August 24, 2016
One day. Two wheels. 8,500 parks.
Forty years of bicycle travel, one hundred years of national parks: these are numbers worth celebrating, and this September 24th, thousands of people across the country will be pumping up their bike tires, lubing their chains, and getting on their saddle to bike their park.
On Bike Your Park Day, you can ride with friends, family, or an organized group in or to a national park, state park, or other type of public land near you. It’s free to participate, and you’ll be part of a national community of bicyclists exploring its parks and public lands on two wheels on the same day.
The word “park” can mean many things. Many people think only of the iconic national parks like Yellowstone, Death Valley, Glacier, or Yosemite, but there may be a different kind of park closer than you think, even if you live in an urban area. The National Park Service Find Your Park campaign is helping to broaden the public’s ideas of what a “park” is, which includes all public lands – national and state parks, monuments, historic sites, battlefields, military parks, scenic rivers, lakeshores, seashores, trails, recreation areas, preserves, forests and grasslands, wildlife refuges, and parkways. Find a park near you with this search tool.
Biking your park can be as little or as much of an adventure as you want. You choose whether you want to ride one mile, ten miles, fifty miles, or one hundred miles. You can drive to your park to start your ride or bike to your park if it’s close by. It’s up to you what kind of experience you want to have – the important part is to discover the parks and other public lands in your backyard on two wheels.
Join an organized ride! All rides that are registered will show up as a pinpoint on a map and will be marked as “public” or “not public” according to the preference of the organizer. All you have to do is find a public ride in your area that you want to join and contact the organizer for details.
If you're unfamiliar with bike-friendly routes, parks in your area, or other specific local questions, you can contact one of the 100+ Bike Your Park Ambassadors and they will provide local guidance and recommendations for helping you plan your ride.
Any type of biking counts on Bike Your Park Day, and lots of parks and public lands have bike trails, paths, and quieter back roads. If you prefer mountain biking, check the national forests, national recreation areas, Bureau of Land Management areas, and state parks near you to see if they have mountain biking trails. Most national parks do not allow biking on trails; however this list from the International Mountain Biking Association lists a few of the ones that do (be sure to double check with the park). And make sure that the trails you ride are open to bicycling!
We encourage you to make Bike Your Park Day a way for your family to spend time together in the outdoors and maybe even introduce your kids to biking. There may be parks/public lands near you with family-friendly bike paths or rail trails away from traffic. You can drive there to ride a few miles, or take the train or bus if that’s an option with your bike. Also, some parks will be offering a car-free experience on Bike Your Park Day (like Crater Lake), so keep your ears open and as we hear of car-free events we'll list them on the Get Inspired page.
What could make you feel better about your day than going for a bike ride? Answer: Incorporating a service project into your bike ride. September 24th is also National Public Lands Day, and many parks and public lands will be organizing service projects to engage people in stewardship activities. Challenge yourself to volunteer, get your hands dirty, and meet new people. Guaranteed it will make your life richer.
We just couldn’t resist offering a new bike giveaway for participating in Bike Your Park Day. Register by September 5th and you’ll be entered to win a custom-painted Salsa Marrakesh touring bike of your size. AND if you’re in the first 250 to sign up, you’ll get a limited edition Bike Your Park Day patch.
Choose your favorite social media platform and post a photo and description of your ride with the #bikeyourpark and #findyourpark hashtags. Spread the word — invite your family and friends to participate!
Blog by Saara Snow. Photos 1 and 2 by Lassen Volcanic National Park | Photo 3 by Adam Coppola | Photo 4 by Jim Sayer | Photo 5 by Saara Snow.
Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Adventure Cycling Association with Bike Your Park Day on September 24. Ride to or within your favorite parks and public lands with thousands of other throughout the country on the same day. Register at BikeYourParkDay.org. Thank you to the 40th anniversary sponsors: Raleigh Bicycles, Montana Department of Commerce, Salsa Cycles, Advocate Cycles, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, Primal Wear, Visit Mississippi, Visit Idaho, Travel Oregon, Osprey Packs, Experience Plus!, Destination Missoula and Missoulian.
Find out more about Adventure Cycling’s generous sponsors.