Bikepacking Roots Announces Community Roots and Regional Stewardship Programs

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PRESCOTT, Arizona (June 22, 2023) — Bikepacking Roots has created the Community Routes Project (CRoP) to showcase outstanding routes created and stewarded by bikepackers specifically for the enjoyment of the broader bikepacking community. “These aren’t routes that the steward linked together and rode once, but rather they’re routes that have been developed, refined, and vetted with the goal of creating the most exceptional and rewarding experience possible for others,” says Kurt Refsnider, Bikepacking Roots Co-founder and Routes Director. CRoP route stewards update the routes and resources regularly, and many stewards live near their route(s) and are champions for bikepacking in their communities.

BPR Community Routes Project map. Image courtesy Bikepacking Roots

We have created this project in response to consistent requests from our community to create off-pavement routes that will allow folks to fit bikepacking into their normal lifestyles, whatever that may look like. This means shorter routes and more geographic diversity of routes around the country. We recognize with this first release of routes, we are far from achieving these goals, but through our submission process and connecting with route creators, stewards and non-profit organizations around the county we plan to strive toward this vision. We look forward to building a collection of shorter routes, routes from regions with fewer bikepacking opportunities, beginner-friendly routes, routes accessible via public transportation, and loops rather than more logistically complicated point-to-point routes.

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Kurt Refsnider, courtesy BPR

“As the first leader of Bikepacking Roots from the East Coast, I am particularly excited to connect with Route Stewards and showcase more routes on the East Coast as well as other regions of the country that Bikepacking Roots has not explored before,” says Noelle Battle, Executive Director of Bikepacking Roots who joined the organization in March.

As part of the initial launch of the Community Routes Program, we are showcasing 16 routes compiled for this project from 8 amazing route creators and stewards. We plan to launch more routes in upcoming months and will be opening up the process for route submissions in September 2023!

Capes of the Canyon – Photo by Forrest Radarian, courtesy BPR

You may recognize a few of the routes we are showcasing as part of this Community Routes Project. Our route submission is open for submission of existing routes that may have been stewarded for years and showcased on the route creator’s or another website, as well as for new routes that are developed for the purposes of this project as long as they meet all of the vetting criteria. As a national organization, we hope that Bikepacking Roots can serve as a collective repository to highlight these individual steward’s hard work and to help new folks discover great resources for routes around the country that they may not otherwise come across. CRoP routes will not become “Bikepacking Roots Routes” – our goal is to facilitate information sharing and to support both route creators and the broader bikepacking community.

Each route will have a dedicated route page on the Ride page of our website, and all CRoP routes will be included on our Interactive Routes Map. If there’s a pre-existing website for the route, we’ll send folks there for more information.

TransVirginia – Photo by David Landis, courtesy BPR

Routes showcased through our Community Routes project are typically created by individual stewards (or a group of individuals). However, we also know that there are many other non-profit organizations stewarding the creation of bikepacking routes around the country as well. We would love to showcase and spread the word about high-quality, publicly available routes that have been created, vetted and arestewarded by other organizations as well. Some of the routes from Organizations we love are included in the‘Routes from Other Organizations’ tab of our Ride page.

Visit our website to see the first 16 Community Routes and to learn more about the Community Routes Project.

PRESCOTT, Arizona (July 12, 2023) — As a national nonprofit organization, Bikepacking Roots has known since our founding that achieving our mission would rely on support from a passionate group of bikepackers around the country. To worktoward this goal, we have been engaging with a group of Regional Advisors since the start of the organization. However, our very small organization has been limited in our ability to engage these folks to the extent we have been envisioning. But with renewed commitment to this work in 2023, we are excited to announce our Bikepacking Roots Regional Stewards Program!

Regional Stewards Program. Image courtesy Bikepacking Roots.

We have structured our overall mission around 3 key themes: Ride, Connect and Protect.

  • Ride: we create and maintain high-quality routes to connect people with extraordinary
  • Connect: we are growing the bikepacking community by welcoming, engaging, and connecting people of all identities and backgrounds while lowering the barriers to
  • Protect: we advocate for access to and protection of public We foster positive relationships withland managers, private landowners, and the communities through which we ride.
BPR Cabezon Campout – Photo by Kurt Refsnider, courtesy BPR

Through the Bikepacking Roots Regional Stewards Program, we are striving to expand our reach and achievethese three visions through programming that reaches folks all across the United States. Regional Stewards willserve as trusted leaders, sources of information, and community builders in their regions.

  • Route Stewards are folks who have developed, refined, and committed to continually stewarding one ormore of the exceptional routes highlighted as a part of the Community Routes Project. These stewards typically live near their route(s) and are champions for bikepacking in their communities.
  • Community Stewards are folks who are passionate about building community around bikepacking and welcoming new folks into the activity through hosting events and organizing overnight bikepacking trips. A flagship element of our Community Stewards program will be our Community Campouts. As we have hosted bikepacking events around the country in recent years, we have been encouraged by the huge demand for more regular opportunities for folks to tap into a local or regional bikepacking We are excited to have local community leaders partner with us in these efforts going forward.
  • Advocacy Stewards will be local advocates for bikepacking to policy makers, land managers, Theywill serve as our eyes and ears on the ground and bring key local and regional advocacy issues to the attention of Bikepacking Roots.
Tucson Nov 22, Photo by Kurt Refsnider, courtesy BPR

Interested folks may end up engaging with Bikepacking Roots in one of these capacities or all three, depending on their interests and skill sets. More information here on each type of Regional Steward and the benefits in joining this amazing group of folks from around the country can be found here.

Through this program, we are striving to build a diverse bikepacking community all across the United States. We are very much interested in including representation of people of color, all gender identities, sexual orientations andabilities. We will also be selecting Regional Stewards with an interest in achieving diverse geographic representation of folks around the country.

We are currently accepting applications for Community Stewards through September 8th!

We will primarily be bringing on new Route Stewards through our Community Routes Project. More information on that project can be found here. We anticipate opening applications for Advocacy Stewards at the end of the year or in early 2024.

 

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