation at MWhicher@ci.missoula.mt.us to reserve a bicycle.
The Montana Bicycle Celebration will take place in Missoula and in communities throughout the Bitterroot Valley. Friday, July 15 will include a reception at the UC Ballroom at the University of Montana from 4:30 - 7 p.m. hosted by Adventure Cycling Association to celebrate its 40th anniversary and to honor Bikecentennial co-founders Greg and June Siple, and Dan and Lys Burden.
Saturday, July 16 will feature free supported bike rides on the Bitterroot Trail with a variety of distances and an optional shuttle from Missoula, for a small fee, to different locations on the Bitterroot Trail. The ride is designed to get cyclists to Travelers’ Rest State Park in Lolo by 12 p.m. to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the new Missoula to Lolo Trail, with featured guests Governor Steve Bullock, Senator John Tester, and local mayors and county commissioners. Cyclists will then be directed to the Montana Bicycle Celebration Expo at Silver Park in Missoula from 2 - 5 p.m., where one lucky participant will win a Raleigh Bicycle. Adventure Cycling will continue its 40th anniversary celebration on Saturday, July 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Downtown with a dinner featuring acclaimed bike travel influencers Erick Cedeño, Lael Wilcox, Nicholas Carman, Willie Weir, and Russ Roca and Laura Crawford from The Path Less Pedaled.
Major events on Sunday, July 17 will include Sunday Streets Missoula and BIKEapalooza, a community bike ride, to round out the celebratory weekend. Visit adventurecycling.org/MTBikeCelebration for a full schedule of events.
Partners of the Montana Bicycle Celebration include Adventure Cycling Association, the Bitterroot Trail Preservation Alliance, Bike Walk Bitterroot, Bike Walk Alliance for Missoula, Destination Missoula, Missoula Parks and Recreation, Missoula County Parks, Trails and Open Lands Program, Missoula in Motion, and Travelers’ Rest State Park.
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John Stegmaier, Missoula County Parks, Trails and Open Lands Program, firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 258-3458
Lisa McKinney, Communications Director, email@example.com or (406) 532-2759, Twitter: @advcyclingassoc
Adventure Cycling Association inspires and empowers people to travel by bicycle. It is the largest cycling membership organization in North America with more than 48,000 members. Adventure Cycling produces cycling routes and maps for North America, organizes more than 100 tours and leadership courses annually, and publishes the Adventure Cyclist magazine. With 44,662 meticulously 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.