As you may have read in our Issue Announcement, for issue 212 of Dirt Rag Magazine, Access editor Leslie Kehmeier focused this issue’s column on public lands. Her focus was primarily on Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and Capitol Reef National Park, as those are the federal lands she was visiting, but the column covers not only the history of those parks, but of the concept of public lands in the United States in general, including BLM lands, and our responsibility as cyclists and as citizens to protect those lands from middle-of-the-night buy-outs and sales against our interests. The parks, of course, are also concerned about our involvement and attention we pay these national resources and treasures.
To remind riders of all demographics and riding styles about these invaluable protected areas, the National Park Service teamed up with Adventure Cycling to organize Bike Your Park Day. People around the country will ride to and through parks and public lands for Bike Your Park Day on September 28, whether it’s on paved roads, paths, or trails. Bike Your Park Day registration is free at BikeYourParkDay.org, and everyone who registers by September 22 will be entered to win a Co-op Cycles touring bicycle. Bike Your Park Day is on the same day as National Public Lands Day, and many parks will offer free entrance and will organize special activities and service projects.
“Bike Your Park Day is a great way to encourage visitors to explore their national parks and public lands by bicycle,” said Krista Sherwood with the National Park Service’s Conservation & Outdoor Recreation Programs. “Bicycling as active transportation and healthy recreation is a fun way to experience the setting in a more natural way. It also helps to promote public health, resource protection, and other economic and social benefits while reducing vehicle congestion and contributing to the quality of life for surrounding communities.”
People who want to participate in Bike Your Park Day can design their own ride — any distance, any style of bicycling, and any type of park or public land that is open to bicycling. Once a ride is registered, it will appear on the interactive map of rides to inspire others. Registrants also have the option of making their ride open for others to join.
Hundreds of Bike Your Park Day Advisors are also listed on the website and are available to answer questions from cyclists about bike-friendly parks, route planning, and general cycling information.
Bike Your Park Day participants are encouraged to use the media sharing tools to promote their ride, including the Bike Your Park Day logo, sample social media posts and images, a template press release/newsletter article, and a downloadable fill-in-the-blanks poster. The Bike Your Park Day hashtag is #bikeyourpark.
Last year, over 15,000 people participated in more than 1,600 rides in all 50 states. Adventure Cycling Association hopes to inspire thousands more to discover their parks and public lands in a new way on September 28.