Get Dirty: PeopleForBikes Encourages Dirt Road Cycling

PeopleForBikes encourages avid cyclists and new riders alike to give dirt road cycling a try.

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Photo by willholmes

Photo by willholmes

The average American commuter will spend 38 hours of every year stuck in traffic. Congestion, smog, noise pollution, and air pollution are such common features of urban life that we have come to simply accept them as inescapable, necessary evils in the daily routine. As the US population grows (by 2.2 million people a year at the time of this writing), we can only expect the clatter to increase.

While steadily increasing bike ridership across the US is an encouraging potential solution to combat massive congestion, it does little to reduce stress for the individuals who make up the cycling masses. You’re still waiting at red lights, you’re still navigating city traffic. And for those who are considering cycling but live in an area where bike infrastructure hasn’t caught up to the needs of residents, traffic is often a barrier that prevents people from getting on bikes.

Aiming to attract more people to cycling and also to introduce calm into daily riding, PeopleForBikes has launched the dirt campaign, encouraging riders of all stripes to “take your bike to dirt.” The campaign hopes to inspire all kinds of riders – roadies, mountain bikers, city cruisers, families – to give dirt road biking a try. For those who are new to cycling, a quiet dirt road may be the perfect place to build confidence on a bike. For seasoned riders, it’s a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of busy urban routes and enjoy the simple experience of riding.

“Our nation is adding more than two million people every year,” said Tim Blumenthal, president of PeopleForBikes. “In many places, this means more traffic, more stoplights and a more crowded, less appealing road riding experience. While building new bike infrastructure is one part of the solution to better bicycling, we can also help by steering riders towards quieter, low-traffic routes.”

According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, one-third of all the roads in the U.S. are still unpaved. That’s over 1.4 million miles of traffic-calmed roadways perfect for stress-free cycling.

People for Bikes is actively encouraging Americans to take advantage of these dirt roads by providing resources, tips, and guides for finding and riding on dirt. They offer resources in four categories on where to start, safety, gear tips, and general advice, as well as information on how to find dirt roads, rail trails, or even urban dirt all across the US:

Although dirt road cycling is possible on any type of bike, there are a few companies building bikes which are specifically optimized to be as comfortable and low-maintenance as possible on dirt roads. As part of the campaign, riders can enter to win one of two bikes: an All-City Macho King bike complete with a SRAM Rival 1x drivetrain and Mavic Ksyrium Allroad wheels and tires, or a GT Grade Alloy Sora complete bike.

Explore the entire dirt campaign at peopleforbikes.org/dirt and find a dirt road near you.

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