Adventure Cycling is helping communities, states and regions across the country become part of a growing national and official bike route network, called the U.S. Bicycle Route System. These routes are bringing much needed revenue and social and health connections to small and midsized towns. Towns and businesses are benefiting by accommodating these intrepid travelers and land managers are playing an important role in servicing cyclist’s needs. Simple but special amenities create destinations for this sector of the active tourism market. Traveling cyclists stay longer in a region and spend up to 40% more than other types of travelers. Hear the stories and learn the basics of what it takes to be part of the USBRS and how to attract and host adventure cyclists during their journeys. This session will include a case study from Cameron County and their ongoing implementation of “The Lower Rio Grande Valley Active Plan.”
Virginia “Ginny” Sullivan is the Director of Travel Initiatives at Adventure Cycling Association, North America’s only organization dedicated to bicycle tourism and travel. Programs under Ginny’s direction include: working with state and local partners to officially designate interstate bicycle routes into the U.S. Bicycle Route System, currently at almost 12,000-miles; co-leading the Amtrak Bicycle Task Force, with a goal of seeing carry- on bicycle service available on all Amtrak lines; education and outreach to state and national public land managers on bicycle tourism amenities and accommodations; and advocacy efforts that protect and improve Adventure Cycling’s 46,846-miles of mapped and documented bicycle routes across North America. Ginny’s work is partner focused and her efforts are driven by the Adventure Cycling mission to inspire and empower people to travel by bicycle.
Rose M.Z. Gowen, M.D. was elected to the Brownsville City Commission in 2009, and re-elected in 2013 and 2017. As a commissioner, Dr. Gowen focuses on smart growth, quality of life projects and health-related issues such raising awareness of the region’s high levels of obesity and related chronic disease.