To understand American history, Jon Lauck says you have to understand the Midwest's role in some critical events.
Did you know that you can ride your bike from Pittsburgh, Penn., to Washington, D.C., without sharing a road with cars? That’s 335 miles, car-free.
You can also follow Lewis and Clark’s voyage on two wheels. You can even mountain bike from the Rockies in Canada following the Great Divide to the Mexican border.
Those routes and others are being mapped by the Adventure Cycling Association, a nonprofit that promotes bicycling by mapping out safe, scenic routes along converted railroads, towpaths and lightly trafficked roads.
They have also mapped the Underground Railroad path from Mobile, Ala., to Ontario, Canada.
Adventure Cycling Association’s Jim Sayer says they mapped that route in partnership with the Center for Minority Health, a group that promotes exercise among African-Americans.
“There was a big desire to get more African-Americans interested in cycling and I think it’s really had that effect,” he said.
Sayer also says that for long distance riders, amenities like accommodations and restaurants are not far from the trail, and in fact, bike trails can generate economic activity for a community.