Dennis Markatos-Soriano, ECGA Executive Director
Phone: (919) 622-1760 Email: email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DURHAM, NC – From October 4-9, over 35 cyclists will be bicycling 325 miles from Fredericksburg, VA, to Raleigh, NC, on the East Coast Greenway, a 2,900-mile trail route that extends from the Canadian border at Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida.
As a fundraiser for the East Coast Greenway Alliance, the Week A Year (WAY) Tour is an annual ride. Steadily working its way south since the first WAY Tour launched from Calais, Maine in 2011, riders have been covering one section of the East Coast Greenway each year. They are on target to complete the 2,900-mile route in Key West in 2019.
Trails and long-distance routes like the East Coast Greenway are a draw for active travelers and they have the potential to boost local economies, especially in rural communities and towns along the way. According to a recent study by North Carolina State University’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education, a newly constructed East Coast Greenway bridge in Durham, NC is making a dramatic impact.
“Direct annual expenditures on groceries, retail, and restaurants related to trips on the trail rose from approximately $2.4 million pre-bridge to $6.1 million post-bridge – an increase of $3.7 million.”
“The Week-A-Year Tour demonstrates the type of tourism and economic development we aim to bring to Virginia, North Carolina, and the many towns and cities along our route from Maine to Florida. As we travel through communities, we dine in their eateries, lodge in their hotels, and purchase supplies in their stores. Yet, we do not require expensive amenities like parking spaces for motor vehicles,” says Dennis Markatos-Soriano, East Coast Greenway Alliance Executive Director. He added, “We see tour riders spending more than $20,000 this week in communities along the way.”
This year, WAY riders will visit Virginia’s Historic cities of Fredericksburg and Petersburg and will stay at Richmond’s new RVA Hostel on the wheels of the World Cycling Championships. On the tour they will pass through Spotsylvania, Caroline, Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Brunswick, and Mecklenburg counties before heading into North Carolina’s Granville County.
Once in North Carolina, riders will visit with the Mayor of Oxford before continuing south to Durham, where they’ll be joined by local cyclists for a 47-mile public ride from Durham’s Diamondview Park to Raleigh’s North Carolina Museum of Science.
Along the way they’ll ride through Chatham and Wake Counties, through Umstead State Park and past the NC Museum of Art before completing this year’s tour in downtown Raleigh.
Leaders and champions at the local, state, and regional levels have forged significant trail progress in Virginia and North Carolina. Riders are exited to celebrate this progress – along with the wonderful fall weather – by exploring the region’s East Coast Greenway route. Riders also say they’re looking forward to tasting some of the best barbecue around.
The East Coast Greenway is heading into its 25th year, creating a national treasure for all Americans to enjoy for generations to come. You can learn more about the East Coast Greenway at www.greenway.org and follow the Week a Year Tour on Twitter using the hashtag #WAY15.
The East Coast Greenway Alliance (ECGA) is the non-profit organization leading the development of the East Coast Greenway (ECG), a 2,900 mile trail route from Calais, Maine, to Key West, Florida. Based in Durham, NC, the Alliance promotes the vision of connecting local trails into a continuous route; provides strategic assistance for states, counties, and municipalities that build local trail sections; officially designates trails as part of the ECG trail system; posts signage; and makes maps and guides to facilitate use of the Greenway. The ECG passes through 15 states, connects 25 major cities along the Eastern Seaboard, and creates a safer environment for active-transportation users of all ages and abilities.
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