This week Adventure Cycling Association announced that our 2011 Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. campaign for the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) surpassed its $30,000 goal, raising over $31,000 for the project during National Bike Month!
"This year we saw more than 400 individual donors contribute to the campaign, a big increase over last year," said Julie Huck, membership director for Adventure Cycling. "The wide spread support for this project is truly inspiring."
"Core supporters" — individuals who came on as dedicated fundraisers for the campaign — were key in helping reach out to cyclists across the nation through email and various social media platforms. These supporters pledged to help raise funds, and ultimately brought in nearly $8,000 to help us reach our goal.
Huck added, "On the last day of our campaign, we were $900 shy of our $30,000 goal. So we extended the campaign by one day. In just a few hours, two Adventure Cycling life members — who were also core supporters — made large donations to take us over the top." In addition, BikeFlights and Co-Motion Cycles came on as business supporters in the final twenty-four hours of the campaign, contributing another $1,500 to the effort.
Business supporters have been very important partners during Adventure Cycling's annual campaign for the USBRS, contributing over $10,000 to the campaign total each year. This spring, three business supporters — AdventureCORPS, Stan's No Tubes, and TeamEstrogen.com — provided $1,000 matching donations to inspire cyclists to give. Supporters responded enthusiastically and each matching challenge grant was met in only two days time. Other business supporters included BikeQuest Touring Company, Ortlieb, Razoo, Red Arrow Group, and Salsa.
"The Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. campaign is a great way for bicycle-oriented businesses to get exposure with a very dedicated constituency of cyclists through Adventure Cycling's social media channels, as well as those for the USBRS," said Amy Corbin, membership and marketing coordinator for Adventure Cycling. "Most businesses that we've approached are very excited to get involved, not only for the broad exposure, but also because they believe that the U.S. Bicycle Route System will encourage more people to get on bikes."
A national task force under the auspices of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) spearheads the U.S. Bicycle Route System project, and includes officials and staff from state DOTs, the Federal Highway Administration, and nonprofit organizations such as Adventure Cycling, the East Coast Greenway Alliance, and Mississippi River Trail, Inc. Adventure Cycling has provided dedicated staff support to the project since 2005.
Momentum behind the U.S. Bicycle Route System has been growing since October 2008 when AASTHO approved the National Corridor Plan. Thirty states are now working on U.S. Bicycle Routes, and the momentum continued to build during our spring fundraising campaign this year.
On May 11, Adventure Cycling announced that AASHTO's Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering approved new U.S. Bicycle Routes (USBR): USBR 1 in Maine and New Hampshire, USBR 20 in Michigan, and USBR corridors 8, 95, 97, and 87 in Alaska — the first official U.S. Bicycle Routes to be established since 1982.
Then, during the last full week of the campaign, AASHTO provided Adventure Cycling $5,000 to assist states with route selection and the technical aspects associated with the development of the U.S. Bicycle Route System.
AASHTO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. A powerful voice in the transportation sector, its primary goal is to foster the development of an integrated national transportation system.
"We are incredibly pleased that AASHTO renewed their grant to us for providing technical assistance to the states developing U.S. Bicycle Routes," said Ginny Sullivan, special projects director at Adventure Cycling and coordinator for the U.S. Bicycle Route System. "Our partnership with AASHTO means a great deal to us as we work with state and local transportation agencies."
This year, state partner organizations also helped to raise funds for the Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. campaign, and will receive a percentage of the proceeds to support the creation of U.S. Bike Routes in their home state. State partner organizations included Bike Walk Tennessee, Bicycle Alliance of Washington, New Mexico Touring Society, Virginia Bicycle Federation, Bike Utah, South Dakota Bicycle Coalition, and Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas.
Since 2006 Adventure Cycling's work on the U.S. Bicycle Route System has been supported by Adventure Cycling members and donors, as well as by grants from Bikes Belong, Educational Foundation of America, Lazar Foundation, New Belgium Brewing Company, SRAM Cycling Fund, the Surdna Foundation, and last year, by funds from AASHTO's Center for Environmental Excellence.
The U.S. Bicycle Route System is a proposed national network of bicycle routes that span multiple states and are of national and regional significance. These routes will serve as visible and well-planned trunk lines for connecting city, regional, and statewide cycling routes, and provide transportation and tourism opportunities across the country. When complete, the U.S. Bicycle Route System will be the largest official bike route network on the planet, encompassing more than 50,000 miles of routes.
Adventure Cycling Association is the largest membership cycling organization in North America with nearly 45,000 members. A nonprofit organization, its mission is to inspire people of all ages to travel by bicycle. It produces routes and maps for cycling in North America, organizes more than 45 tours annually, and publishes the best bicycle-travel information anywhere, including Adventure Cyclist magazine and The Cyclists' Yellow Pages online. With 40,699 meticulously mapped miles in the Adventure Cycling Route Network, Adventure Cycling gives cyclists the tools and confidence to create their own bike travel adventures. Contact the office at (800) 755-BIKE (2453), firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.adventurecycling.org.