Promotes a new interactive initiative encouraging Marylanders to enjoy the benefits of biking
KENT ISLAND, MD (June 18, 2011) –Governor O’Malley today, joined by Queen Anne’s County Commission President Steven J. Arentz, Bike Maryland Executive Director Carol Silldorff, members of Maryland’s cycling community, and others, officially kicked-off the “Cycle Maryland” initiative at the Chesapeake Exploration Center in Chester.
“I am pleased to announce a new interactive initiative to encourage Marylanders to enjoy cycling,” said Governor O’Malley. “By getting out and taking a bike ride, we can learn to enjoy more of Maryland’s natural treasures, help reduce the impact on the land, improve our fitness and well-being, and enhance our quality of life.”
Before biking along the Cross Island Trail, the Governor also announced a new interactive map that allows users to view the many bike trails and routes in Maryland and plan their cycling trips. Cyclists now have one central location to find places to bike using the various layers of the map, including the BLOC rating feature (Bike Level of Comfort) on state-owned roadways, points of interest, and information on the Maryland Trails Plan. Additionally, there will be an online survey of Maryland's biking community to improve upon the existing map to make it more user-friendly for cyclists.
“The selected events for ‘Cycle Maryland’ showcase Maryland’s cycling diversity,” says Margot Amelia, Executive Director of the Maryland Office of Tourism. “From family-friendly recreational rides on newly opened rail trails to highly competitive long-distance road races, these routes take visitors on an up-close and personal journey through some of the most scenic landscapes in Maryland.”
Bike Maryland Executive Director Carol Silldorff joined the Governor in supporting biking in Maryland.
“We promote bicycling because planning and public health research all indicate that the best places to bike are the best places to live,” said Silldorff. “We know that bike friendly places allow people of all ages, races and economic backgrounds to enjoy healthy recreational opportunities and to travel via bicycle to and from destinations in their communities.”
All Marylanders are encouraged to attend other “Cycle Maryland” events now through October 9, 2011. At today’s event, the Governor announced a contest sponsored by the Maryland Office of Tourism and the Maryland State Highway Administration that invites participants to post pictures of themselves at events on Facebook to be eligible for a $250 VISA gift card. Prize winners will be randomly drawn from all eligible entries. The winners will be notified on or about October 31.
“Cycle Maryland” also involves a social media campaign. Connect with us on Facebook and follow CycleMaryland on Twitter and use hashtag #CycleMD to join the conversation.