REI Grants $20,000 for New Alternate on Underground Railroad Bicycle Route

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400-mile alternate route will include Detroit and important landmarks in the history of the Underground Railroad

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Missoula, Montana — Adventure Cycling Association announced today that it will receive a $20,000 grant from REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.), a retail co-op providing quality outdoor gear and clothing, to create a new alternate route off its existing 2,100-mile Underground Railroad Bicycle Route (UGRR). The 400-mile alternate will run between Oberlin, Ohio, and Owen Sound, Ontario. Highlights on the new route include the historically rich communities of Sandusky, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan. REI’s Missoula, Montana, store manager, Sean Kissane, will present REI’s check to Adventure Cycling Association at its headquarters in Missoula at 12 Noon today.

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Running through northwestern Ohio, southern Michigan, and southern Ontario, the new cycling route will create a cultural heritage corridor centered on the storied Underground Railroad, offering education and recreational opportunities for people of all ages.
According to Carla Majernik, Adventure Cycling’s director of routes and mapping, the new route will also create some exciting opportunities for touring cyclists, “This new alternate on Underground Railroad Bicycle Route will offer numerous choices for one and two week loop rides, linking to other Adventure Cycling routes such as the Lake Erie Connector and the Northern Tier. It also follows the Lake Huron shoreline to Owen Sound, an incredibly scenic ride.”


An important highlight on the new route, Detroit has increasingly invested in bike lanes, greenways, urban agriculture, and natural parks. This cycling route will capitalize on these local efforts through tourism and outreach projects such as club rides, youth involvement, and health and history events at libraries, museums, and other sites after the route is completed.

Adventure Cycling began working on the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route in 2004. After the main 2,100–mile route was established between Mobile, AL and Owen Sound, ON, Adventure Cycling committed to developing more UGRR routes, both alternates and spurs, in order to involve more communities and historic sites. The first Underground Railroad spur route was developed in 2007, and runs from Pittsburgh to Erie, Pennsylvania. This route highlights an important UGRR corridor while also honoring Adventure Cycling’s partnership with the Center for Minority Health (CMH) at the University of Pittsburgh. More information about the route and this project can be found at www.adventurecycling.org/ugrr.

Adventure Cycling Association hopes to release the map for the new alternate route during Black History Month in February 2011.

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Adventure Cycling Association
is the premier bicycle travel organization in North America with over 44,000 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 40 tours annually, and publishes the best bicycle travel information anywhere, including Adventure Cyclist magazine and The Cyclists’ Yellow Pages online. With more than 40,000 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), info@adventurecycling.org, or visit www.adventurecycling.org.

REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.

source: Adventure Cycling

About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato has been the Site Manager of Mtbr.com for over 12 years and enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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