Thousands of people found some normalcy in a weird year by discovering adventure in their backyards during the fifth annual Bike Travel Weekend & Bike Your Park Day, September 25 – 27. The two events are usually held separately—Bike Travel Weekend during the first weekend in June and Bike Your Park Day on the last Saturday in September. But this year Bike Travel Weekend was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and both events were held on the same weekend.
Adventure Cycling encouraged people throughout the world to go on either a local overnight bike adventure or a local day ride to parks or public lands. A virtual option to ride all or part of the Parks, Peaks, and Prairies route was also provided for those who wanted to stay close to home. (Free registration remains open at resport.io/ppp through December 31.) Adventure Cycling encouraged participants to follow COVID-19 guidelines by riding locally and only with people in one’s household. Most participants wanted to go on a local bicycle ride and discovered adventure out their back door.
Bike Travel Weekend & Bike Your Park Day included:
Everyone who registered received a Bike Travel Weekend and Bike Your Park Day sticker in the mail, and the first 500 people who registered received a patch. Everyone who registered by September 20 was entered to win a Salsa Cutthroat bike. The winner of the bike will be announced in January 2021.
Participants rode 406,718 miles during the weekend of September 25- 27. That’s almost equivalent to riding to the moon and back! Each participant rode an average of 64.2 miles. Ninety-nine percent said they will participate in Bike Travel Weekend and/or Bike Your Park Day again.
One of the goals of Bike Travel Weekend & Bike Your Park Day is to introduce bicycle travel to people who have never tried it before. It was the first multi-day bicycle adventure for 32 percent of participants who went on an overnight adventure. Ninety-six percent are hooked and said they’ll go again.
“This gave me the confidence to continue to do more bike traveling. It made me feel like I can accomplish more than I ever knew.” -Carol Simmons, Kennewick, Washington
The weekend was an opportunity to experience adventure for many people, even if it was a short ride close to home.
“In a year of cancellations, it was nice to enjoy a local fall weekend of riding while celebrating/promoting bicycle travel.” -Dave Battista, Gibsonia, Pennsylvania
Bike Travel Weekend & Bike Your Park Day landed on the same weekend as National Public Lands Day (on purpose). Some people found a way to participate in all of the events at the same time.
“I’ve never picked up trash on a ride before! We brought a garbage bag and gloves and received a ‘good on ya!’ by other cyclists passing by. It felt good to not just be out at a great state park (that partially burned in the CZU complex fire), but to be helping in some way added a whole new take on it.” -Rachael Brown, Scotts Valley, California
Adventure Cycling is committed to supporting Bike Travel Weekend & Bike Your Park Day ride leaders from underrepresented communities. This year, thanks to financial support from the National Environmental Education Foundation, ride stipends were provided to eight ride leaders who are Black, Indigenous, people of color, and LGBTQ, to help reduce the barriers of going on a bicycle adventure.
"For many of us who are deeply entrenched within the inner workings of organizing and participating in community led efforts to dismantle structural racism, a seemingly simple activity such as biking and camping offers the opportunity to heal and rest from the daily grind of the city. Personally, this trip was about connecting with my friends while introducing some of them to a Type 2-fun hobby that I always look forward to during the less-wet shoulder seasons and beautiful summers of the Pacific Northwest. Bikecamping as a metaphor has taught me - one pedal stroke at a time - that through struggle and strife comes great strength and resilience to keep in perspective what is keenly important." -Jess Kim, Seattle, Washington
Thank you to the 345 Bike Travel Weekend & Bike Your Park Day volunteers from nine countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Italy, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, the United States, and the United Kingdom), 46 U. S. states and Washington, DC. Volunteer Advisors and Influencers provided resources and guidance to participants and helped promote Bike Travel Weekend & Bike Your Park Day.
Thank you to everyone who participated. Save the date for June 4 - 6, 2021 for Bike Travel Weekend and September 25, 2021 for Bike Your Park Day!