This pilot project was created and will be developed by Penn Trails LLC and is financed in part by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and administered by the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau (CVVB). Through the South Mountain Partnership, Penn Trails LLC made a connection with the Pennsylvania Tourism Office / Cultural and Heritage Tourism department. This led to the idea to link the area's outdoors assets to the upcoming celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with the development of up to eight guided "back road" bicycle routes through Cumberland, Adams, Dauphin, Franklin and York counties.
The bike tour schedule will run over the course of six weekends, beginning Saturday May 28th (Memorial Day Weekend) through Monday, July 4th. "The routes will be designed for people who like road bike touring with opportunities to enjoy history, culture, lodging and dining." said Penn Trails LLC Founder and President, Larry Knutson, "Each one of our specially designed tours will include unique exclusive opportunities to experience things you would not be able to on your own."
The tours will include three different options for attendees. One day bike tours will be approximately 20 miles with minimal to moderate grade changes. The second option will be for Civil War Trails Weekenders Bike Tours. These will be on Saturday and Sunday and will include 50 to 60 miles of biking over two days, with overnight lodging and more. These tours will be suitable for a serious beginner to intermediate road biking enthusiast. The third option will be an exclusive, limited registration Civil War Trails Sesquicentennial Bike Tour that will be Saturday to Monday. These exclusive tours will be 150 miles throughout the trip and suitable for more experienced road bicyclists. "These bike tours are a perfect way to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The historical and cultural stops combined with outdoor recreation is a great way to explore the Valley," said CVVB Director of Tourism, Shireen Farr.
"Our goal," Knutson explains, "is that once the tours have been developed through the pilot program; they will continue beyond the summer, thereby continuing to create small business opportunities for local businesses including bike supply and repair shops, lodging, dining and area attractions."
Through the development of this six-week pilot project, there will be numerous sponsorship and revenue opportunities. The immediate needs of the program include a bike retail business that can provide sales, rentals, parts and repairs, an auto dealer to provide one or two SAG Vans (supply and gear) to follow the bicyclists throughout the tour and lodging, dining and other businesses to provide one day and multi-day tour segments. If your business would be interested in discussing participating in this unique opportunity, contact Larry Knutson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-486-4455.
Details about registration and a Web site for the Civil War Road Bike Tours will be coming in the next couple of months.
The mission of the Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau is to promote Cumberland Valley as a tourist destination, attract visitors to the area, enhance the visitor's experience, and to encourage and promote overnight stays.
The Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau is also part of Pennsylvania's Dutch Country Roads region, the number one visited region in PA, a true vacation destination where country meets city and the past lives side-by-side with the present.