Author Topic: The Big American Bike Ride  (Read 529 times)

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Offline j1of1

The Big American Bike Ride
« 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/

Offline John Nettles

Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« Reply #1 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.

Offline staehpj1

Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« Reply #2 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.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 04:35:58 pm by staehpj1 »

Offline John Nettles

Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« Reply #3 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.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« Reply #4 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?

Offline John Nettles

Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« Reply #5 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

Offline staehpj1

Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« Reply #6 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.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« Reply #7 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.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 08:56:12 pm by adventurepdx »

Offline staehpj1

Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« Reply #8 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.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« Reply #9 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.

« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 08:56:34 pm by adventurepdx »

Offline staehpj1

Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« Reply #10 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.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« Reply #11 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.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 08:56:50 pm by adventurepdx »

Offline staehpj1

Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« Reply #12 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.

Offline staehpj1

Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« Reply #13 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.

Offline jamawani

Re: The Big American Bike Ride
« Reply #14 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.