Bikes Belong Coalition provides $10K grant for route from Deep South to Lake Erie. MISSOULA, Montana - The Adventure Cycling Association today announced that they have been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Bikes Belong Coalition to develop an innovative bike route tracing the hist
MISSOULA, Montana - The Adventure Cycling Association today announced that they have been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Bikes Belong Coalition to develop an innovative bike route tracing the historic Underground Railroad, the pathway to freedom for thousands of African Americans. Bikes Belong is a non-profit national coalition of bicycle suppliers and retailers working together to put more people on bicycles more often. Adventure Cycling Association is the nation's largest non-profit bicycling organization that inspires people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
"This is a strong signal from the bike industry that it wants to significantly increase the number and diversity of Americans who bicycle," said Jim Sayer, executive director of Adventure Cycling Association. According to Bikes Belong grants director Elizabeth Train, the UGRR was targeted for funding because the project will help increase interest in bicycling while filling the need for a long-distance cycling corridor in the east-central region of the country. "This exciting project will map a route that slaves followed to freedom in the mid-19th century from Alabama to Pennsylvania," Train said. "It will encourage cyclists of all ages and abilities to travel through history by bike."
"Adventure Cycling does a great job of establishing, supporting, and promoting long-distance bicycling routes," said Tim Blumenthal, executive director of Bikes Belong. "This new Underground Railroad route project will have a broad appeal, and we're delighted to help develop it."
Carla Majernik, director of Adventure Cycling's Routes and Mapping Department, said that while the UGRR will provide a path through history, the project breaks new ground in terms of the organization's route projects. "For the first time we are working with a non-traditional partner, the Center for Minority Health at the University of Pittsburgh," Majernik said. "This connection gives us the opportunity to reach out to populations that traditionally have not been very involved in bicycle recreation or travel."
Bikes Belong Coalition, based in Boulder, Colo., has funded close to 100 grant proposals totaling $848,460 and leveraging more than $431 million dollars in federal, state, and private funding. The facilities projects alone have helped finance more than 1,000 miles of bike paths and trails and linked nearly 5,000 miles of trail facilities. For more information about Bikes Belong Coalition, visit www.bikesbelong.org