Rails-to-Trails progress on Great American route, surpassing 2000mi done – First announced almost two years ago, the Rails-To-Trails Conservancy tells us of progress made, overcoming the chaos of last year. While 20 actual new miles completed in 2020 seems incremental, it does carry the project over a symbolic threshold of 2000 miles of dedicated multi-use trail completed.
And with $4 million of new funding secure, it paints an optimistic path forward for the Great American Rail-Trail linking together communities across the US.
We got a unique sneak peek
peak at this planned 3,700 mile coast-to-coast cycling route from Washington, D.C. to Washington State almost two years ago.
Zach just happened to be test riding the Why PR road bike & Komoot+Wahoo Roam integration through the heart of the route on the Ohio-to-Erie Trail, just as local events were being held to launch the project.
While there are still a lot of gaps to close since the original announcement, the amount of route still undefined is being chipped away at. And with 80 miles of new trail already in the development pipeline now, Rails-To-Trails claim they’re making progress at closing critical gaps to “deliver significant economic value to the people and places along the route”, says RTC president Ryan Chao.
New trail development has made gains across nine states along the route last year, including: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana & Washington. GreatAmericanRailTrail.org
Must See TV (or Youtube videos… whatever)
- Bikepacking the Iron Curtain with Markus Stitz – The new film from Edinburgh-based filmmaker & adventure rider Markus Stitz documents his self-supported cycling journey along the European Green Belt traversing the track of the old Iron Curtain. Born in Germany, Markus rode his gravel bike 700km across Thuringia, Lower Saxony, Hesse, Bavaria & Saxony last October on a track that separated the East from the West in Europe. His film titled Grenzerfahrungen (Borderline Experiences in German) establishes a new bikepacking route, dubbed the “Iron Curtain Gravel Trail”, and can be downloaded for free to explore on your own from: BikepackingGermany.com
- Take The Long Way Around with Chris Burkard & Wahoo – The Long Way Around is a new film by Chris Burkard following four close friends riding across the wilds of the American west, getting to know the forests & countryside by bike. Rerouted by wildfire devastation, it’s as much a story about climate & conservation, as it is about a bikepacking trip adventure (and some hiking & fishing.)
Advocacy & Industry News
- Endura’s 1.3 million trees towards being carbon negative – When Endura launched a One Million Trees initiative at the start of last year, they made a commitment to planting one million trees annually for the next 10 years, with the goal of offsetting, then totally eliminating the brand’s carbon footprint. Now a year in, with the help of their reforestation partner project in Mozambique, the first year target was exceeded by 30%, with more than 1.3 million mangroves planted in the Maputo Bay area. They’ve also laid out plans to bring their tree planting back home, set to start planting in Scotland this year. With that milestone met, Endura now have set an even bolder & more fast-tracked target – to become carbon negative by 2024. stories.EnduraSport.com
- Win an Obed Boundary in their gravel giveaway – Ready to win a new bike to start out the new year? Obed is offering a chance to score their Boundary, a versatile carbon gravel bike kitted out with Shimano GRX 810 & Stan’d Grail wheels. It’s a long haul contest, so you’ll have to wait several months to win. But all you have to do is register your email address here: ObedBikes.com
Racing & Riding together again?
- Leadville Winter Race Series is a go in one week, with a twist – The 2021 Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series is taking place with options for riding groomed trails in the Leadville area… or trails near your CO home, adding new options for XC skiers & snowshoe enthusiasts too. It all starts with the Colorado Cup Race Jan 23-31. “Tweaked, not canceled. This is our new way to pull off our most important fund-raiser while staying pandemic-safe,” says Cloud City Wheelers exec. dir. Sterling Mudge. Traditionally, a series of 5 fat-bike races on Leadville snow brought in folks from far & wide for mass start racing (and a festive atmosphere.) This year, racing will be self-timed on defined courses over several days – ride each course, log your time, raise money, and win? Full details & sign-up at: CoudCityWheelers.com
- Colorado to Utah: Co2uT registration re-opens now – Set to kick back off May 22nd, there are a few remaining spots available, so get in while you can. Prepare for the best gravel around, surrounded by unbelievable scenery. Options are open for 4/5 monster course: the tough but gentle 70mi Stegosaurus, aggressive middle child 100mi Triceratops, claws out 125mi Utahraptor, and RWARR! big, meaty & delicious 190mi Allosaurus. Find out more via DesertGravel.com, then register at: RunSignUp.com (we promise, it’s a ride!)