Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

May 1, 2016

What if cycling across the country was as easy as following the signs? What if there was a whole network of signs, just for cyclists, marking the best bike routes across a state — across the country — just like there is for cars?

Good news! There is. It’s called the U.S. Bicycle Route System or USBRS for short.

It’s a work in progress: already 23 states have over 11,000 miles of designated routes. These are roads and paths all over the country that are great for bike travel. When complete, the USBRS will have over 50,000 miles of signed routes. Pretty exciting, right?

We’re not the first ones to imagine a grand, country-encompassing network of bike routes. Quebec has La Route Verte, the European version is EuroVelo and Taiwan is calling its network Cycling Route No. 1. But there are a few differences between the U.S. Bicycle Route System and other national bike routes. For starters, the U.S. Bicycle Route System is paid for almost completely by private funds from people like you and me:

dedicated bike enthusiasts.

Last year your support made it possible to add 3,000 miles to the U.S. Bicycle Route System. That’s three of Taiwan’s Cycling Route No. 1! The U.S Bicycle Route System truly is the people’s bike network.

When complete, the USBRS will open up amazing new opportunities for cross-country travel, regional bicycle touring, and commuting by bicycle.

One day you could ride USBR 50 all the way from DC to San Francisco! Today you can ride over 500 miles of already-designated backroads and trails in Ohio, Maryland, and DC, including the scenic C&O Canal. And soon Pennsylvania’s family-friendly Great Allegheny Passage trail will connect this incredible route to quiet forests, picturesque farmland, and thriving urban centers in West Virginia and Indiana.

As the only organization that has dedicated staff and resources to building the U.S. Bicycle Route System, Adventure Cycling is asking for your support. Help us build this network by adding more designated miles and closing the gaps between routes where there are no signs.

Along the TransAmerica Trail – USBR 76 – the eastern half of the route is almost fully signed, but we still need to get Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Oregon signed.

Your support will make bicycling history by supporting the building of the U.S. Bicycle Route System and show that bikes have a permanent place on the road.

We’re dedicating the whole month of May to getting the word out and raising support! You can expect:

  • Great blogs about the development of the USBRS and how it is helping communities across the country
  • Awesome giveaways from Ortlieb, SKS, and Exodus Travel, and more
  • A chance to win a limited-edition Adventure Cycling Salsa Marrakesh

Be part of it by helping us raise $150,000 this month! The first $41,500 will be matched by a group of generous USBRS enthusiasts.

Get some signage of your own when you support the U.S. Bicycle Route System:










$100–249: U.S. Bicycle Route 76 Head Tube Badge.

$250–499: U.S. Bicycle Route 76 Silicone Pint Glass.

$500 or more: U.S. Bicycle Route 76 Ortlieb Dry Bag, 3 Liter.

Or donate $25–99 for an assortment of three U.S. Bicycle Route System stickers.



Each week we’ll raffle off a prize package. Donate in the first week to be entered into all four raffles.

Explorer Package ($588 value)

  • SKS tools.
  • SKS waterbottles.
  • Osprey packs — Ozone wheeled travel pack and courier pack.
  • Club Ride apparel.

Bikepacking Package ($489.00 value)

  • Blackburn Outpost bikepacking bags and anything cage
  • Jones “H-Bars” and grips
  • Bike Touring News "Bike Hermit" T-Shirt

Endurance Package ($924.00 value)

  • Ortlieb Travel packs
  • Cygolite headlight
  • Sinewave Cycles Reactor Charger/Dynamo hub

National Parks Package ($679.00 value)

  • Road Holland Jersey
  • National Park Service pass
  • Burley Nomad trailer

Donate $10 or more, now through 6/10/16, and your name will be entered to win this limited-edition Salsa Marrakesh.

Photo 1 Mac McCoy | Photo 2 Rachel Stevens | Marrakesh photo courtsey of Salsa Cycles


What better way to celebrate National Bike Month than supporting a campaign to create the largest bicycle route network in the world?


Patrick Lamb May 2, 2016, 9:56 AM

In comparing EuroVelo (100% government funding) and USBRS (30% government funding), are you including the cost of the bike paths and roads, or only the cost of signs?

Saara May 2, 2016, 3:30 PM

Hi Patrick - La Route Verte is shown as 100% government funded (not EuroVelo Switzerland) because Velo Quebec, the org that coordinates the route network, is contracted by their Ministry of Transportation which has invested 89 million over 10 years.

The USBRS is actually only funded 4% by public dollars from the American Association of Transportation Officials - the remaining 96% is funded through individual donations (70%), business sponsors, grants, etc.

There will be an upcoming blog post explaining this more in depth, stay tuned! Here's more on the La Route Contract:

Mike Sanders May 1, 2016, 8:15 AM

Let's add the East Coast Greenway / USBR 1, USBR 66, the Chicago-NYC route, and getting a North-South West Ciast route starred to the list!

You should start a gallery of USBRS sign photos (guide signs, too) on the AC website and encourage readers to submit their own pics. Eventually, you would have a gallery of signs and trail sights in both directions, arranged along the lines of the photo galleries at . Oh, and let's add USBR 50 to the list as well! Add the hisitoric images you have in your files, and you would have a growing online history of the network. What a resource that would be!

April Cypher May 2, 2016, 3:04 PM

Hi Mike,

Yes, there are multiple USBRS routes that still need signs, not just 76.

I love that idea of a gallery. We have some to start us off. Keep your eye out for them in our May blogs.


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