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Welcome, 2016 Week a Year Tour riders! 

We are very excited about this year’s tours from Calais to Portland and from Raleigh to Myrtle Beach!

On this page you’ll find links to the items we’ve emailed, in one location. Please let us know if you have any questions or don’t see something you need.

MAINE TOUR – July 30 – August 6, 2016

SOUTHERN TOUR – October 2 – 8, 2016

FUNDRAISING

MAINE TOUR

Please note: We need to have 14 people registered for this tour by 5/1/16 for it to be a “go.” Please help spread the word to your friends! 

Maine Tour Dates: The tour will start Saturday, July 30 and end on Saturday, August 6.
There will be a shuttle from Portland to Calais on Saturday, July 30, before the start of the tour, leaving in the afternoon. People can park for a week in a secured parking area in Portland for no charge. Everyone needs to be in Portland by noon on Saturday, July 30. The first riding day of the tour is Sunday, July 31.

Maine Tour Length: approx. 337 miles total, average of 48 miles per day, the longest day is around 67 miles.

Maine Tour Conditions: The route from Calais to Portland is very hilly. The Down East Sunrise Trail, the longest and one of the most beautiful of our trail sections, has an unpaved surface not suitable for road bikes. There is a roadway option for those who wish to ride road bikes, or if trail conditions are not suitable due to weather. Road bikes will be fine on all other sections.

Riders must be able to average 10 miles per hour for up to 67 miles per day in hilly conditions. Experience riding in a group, on roadways with vehicle traffic is also required.

Maine Tour Cities / Hotels: Heading out from Calais, the ride will stop in Machias, Ellsworth, Bangor, Unity, Augusta, and Auburn before heading to Portland. We will have hotel blocks reserved in each of these towns, which we will provide to you in early May. You do not have to stay in the hotel where we have a block, but that is where the truck will drop off and pick up luggage each day.

Logistics: Cue sheets will be provided prior to the start of the tour. We also encourage you to utilize the ECG Trip Planner, and our ECG app is available for free download on iPhone and Android.

Support: Alan, the bicycle mechanic who has supported our tours for the past 4 years, will be joining us in Maine. A truck will bring everyone’s gear to the hotels each night, and we plan to have a SAG wagon to provide additional support.

SOUTHERN TOUR

Southern Tour Dates: The tour will start Sunday, October 2 and end on Saturday, October 8. There will be a shuttle from Myrtle Beach to Raleigh on Saturday, October 8, at the end of the tour. People can park for a week at the hotel in Raleigh for no charge.

Everyone needs to be in Raleigh by early afternoon on Sunday, October 2. We will have a pre-tour meeting, a group dinner, and an optional visit to a greenway artist’s studio. We have a hotel block reserved in Raleigh for the evening of October 2. The first riding day of the tour is Monday, October 3.

Southern Tour Length: approximately 315 miles total, average of 52 miles per day, the longest day is around 66 miles.

Southern Tour Conditions: Some hills but mostly flat. Route is predominately on roadways, but does include some very scenic greenway sections. Road bikes will be fine on all sections. Riders must be able to average 10 miles per hour for up to 66 miles per day. Experience riding in a group on roadways with vehicle traffic is also required.

Southern Tour Cities / Hotels: Heading out from Raleigh, the ride will stop in Smithfield, Fayetteville, Elizabethtown, Wilmington, and Ocean Isle before heading to Myrtle Beach. We will have hotel blocks reserved in each of these towns, which we will provide to you by the end of April. You do not have to stay in the hotel where we have a block, but that is where the truck will drop off and pick up luggage each day.

Logistics: Cue sheets will be provided prior to the start of the tour. We also encourage you to utilize the ECG Trip Planner, and our ECG app is available for free download on iPhone and Android.

Support: Alan, the bicycle mechanic who has supported our tours for the past 4 years, will be joining us for the Sourthern Tour. A truck will bring everyone’s gear to the hotels each night, and we plan to have a SAG wagon to provide additional support.

FUNDRAISING

For this year’s tour, each tour participant has committed to raising or donating a minimum of $750 for the East Coast Greenway Alliance or $1,400 if participating in both tours (in addition to the registration fees). Your fundraising will help spread the word about the ECG, and your friends and family who donate $40 or above will receive a year membership to the ECGA.

 

Firstgiving, the online fundraising program we use for the WAY tour, has been extremely successful. People can see what you’ve raised so far, which helps generate more donations, and it’s much easier for your donors to make a quick donation online. It also minimizes the work and issues with riders of collecting and forwarding us their checks, and it’s much easier for Debbie to process the online donations. We would like everyone to use Firstgiving this year, and if you need help setting it up, Debbie will be glad to create your page for you – just let her know!

Checks: Yes, we can still take checks (made out to the ECGA) if one of your donors prefers or if someone plans to make a donation of $250 or above. Please have your donors send their checks directly to me, with a note that it’s for your tour. Our correct address is:

ECGA
5826 Fayetteville Rd. Suite 210
Durham, NC 27713

Here is a sample fundraising letter you can use as a template for an email or letter to send to your network. Other people prefer to telephone or do a presentation to support their fundraising. Do whatever works for you, and let us know if you have any tips or ideas you’d like to pass along to others!

Setting Up Your Firstgiving Page
We have created an online Firstgiving fundraising page for the tour, so you will be able to create your own page that people can donate to online, and track how much you are raising. (Do you need help? Please let Debbie know and she can create your page for you!)

Here is how it works:

  • Go to our page for the tour: http://www.firstgiving.com/eastcoastgreenway/2016-ecg-week-a-year-tours and click the Fundraise button.
  • Fill in the fields to create your Firstgiving account (if you already have an account on Firstgiving, log in to it) and click next.
  • On the Create Page box, you can add a picture of yourself, your fundraising goal (min. $750 or $1,400 but don’t stop there!), and include in the “my story” section what you want to say about why you are doing the tour, why you are supporting the ECG, etc. When you are done, click Submit.
  • Your page is ready to go! You can click the link to see it live, and email the link to friends, post on Facebook, etc. If you want to make changes at any time, you can login and under Manage Your Page click edit story, add photos, etc.
  • You can add checks or cash received to your fundraising page so your full tally shows up on your page. When you’re logged into your fundraising page, go to the “Your Fundraising” tab and select “Enter offline donations.” A form field will come up and you can enter the donor’s name and amount in there.

It will be really easy for people to donate to your page! Once you send out the link, people will click on the Donate button and that’s it. And anyone who donates $40 or above will become an ECGA member for a year! (As the ECGA page administrator Debbie will be able to get their name, email and address, and amt. donated. Their credit card no. is not shown to us, however, so is secure.)

One of our Board members who is an experienced fundraiser, Bob Spiegelman of NH, is available for coaching if you need any support in the fundraising task. Let us know if you want his contact information! Here are some great fundrasing tips from Bob.

Please let us know if you have any questions about the fundraising. Thank you again for your support – you are making this tour a huge success for our organization.