February 16, 2011
How do you like the new look of these maps? Notice the folksy images at the top left side of each? Let me tell you a little bit about those.
If you've ever used an Adventure Cycling map you already know that they include a very valuable tool called the Service Directory. These listings include businesses on (or within bikeable distance of) our routes such as bike shops, campgrounds, hotels, libraries, and food stores. We update these listings regularly. (And if you have an update or a suggestion for a new service on our routes, use our map correction form.)
We've never told the businesses that we list that they are on our maps; we've never asked these businesses if they are enjoying having cyclists at their stores and in their communities. And we've never talked to those businesses to let them know what they can do to be more bike-travel friendly.
What does this have to do with those images at the tops of our maps?
These images are from our new route decals. (You might remember Heidi Beierle, who distributed our window decals on the TransAm Trail, or executive director Jim Sayer, who traveled down the Pacific Coast Route with his family last summer, handing out decals to businesses along the way.) As you can see, these fabulous window decal images are now also emblazoned on our map covers, helping us brand our routes.
So far, we've sent decals out to the businesses on the new Sierra Cascades Bicycle Route and the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, and we're gearing up to distribute them on the Northern Tier this year. All of the decals -- including the TransAmerica Trail, Pacific Coast, and Underground Railroad -- are available for purchase from our online store.
The goal is threefold: 1) build awareness of our routes in local communities, 2) help cyclists recognize and frequent these businesses, and 3) enable Adventure Cycling to build a stronger relationship with the business community.
I think what I love most about this idea is all the connections it makes -- between our routes and maps, the cyclists out on the road, and the communities they are visiting. Eventually it will help us gauge the economic benefits our routes deliver to the business community. That's what we hope to bring to the table as we get more deeply involved in selling the idea of the U.S. Bicycle Route System to road agencies and political leaders across the country.
If you know of a business along one of our routes that should have a decal in their window, please send the name our way.
Maps and decals by Adventure Cycling Association
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.