Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: j1of1 on September 14, 2021, 10:46:24 am

 
Title: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: j1of1 on September 14, 2021, 10:46:24 am

1.  Is Adventure Cycling have any affiliation with this proposed ride?
2.  Anyone planning on doing any or all of it?

Website:  https://www.bigamericanbikeride.com/
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: John Nettles on September 14, 2021, 11:49:43 am
While not positive, I do not think they are affiliated with ACA.  Depending on the final route, I might do a few segments closer to me.

I am all in favor for getting more people out bike touring so I hope it does well.
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: staehpj1 on September 14, 2021, 12:40:13 pm
Why 2023? I fear it will detract from any event on the 50th anniversary of Bikecentennial and 250th anniversary of the signing of the declaration of independence.
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: John Nettles on September 14, 2021, 12:46:59 pm
I think that is exactly why it is 2023.  That said, they "might" have wanted to do it in 2022 but then covid hit.  I think this group has been around for a little over a year.
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: adventurepdx on September 14, 2021, 03:35:01 pm
Why 2023? I fear it will detract from any event on the 50th anniversary of Bikecentennial and 150th anniversary of the signing of the declaration of independence.

If we're talking about the US Declaration of Independence, that was signed in 1776. The 250th Anniversary of that (Semiquincentennial) would be 2026, not 2023.

But maybe you're referring to a different Declaration of Independence?
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: John Nettles on September 14, 2021, 04:02:47 pm
I gotta quit posting today.  The allergy meds are making me too loopy.  I am 0 for 2.  John
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: staehpj1 on September 14, 2021, 04:58:20 pm
Why 2023? I fear it will detract from any event on the 50th anniversary of Bikecentennial and 150th anniversary of the signing of the declaration of independence.

If we're talking about the US Declaration of Independence, that was signed in 1776. The 250th Anniversary of that (Semiquincentennial) would be 2026, not 2023.

But maybe you're referring to a different Declaration of Independence?
No it was a typo when I typed 150th, I meant to type 250th and I am talking about the Semiquincentennial in 2026.  I figure that these things are a once in a generation event.  A Big American Ride on the scale of Bikecentennial in 2023 seems like jumping the gun on what shoud be a huge event in 2026 and stealing their thunder.  It seems like very unfortunate timing to me.  Maybe I am wrong, but Bikecentennial is still a huge deal to me all these years later even though I missed it.  I didn't ride the route until decades later, but still I romanticise the idea of the 1976 ride that I missed. Honoring both that ride and the Semiquincentennial in 2026 seems like a slam dunk.

Maybe there is room for both and they are far enough apart.  Maybe there won't be a 2026 ride.  Maybe both will fail.  I'd rather see the energy go into a 2026 reprise of Bikecentennial.
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: adventurepdx on September 14, 2021, 05:24:11 pm

No it was a typo when I typed 150th, I meant to type 250th and I am talking about the Semiquincentennial in 2026.  I figure that these things are a once in a generation event.  A Big American Ride on the scale of Bikecentennial in 2023 seems like jumping the gun on what shoud be a huge event in 2026 and stealing their thunder.  It seems like very unfortunate timing to me.  Maybe I am wrong, but Bikecentennial is still a huge deal to me all these years later even though I missed it.  I didn't ride the route until decades later, but still I romanticise the idea of the 1976 ride that I missed. Honoring both that ride and the Semiquincentennial in 2026 seems like a slam dunk.

Maybe there is room for both and they are far enough apart.  Maybe there won't be a 2026 ride.  Maybe both will fail.  I'd rather see the energy go into a 2026 reprise of Bikecentennial.

I feel that the '76 Bikecentennial Ride was indeed a once-in-a-generation thing. But that was also a different era, when the whole idea of "cross country bike tour" felt fresh and new. It's not so fresh and new anymore. More people are doing it, and I think there is room for a big event like this to happen every few years. Or would you rather keep it a "once in a generation" thing, then if you miss that event because you didn't hear about it, got into touring after it happened, had other things going on, etc. that you would have to wait another 10-20-25-50 years for it to happen again? I mean, it sounds like you were bummed that you missed it in '76. Wouldn't it have been nice to do something similar in '79 or '80?

I haven't been paying attention, but I haven't heard anything about what ACA is doing for the 50th Anniversary. I know that they had a big party for the 40th, I didn't go and am bummed that I missed that one. It sounded like a lot of work to pull off Bikecentennial, and after it the ACA heads decided to put their energies elsewhere and work on a route network that people could ride anytime. I'm very thankful that they chose that option vs. trying to put on another Bikecentennial scale event every 2-5-10 years or so. Maybe ACA just doesn't want to do Bikecentennial again?

I don't really know anything about the Big American Bike Ride, I just heard about it today via this thread. Checking out the website, the routing will be totally different than the TransAm, starting in Washington State and heading to DC. (They are based in Mount Vernon, WA.) I'm guessing that the route may use bits and pieces of the ACA network, like the Northern Tier. And I'll admit, I'm interested. My last cross-country tour was ten years ago, it'd be fun to do it again. Being part of something bigger would be a bonus.

I do love what ACA does, and they are trying to get the next generations (Millenials/Gen Z) interested. But they aren't always succesful. For example, beyond info sent by ACA I see little on the internet about their Bike Travel Weekend during the first weekend of June. However, I see scads and scads of posts on Instagram about Swift Industries Summer Solstice Campout that happens just a couple weeks later. At first I was a bit grumbly about it, as Swift was "stealing Adventure Cycling's thunder". But then I thought more about it: Swift is reaching a demographic (younger, more diverse, more into the idea of bikepacking vs. trad touring) that ACA still isn't reaching as much as they should/want to. And perhaps the Great American Bike Ride is doing something similar? And they are their own thing, so I don't think it's productive to tell them they should be putting their energy towards a hypothetical ACA event instead.

In any case, I'm interested to see what the BABR folks are up to. So I'll wait and see.
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: staehpj1 on September 14, 2021, 06:15:43 pm
People can and do ride across the country every year.  The theme of this ride is so similar to a Bikecentennial type thing as to detract IMO.  Missing Bikecentennial didn't stop me from riding across the country.  It provided me with a dream that took a while for me to finally get around to.  Bikecentennial and similar rides can be a once in a generational big deal AND still be an inspiration for folks to ride the route at other times.  People who didn't ride Bikecentennial were often inspired to ride the route in subsequent years Adventure cycling grew out of it.

I think what bothers me is that it seems to be a little too on target as copying the theme of Bikecentennial at a time when Semiquincentennial is right around the corner.  Otherwise I don't think I'd have a problem with it.
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: adventurepdx on September 14, 2021, 06:26:28 pm
People can and do ride across the country every year.  The theme of this ride is so similar to a Bikecentennial type thing as to detract IMO. 

But Bikecentennial happened only once, 45 years ago. That's quite some time ago. No Millennial or Gen Z was even born yet. Heck, I'm Gen X and it happened when I turned one. I'm sure there's many folks who have no clue as to what "Bikecentennial" is or was.

Has Adventure Cycling Association made any noises about celebrating the 50th anniversary with another Bikecentennial-type event?

And does ACA hold intellectual copyright of the idea of a Bikecentennial style bike ride? Does the BABR folks need to clear it by them, or wait until ACA decides whether they'll do a Bikecentennial style event, or not?

And even if Adventure Cycling decides to do Bikecentennial 2026, it's three years after the Big American Bike Ride. That's quite a bit of time.

Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: staehpj1 on September 14, 2021, 06:53:04 pm
Has Adventure Cycling Association made any noises about celebrating the 50th anniversary with another Bikecentennial-type event?
Not to my knowledge.  It would be a little early to be going public. 

Quote
And does ACA hold intellectual copyright of the idea of a Bikecentennial style bike ride? Does the GABR folks need to clear it by them, or wait until ACA decides whether they'll do a Bikecentennial style event, or not?
I doubt the own any rights to the idea.  For all we know the two have been talking.

Quote
And even if Adventure Cycling decides to do Bikecentennial 2026, it's three years after the Great American Bike Ride. That's quite a bit of time.
Maybe, but that isn't clear to me that it won't have a big impact.

Then there is the covid situation.  It isn't entirely clear how that will be in 2023.  It seems likely we may be turning a corner and it may be a great time with more folks getting out.  Then again a new variant may make travel less than prudent or folks across the country less than welcoming.
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: adventurepdx on September 14, 2021, 07:00:28 pm
@staehpj1, I don't think that having a BABR in '23 would reduce the impact of another Bikecentennial in '26. I think there's enough space and time for both of them to co-exist.

And yeah, it's possible that Adventure Cycling and the Big American Bike Ride are talking with each other. Perhaps ACA is relieved that someone else wants to do it. When Bikecentennial happened, the organization was all about the one big ride. Since then they have pivoted to a different organization. It would take a lot of energy for ACA to pull this off again. I doubt they could just have the regular staff work on another Bikecentennial in their free time, they would have to hire staff just for the event. And they would have to have the extra funding, too, or they'd have to pull money from other things and put it into something that may not make much, if any revenue.
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: staehpj1 on September 14, 2021, 07:11:18 pm
But Bikecentennial happened only once, 45 years ago. That's quite some time ago. No Millennial or Gen Z was even born yet. Heck, I'm Gen X and it happened when I turned one. I'm sure there's many folks who have no clue as to what "Bikecentennial" is or was.
I think the connection to the Semiquincentennial is important.  Maybe Millennials and Gen Zs won't care about that.  I quess in the grand scheme of things cycling is booming and touring will likely follow and that is probably what really matters regardless of either of these potential events success or failure.

Personally I'd like to ride a Semiquincentennial cross country ride on the Bikecentennial route.  I'll be 75 then so it may not be a slam dunk that my health holds up for it, but I am doing okay so far.
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: staehpj1 on September 14, 2021, 07:14:56 pm
@staehpj1, I don't think that having a GABR in '23 would reduce the impact of another Bikecentennial in '26. I think there's enough space and time for both of them to co-exist.

And yeah, it's possible that Adventure Cycling and the Great American Bike Ride are talking with each other. Perhaps ACA is relieved that someone else wants to do it. When Bikecentennial happened, the organization was all about the one big ride. Since then they have pivoted to a different organization. It would take a lot of energy for ACA to pull this off again. I doubt they could just have the regular staff work on another Bikecentennial in their free time, they would have to hire staff just for the event. And they would have to have the extra funding, too, or they'd have to pull money from other things and put it into something that may not make much, if any revenue.
You could be right on all of that.  Maybe a series of events leading up to the 2026 events could include the 2023 one.  Iguess that could even be part of their plan for all we know.
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: jamawani on September 14, 2021, 08:39:00 pm
It seems odd that there are no additional links or references.
A couple of glossy photos - no maps, not even a general one.
Which sets off red flags in my mind.

You don't have to be as big as REI or Trek -
but I think you need to identify who you are.
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: adventurepdx on September 14, 2021, 08:49:40 pm
It seems odd that there are no additional links or references.
A couple of glossy photos - no maps, not even a general one.
Which sets off red flags in my mind.

You don't have to be as big as REI or Trek -
but I think you need to identify who you are.

It just seems to me that it's a person or three that has a big idea, but not much else.
You can always write to them in Mount Vernon for their credentials.
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: jamawani on September 14, 2021, 09:13:45 pm
I would guess that it is a project developed by Jeff Arnim of CycleBlaze.
The webpage style is very much like CycleBlaze.

He has discussed something similar in the past.
Especially a Washington state to Washington, DC routing.
He has a great deal of touring experience.
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: John Nettles on September 14, 2021, 09:22:40 pm
Jama/John,
When they first came out, I wrote them and the response I got IIRC was basically it was a handful of like-minded people wanting to promote bike touring.  Eventually, they would be looking for volunteers to help.  I took that to mean something like if you, me, and a few others from here decided we wanted to do it.  I would love to help coordinate something like that (my background is putting together mega-sized medical meetings for 25k-30k people) but I have very little web skills. 

I think the website has actually improved.  It originally did not have as many pics I think.  But again, I think it was a year + ago so who knows.

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: staehpj1 on September 15, 2021, 06:41:43 am
It seems odd that there are no additional links or references.
A couple of glossy photos - no maps, not even a general one.
Which sets off red flags in my mind.
A vague teaser to start with could be a marketing strategy, but 2023 isn't all that far off there ought to be a bit more specific info by now.

Quote
You don't have to be as big as REI or Trek -
but I think you need to identify who you are.
Yeah, most likely just a few guys hoping to organically gain a following.  They likely saw the potential for lightning to strike again with something like Bikecentennial and thought they could jump the gun on the sesquicentennial and steal the thunder from that potential generational event.  Maybe not, but that is why the whole thing rubs me the wrong way.

It could damage any chance of a success of a great sesquicentennial event either by succeding or by failing.  I could be wrong, it could help build up to one.  I doubt it though.

On the other hand maybe this is supposed to be a nice little event on a smaller scale than we are trying to paint it. 
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: BikePacker on September 15, 2021, 08:46:26 am
Let freedom ring....
for me, one of motivational elements of biking is
the freedom to ride when, where and how i want.
Let biking be biking for cryin' out loud
when, where & how any & all want.
Nobody is stopping anyone from riding both.
Not to mention that both will promote biking
more than just one ride, even if one or the other doesn't materialize.
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: canalligators on September 15, 2021, 11:45:23 pm
I'm hearing a lot of guesses and speculation here.  I plan to ignore all of it.

Nobody is stealing AC's thunder, they don't have exclusive license for bike touring.  Maybe the other organization wants to create a big shebang rather than just providing resources for individuals and groups.  Good for them.
Title: Re: The Big American Bike Ride
Post by: staehpj1 on September 16, 2021, 06:50:27 am
I'm hearing a lot of guesses and speculation here.  I plan to ignore all of it.

Nobody is stealing AC's thunder, they don't have exclusive license for bike touring.  Maybe the other organization wants to create a big shebang rather than just providing resources for individuals and groups.  Good for them.
Yep, for sure just guesses and speculation from me.  It seems like for a 2023 ride of any large scale we ought to have more info, but time will tell what the dael is with that one.  Maybe they don't intend this to be some huge organized deal  For 2026 we don't even know if anything is planned at all.  So yeah pure speculation.

My reason for being dissappointed with possible infringement on a Semiquincentennial reprise of Bikecentennial isn't that I want ACA to do it.  It is that I'd like to see a similar even tied to the Semiquincentennial with a similar impact done by someone.  To me Bikecentennial was a lot more than just another ride.  My concern is that trying to make something like it happen in 2023 will make chances of a 2026 event's sucess less likely.  I'd have been excited if I had heard that BABR was happening in 2026 as a Semiquincentennial event and if it was being run by someone with the resources to make it happen (or the drive to recruit folks who do have the resources).  I don't care if it isn't the ACA if someone does it and does a good job.

That said, the ACA has the history and experience that gives them an advantage and would seem to make them the most likely to do this sucessfully.