FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Katie Test, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
CELEBRATE BIKE-TO-WORK DAY THE RAIL-TRAIL WAY:
Rail-trails offer an easy alternative to the road-wary bicyclist on Bike- to-Work Day
WASHINGTON, D.C.—As everyone from the seasoned bicyclist to the cycling novice prepares for Bike-to-Work Day (May 16), Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is reminding cyclists everywhere of an alternative way to commute: the rail-trail.
Rail-trails—trails converted from unused railroad lines—span the country, connecting the nation in the same way the railroads once did. With more than 15,000 miles of rail-trail in America creating pathway links in metropolitan areas, small towns and everywhere in between, commuters turn to the trails as a way to get to work.
"Rail-trails are a fantastic off-road alternative to street cycling," says Rails-to-Trails Conservancy President Keith Laughlin. "Rail-trails offer fun, scenic and safe ways to commute to work, and create community connections for the cities they serve."
People new to bicycle commuting, as well as seasoned pros, will find rail-trails hospitable. Many rail-trails are paved or evenly surfaced, with gentle curves and sloping rail-grade inclines of 3 percent or less. Popular commuting trails like the Burke-Gilman Trail in Seattle or the Capital Crescent in Washington, D.C., see upwards of 2,000 users in a day. A commute by bike on the Capital Crescent to and from the same location can often take less time than a commute by car.
"I've been commuting to my office downtown by bike since 1971, most recently on the Capital Crescent trail," says John Ellicott, a bicycle commuter and Rails-to-Trails Conservancy member. "It is one of Washington's best kept secrets, though more are discovering it every year. It's great from every standpoint—no fumes or traffic, no parking fees and complete control of my schedule."
To locate a rail-trail in your area, visit Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's TrailLink.com. Users can search by state, zip code or county to discover rail-trails in their area. Trail profiles feature descriptions, photos and user reviews. Register for free and access detailed trail maps when available. Nearly 550 rail-trails have been mapped and more are being added every day.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit organization with more than 100,000 members, is the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails, many from former rail lines and connecting corridors. Founded in 1986, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's national office is located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in California, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. For more information visit www.railstotrails.org.