July 15, 2010
About a month ago I received an email from Wayne Garvey, the current pastor at Marion United Methodist Church in Marion, Kentucky, located on the TransAmerica Trail. "Our church has hosted cyclists for many years," he wrote, "but we've never gotten on your map or addenda as available housing. How do we go about getting that information listed with your organization? Thank you!"
Wow, word of mouth really is a powerful thing.
Pastor Garvey went on to say, "We hosted some 24 cyclists last year (including a Spaniard!), a huge upswing apparently due to the economy, as many campgrounds have had to close. Prior to that, people just 'lucked-upon' us, but now a church member runs a restaurant at the intersection by the courthouse, and she refers them on to me. I've thoroughly enjoyed meeting them all."
Over time, the church has developed into a prime spot for cyclists to stay overnight. A shower, air conditioning, kitchen facilities (including a refrigerator, stove, and microwave), couches, and free Wi-Fi (password protected but shared upon request) are all part of the package. Their location in town is excellent: only three blocks from a grocery store and laundromat and kitty-corner from the post office.
In addition to being included on our maps, the church members are also interested in finding ways to make cyclists feel welcome in their town. At a recent meeting, they discussed the idea of adding a cyclist symbol for their church sign. (Anyone know of a resource to help them make this happen?) I made sure they were aware of the Become a Bicycle Travel Friendly Town information we offer — though they are already well on their way to being a Cyclists' Only Lodging option of the first degree. Our thanks to you, Marion, Kentucky!
photos by Wayne Garvey
GEOPOINTS BULLETIN is written by Jennifer 'Jenn' Milyko, an Adventure Cycling cartographer, and appears weekly, highlighting curious facts, figures, and persons from the Adventure Cycling Route Network with tips and hints for personal route creation thrown in for good measure. She also wants to remind you that map corrections and comments are always welcome via the online Map Correction Form.
Does the ACA have a "76" sign for the church?
How much would it cost?
This is such a great story! Thank you Marion United Methodist church for being so kind and seeing such a wonderful way to reach out to travelers. You are an inspiration to many out there.
I am pretty sure that the hosts always say a prayer as the cyclists hit the road again.
How generous! Though Kentucky wasn't on my cross-country route in 2000, thanks for being so bike-friendly!
I stayed here in 2009 and it was a very nice place! They let us stay inside because we arrived late in the year.
I've stayed there back in 2001. Camped out on the grass lawn and they left the Church open for us. Very friendly people.
I've stayed there! I was one of those cyclists that "lucked" onto the basement lounge in 2003. (We were just riding down the road when the pastor flagged us down.) We made a huge dinner in the kitchen and watched "Sweet Home Alabama." What a great spot.
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Hi Denis, I'll be in touch with you via email to follow up with you about this question. Thanks for the comment.