Welcome, 2014 Week a Year Tour riders!
We are very excited about this year’s tour from Philly to Fredericksburg! You’ll be going through some of the most historic and interesting cities on the ECG route, exploring a range of urban, rural, and suburban environments along the way.
On this page you’ll find links the items we’ve emailed, in one location. Please let us know if you have any questions or don’t see something you need.
Dates: The tour will start on Sunday, October 5th in Philadelphia, PA, and end on Saturday, October 11th in Fredericksburg, VA. The tour will start in the morning on October 5th, so please plan to stay in Philadelphia Saturday night (we have a hotel discount in Conshohocken, near Philly, where we can park cars for a week at low cost.)
Length: The overall mileage for our third year’s tour will be around 325 miles. The average per day will be approximately 46 miles, but expect to have some shorter and some longer days. There will be at least one or more days above 60 miles, and since we are going in October, daylight will be shorter. Because of this we need everyone to be done riding by 5 PM each day, so riders must be able to average a minimum of 10 – 12 miles per hour speed.
Cities / Hotels: Heading out from Philadelphia, the ride will stop in Wilmington, DE; Havre de Grace, MD; Towson, MD; Annapolis, MD; Alexandria, VA; Quantico, VA; and we’ll end the ride in Fredericksburg, VA. We have group block discounts on hotels for the tour. The costs average $120 per night for a 2-person room (before tax).
Cost: $100 registration fee plus $600 fundraised or donated. We are offering a shuttle at the end of the tour back to the starting location for an additional $50 per person. (The shuttle will head back to Philadelphia after the ride ends on Saturday afternoon 10/11. Exact time TBA.)
Riders are responsible for their own lodging and food costs. We have an easy-to-use platform for online fundraising. Instructions sent after registration.
Logistics: ECG guides for PA/DE, MD/DC, and VA will be provided at the start of the tour with directions to/from the hotels. We will also have Garmin GPS data if you wish to utilize a GPS, and an ECG app available for iPhone and Android.
We plan to have a League of American Bicyclists Certified Instructor provide a bicycle safety overview course at the start of the tour on Sunday – attendance is required. More details to come.
Support: Alan, a bicycle mechanic who supported the tour for the past 2 years, will be joining us again. A truck will bring everyone’s gear to the hotels each night, and we plan to have a SAG wagon to provide additional support.
Conditions: Approximately 32% of the tour will be on trails. The day from Havre de Grace to Baltimore will be the hilliest, but should not be too challenging. There are several very short gravel sections (walkable if you don’t wish to ride) the first day, and a there is a 7-mile unpaved (stone dust) rail trail the third day. It is generally kept in good condition (one of our staff rode it previously with a group on road bikes with no problem). Road bikes or hybrids should be fine for use on this year’s route.
Read more about activities before and during the 2014 WAY tour.
Hotels – download hotel list here
Above is a link to the list of hotels (updated 7-29-14) for the tour with the block discount information and pricing for our group. Everyone needs to make and pay for their own reservations. Please be sure to reserve so well in advance of the block end date!
If you have friends or family in one of these towns, you do not have to stay in the hotels, but this is where the truck will be bringing gear to and from each day, so you’ll need to be there to drop off / collect your gear if you’re staying elsewhere.
(Want a roommate? Let Debbie know and we’ll try to match you up with another tour participant.)
For this year’s tour, each tour participant has committed to raising or donating a minimum of $600 for the East Coast Greenway Alliance (in addition to the $100 registration fee). Your fundraising will help spread the word about the ECG, and your friends and family who donate $25 or higher will receive a year membership to the ECGA. The funds you raise will go directly toward strengthening our trail program — allowing us to designate more miles of greenway, sign more of the route, and advocate for new trail segments. THANK YOU!
How It Will Work
You will contact your network to ask for donations, and there are three ways in which they can contribute to your tour:
- We have an online event fundraiser at http://www.firstgiving.com/eastcoastgreenway/2014-week-a-year-bike-tour. You can easily create your own fundraising page and ask people to donate online toward your ride. (See below for detailed instructions.)
- You can collect checks (made out to the East Coast Greenway Alliance) and mail them in batches to Debbie West in our office. (Please do not mail us cash.) Please make sure the donor’s address and email are included in what you send.
- Online donations can be made via the ECG website at https://www.greenway.org/help-make-it-happen/donation-form – the donor will need to enter your name in the box that reads “My Donation is in Honor of” so we know to credit you properly for your tour.
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. Here is how it works:
- Go to our page for the tour: http://www.firstgiving.com/eastcoastgreenway/2014-week-a-year-bike-tour 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. $600, 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. (Check out the attached sample fundraising letter if you need some inspiration on what to say.) 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 $25 or higher 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.)
Here is the general ECG page (where we’ll post totals from folks who are not doing online fundraising) so you can see what they look like – http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/ECGA/2014-week-a-year-bike-tour
One of our volunteers 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!
There are a few options for how to navigate on the tour so that you can choose what method works for you. ALSO, one of our staff will lead and one will sweep (ride at the end of the riders) each day, so you are most welcome to ride with either of them. (There are a few times when staff will be needed at events, so another rider will help lead or sweep.)
1. ECG guidebooks. ECG guides for PA/DE, MD/DC, and VA will be handed out at the beginning of the ride to those who wish to use these. We are also providing inserts for the guidebooks with turn by turn directions from the route to the hotels.
2. The ECG mobile app or map.greenway.org. The app is available for free from iTunes or Google Play. You can generate custom cue sheets. We will have a webinar at 10AM on Oct. 2nd to go over how to use the app and the web mapping. (Join by going to: http://www.screenleap.com/eastcoastgreenway and call in to: 712-432-0460/ 343120#) We’ll have a recording and slides available after the call, but we recommend joining the call live in case you have specific questions.
If you prefer, we have several other options as well:
3. ECG cue sheets, which you can download here. These are cue sheets for the entire day, from hotel to hotel. You can print these out if you wish, or upload the pdf files to your mobile phone. (If you wish to use them, please print them out at home.)
Day_6 (revised 10-3)
4. Garmin GPS files, which you can request from Andy (firstname.lastname@example.org). You’ll need to upload and test these on your Garmin device. (The route is a line to follow, it does not give prior to turn directions and navigation.)