Avid supporters of the East Coast Greenway enjoy a week's tour of the route while raising funds
Forty cyclists and five support crew left Savannah on Sunday morning, November 18 to begin the Week a Year Tour, 2018 edition, heading for TItusville, Florida. Highlights of the tour included Spanish moss-draped back roads in Georgia and fast, flat rides along the coast in Florida, with tailwinds to boot. Including a 10-mile fun ride on their last day in Titusville, the cyclists rode nearly 400 miles over seven days.
Midweek, after a morning ferry ride across the St. Marys River to Fernandina Beach, the cyclists enjoyed a boardwalk greenway and stunning coastal views through the Talbot Islands State Parks and a second, shorter ferry ride across the St. Johns River.
The St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, and The Beaches Visitors & Convention Bureau hosted a welcome reception for the cyclists, giving them the VIP treatment with tastes of local wines and more. The ride ended in Titusville, which recently earned Florida's second Trail Town designation. And deservedly: The last 35 miles of the ride into TItusville were on beautiful new greenway segments. And Saturday, before heading home, many of the cyclists joined locals on a 10-mile fun ride and celebration at a local brewery.
Unfortunately, St. Augustine was also the scene of a morning crash. One of our cyclists, Chris, was hit by a young driver and suffered primarily broken ribs. The crash served as a sobering reminder of the importance of the East Coast Greenway Alliance's mission: to build a safe, accessible route for cyclists, runners, and walkers, protected from cars and trucks.
It was the eighth WAY Tour for many of the cyclists — many of whom are now 65 or older. They have now biked all 15 states of the East Coast Greenway, from Maine to Florida. This year, they raised close to $75,000 to support the nonprofit East Coast Greenway Alliance. They also supported the local economy by spending more than $50,000 over the course of the week on hotel stays, meals, and other purchases while experiencing local culture first hand. Overnight stays included Savannah, Hinesville, Jekyll Island, and St. Marys in Georgia and St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, and Titusville, FL.
Other trip highlights included:
Ferries, boardwalks, and palm trees: Browse album of WAY Tour 2018 photos.
The Week a Year Tour will finish in November 2019 with a week's ride from Titusville to Key West, Florida.
Greenways & Greenbacks: Economy, health are both beneficiaries Connect Savannah, November 21, 2018
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