PHILADELPHIA - On May 14-15, 300 dedicated riders and volunteers participated in the second-annual New York City-to-Philadelphia Greenway Ride, a 2-day, 125-mile ride in support of the 3,000-mile East Coast Greenway, a developing Maine-to-Florida bicycle and pedestrian route.
In 2022, the fundraising efforts of participants and support of corporate partners surpassed $200,000, which will go to completion of greenways and trails in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Across just two editions of the NYC-to-PHL Ride, which debuted in August 2021, more than $500,000 has been raised to support this important work, marking the most successful fundraising events in the 30-year history of the nonprofit.
Historically, every dollar donated to the East Coast Greenway Alliance has turned into more than $50 in public investment. After just two years, the annual event is poised to leverage more than $25 million to close gaps in the Greenway, according to Alliance Executive Director Dennis Markatos-Soriano.
“We are looking forward to the breakthroughs in Greenway development that are going to come about because of this year’s ride. Thank you all again for your fundraising and support and time this weekend,” said East Coast Greenway Deputy Director Niles Barnes at the opening ceremony.
And with a water-bottle toast to “creating community, having fun and enjoying the Greenway,” the ride was underway on a foggy Saturday morning at Liberty State Park.
The event will return for a third straight year in late spring 2023. Interested participants should sign up for the ride email list at greenway.org/nyctophilly to be among the first to be alerted when registration is open.
"I started biking segments of the Empire State Trail and just thought, 'This sounds like a lot of fun.' New York to Philadelphia, I've never done such a long ride before, but if I were to do it I'd want to do it with a group." said rider Jenny Jiang of Long Island City, New York.
Brooklyn's Todd Robinson shared via Instagram, "Riding my bike from NYC to Philly was not something I thought I could do just a year or two ago, but this weekend I rode the 135 miles and it was amazing! I want to thank everyone that supported me and (the) East Coast Greenway!!"
After passing through Staten Island via on-road routes and the Bayonne and Goethals bridges, NYC-to-PHL Greenway Ride participants rode through scenic parks in New Jersey’s Union and Middlesex counties. From there, riders could choose to ride the natural-surface D&R Canal Trail or an on-road route into Princeton for the overnight stop. A rainy Saturday afternoon did little to diminish the spirits of the dedicated riders and volunteers.
The local Princeton community enthusiastically welcomed riders. After camping at the Princeton Family YMCA or spending the night in local hotels, Princeton Mayor Mark Freda addressed the riders before they departed for Philadelphia.
After another foggy start, a sun-splashed day two featured more riding on the D&R Canal Trail - or the on-road route - before crossing into Pennsylvania, which featured the D&L Trail, on-road segments and Philadelphia's Delaware River Trail and Schuylkill River Trail before finishing at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing.
Along the way, riders refueled at three daily oasis stops - plus lunch on Saturday, May 14 - staffed by Greenway partners and volunteers.
"I get this euphoric feeling that I get when I'm on a long bike ride. There's something amazing about riding places you've never been, and it was really fun being a part of a group,” said rider Marc Maximov of Durham, North Carolina.
The NYC-to-PHL Greenway Ride is produced by Global Impact Productions.
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Recent record-setting funding for design and construction goes directly to building the East Coast Greenway - as it should. The East Coast Greenway Alliance needs your support to continue our advocacy work that is fueling completion of the Greenway. The Alliance has a sustained track record of turning every dollar donated to our nonprofit into $100 in public infrastructure investment. Invest today and support the growth of the East Coast Greenway from Maine to Florida.