Meet 23 long-distance Greenway riders of 2021

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Last year saw an increasingly diverse and inspirational group of cyclists tackle long-distance rides on the East Coast Greenway. We saw multiple fastest known times set and numerous impactful fundraising rides. Even a Siberian husky, Maisha, experienced the full Maine-to-Florida route.  

Prepare to be inspired by these intrepid travelers via their post-ride reflections and videos below! 

As a reminder, long-distance travel via on-road sections of the East Coast Greenway is recommended for experienced cyclists only. Prior to planning any long-distance East Coast Greenway ride, please utilize our online trip planning resources.

With that in mind, let’s learn more about some inspiring and impactful East Coast Greenway adventurers: 

Stacia Smart: In October, Stacia Smart completed an inspiring 1,100-mile East Coast Greenway journey in support of glioblastoma brain cancer research and in honor of her late boyfriend Owen Strong. Watch the video below to learn more about Stacia’s ride:

 

 

Bryce Henson: A Type 1 diabetic, Bryce Henson wrapped up an inspirational Maine-to-Florida ride in December 2021. “Riding the East Coast Greenway this winter was the most rewarding experience of my life. There were times where I had to suffer through the cold rain, a totaled bike or a diabetic blood sugar rollercoaster ride, but these hardships made my warm shower at the end of the day feel even better. On my way to Florida I met many people with diverse backgrounds. It surprised me how people were willing to help me in any way they could regardless of their beliefs. Thanks to the amazing hosts whose kindness and generosity restored my faith in our society.” 

Chantelle Relerford: Experienced long-distance cyclist Chantelle Relerford completed a 47-day ride along the East Coast Greenway in June, finishing in Bangor, Maine. “What I love most about bike touring is being fully immersed in an environment, traveling through places less often seen, and connecting with people. Each tour is unique ... This East Coast tour was much more about history and culture versus the natural scenery of the West Coast. I met kind, inspirational people and was humbled to inspire many with my travels,” Releford shared.

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Chantelle Relerford completed a 47-day ride along the East Coast Greenway in June, finishing in Bangor, Maine.

Lindy Deane and Darlene Hubbard: Inspirational deaf cyclists Lindy Deane and Darlene Hubbard completed a Calais to Key West ride on Nov. 22 in 68 days, navigating 3,000-plus miles without the ability to hear. “The ride was more than bucket list stuff. It was a dream,” the duo shared via email after reaching Key West. “We had done other much shorter rides before, but we wanted to show what two deaf cyclists could do.”

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It was all smiles in Key West for Lindy Deane and Darlene Hubbard as they completed the East Coast Greenway on Nov. 22, 2021, after 68 days of riding.

Chris Stowell: Pedaling with a purpose to raise money for Watertown, N.Y., theater company Stage Notes, Chris Stowell completed an epic Florida-to-Maine ride along the East Coast Greenway in 51 days of riding, complete with an Outer Banks detour in North Carolina. “I've fallen in love with this form of travel. I'll be back on the road as soon as possible,” Stowell said. 

Andrew Lehigh: Andrew Lehigh finished his northbound East Coast Greenway ride of 3,085 miles in a blazing-fast 33 days on June 10 for the fastest known time to complete the Florida-to-Maine route. 

Regina Yan: And just a few months later, Regina Yan completed a southbound, Calais-to-Key West ride on the East Coast Greenway in a believed-to-be record of 29 days, all while sharing amazing “doodles” of her adventures. "On October 17 - 29 days of cycling - I reached Key West! Words truly cannot describe all the emotions and experiences of this trip, but I am filled with gratitude, pride, relief, elation, sadness,” Yan shared. “It’s a bittersweet feeling knowing all this is over and I have to return back to normal life, but I feel accomplished and excited for the adventures to come."

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Regina Yan completed a Calais-to-Key West ride in a believed-to-be record of 29 days, all while sharing “doodles” of her adventures.

Parker Herlihy and Hanna Holcomb: Parker Herlihy and Hanna Holcomb completed their southbound trip along the Greenway in 44 days on Nov. 7. After their ride, the duo shared: "We loved our through-ride of the East Coast Greenway! We were blown away by the kindness and generosity of the people that we met and enjoyed seeing parts of the country that we likely wouldn't have seen otherwise. We were grateful for every section of bike path that we rode and for the East Coast Greenway Alliance's work. Every fast and close pass from a vehicle was a stark reminder of how essential protected paths are. We're glad we had this opportunity, it's an experience we'll never forget."

Jess Hinkle: Experienced long-distance cyclist Jess Hinkle completed a Maine-to-Key West ride in 32 days in November 2021 - and that's after riding D.C. to Montana and Canada to Mexico earlier in the year. “The East Coast Greenway is, overall, a brilliant route and for me stands as one of the top experiences of my life thus far,” Hinkle reflected. “Although there are advanced sections, it is unquestionably suitable for beginner and intermediate bike travelers alike. For the veteran touring cyclist, there is more than enough adventure to hold the attention. I would like to sincerely thank the folks at the East Coast Greenway for coordinating and cultivating and sharing such a gem. I'll absolutely be back for another fall run."

Andrea Ray, Kris Wiley and Maisha: Andrea Ray and Kris Wiley reached Key West in December 2021 to complete their East Coast Greenway ride with their Siberian husky, Maisha, in tow. Watch the video below to learn more about their journey:

 

Tucker Atwood: After originally planning to ride the entire East Coast Greenway in March 2020, Tucker Atwood rode Maine to Florida in the fall of 2021 to complete his goal.  “Biking the Greenway was an educational, challenging and, above all, fun journey in discovering the East Coast of America. It was also a firsthand experience that showed me why we desperately need to fund safe, effective and long-lasting non-vehicular infrastructure in this country. The best parts of the Greenway showed me what the worst parts of the Greenway can potentially be in the future, and I’m excited for when that future is a reality. An adventure this amazing should not only be accessible to the very few; it should be something that anybody can enjoy regardless of age or expertise,” Atwood shared. “I commend the Greenway for beginning this incredible pathway, and I hope it is truly at its beginning in terms of its impact on the East Coast. Thank you to the Greenway for an incredible experience.”

Caroline Turner: Caroline Turner rode the entire Greenway in the summer of 2021 as a fundraiser for a friend's child that was recently affected by cerebral palsy. “Through-biking the East Coast Greenway was hands down the most adventurous thing I have ever done. It was amazing to see how much your body is capable of when you put your mind to it. Traveling through 15 states, I got to learn about my country - see Mount Vernon, learn about the Gullah Geechee people and get a glass of wine in an art-deco restaurant in Miami. As a solo female traveler, I found that people went out of their way to make sure I was safe, and could not have been more hospitable,” Turner reflected. “Many of the protected trails were filled with cyclists, roller bladers and walkers. It shows how great this project is for the communities they serve to get active, get outdoors, and engage with your neighbors. I cannot wait to see this project continue to grow!”

Timberline Adventures: Timberline Adventures held the first fully supported tour of the East Coast Greenway in 2021. Six riders completed the entire Maine-to-Florida route - Gary Feldstein, David Fick, Lee-Ann Fick, James Hann, Kelli Nantz and Marvin Nantz - while others completed one or more of four segments. Enjoy an in-depth look at the trip via Feldstein’s excellent blog

Dr. Kathryn Wilder: The inspirational Dr. Kathryn Wilder biked the East Coast Greenway to and from her breast cancer treatments ahead of the inaugural NYC-to-PHL Ride earlier this year. “The trail was a lifesaver ... it meant so much to me to have the Greenway as an option,” Wilder said. “It was part of my treatment ritual and part of my relentless destination to positivity." Learn more about Kathryn’s journey in the video below:

 

Greenway Guidance: While the East Coast Greenway Alliance is constantly improving the safety of the Greenway route through its advocacy efforts, many of the current on-road connections, including those on the Greenway’s interim routes, have little or no special provisions for bicyclists or pedestrians. Long-distance travel via on-road sections of the Greenway is recommended for experienced cyclists only. Many lengthy traffic-free segments of the Greenway are suitable for families and cyclists, walkers and runners of all ages and abilities. 

The current on-road routing is housed on low-traffic roads whenever possible. We aim to be as clear as we are able about the conditions riders can expect by including alerts for known stressful sections on our online mapping tool at map.greenway.org. Directional signage may or may not be present along the route. Users are advised to review state traffic laws, research current road conditions and discuss plans with people familiar with area roadways.

This website provides information for the public about trails and roads for traveling the interim route of the East Coast Greenway and their general suitability for long-distance cycling and walking. The East Coast Greenway Alliance and those involved with the development and publication of this website do not assume any liability for injuries, damage or loss to persons using this information or the routes suggested. People using this information are responsible for their own safety and should take appropriate precautions.

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