“You can ride your bike from Florida to Maine.”
It may sound like a euphemism your grandpa would use for “I don’t give a damn,” but it may soon be a very true and literal statement.
Thanks to the efforts of the East Coast Greenway Alliance, there’s headway on a proposed bike path that would stretch along the entire East Coast of the States, linking 25 major cities from Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida. So far, 850 miles have been designated for the route, with another 200 expected to be added by 2020. The goal is to be at 95% off-road trails by 2030.
For the ECGA, who’ve been working on this project since 1991, it’s not really a question of whether this massive undertaking will come to fruition, it’s just a matter of when: their approach enlists locals to get involved with city governments to standardize the path, and by and large there have been no roadblocks.
So why so slow going? It’s just part of the process of massive trail-building projects. According to their research, the Appalachian Trail is only recently fully off-road after 80 years of planning and due diligence.
And while the great American road trip has always been a vision that involved a car, the pleasures of traveling by bicycle are many.
Consider: Less noise from traffic. Less traffic in general. No windshield cutting off the big blue sky. A meandering pace that gives you time to take in your surroundings. No stopping for gas. The relative environmental advantages. Good old-fashioned exercise.