5 cyclists ride 300 miles to advocate for bike trail

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Sep 22, 2015 4:09 AM

(York) -- Cyclists who want to go for a long ride already can take advantage of a trail that runs from York to Baltimore. But a group wants to create a loop that would stretch from York, down to Washington, D.C., out to Frederick, Maryland, and back up through Gettysburg.

They're calling it the Grand History Trail, and in total, it would run about 300 miles.

A group of five bikers rode the entire length over a week recently, and recently arrived in York.

Parts of the trail are still being planned.

That includes a stretch from York to Hanover, and one from Gettysburg to Emmittsburg, Maryland.

Don Gogniat has been the support team for the bike riders for the past week.

He says the expanded trail will bring more spending and health benefits.

"These are interesting places with lots of history, and so over a year's time, this'll bring in a good deal of economic activity," says Gogniat.

But he says it'll also add something that can't be quantified.

"More people say hello to each other on a rail trail than any other place in the United States. It is friendly, it's multigenerational, it's multiethnic, it's multiracial. It is a place where people enjoy themselves," he adds.

Gogniat says along the ride, cyclists have met with lawmakers, including Maryland's speaker of the House and senate majority leader.

He says hospitals along the route all support linking all the existing trails into one 300 mile loop.

In the midstate, a York to Hanover link is nearly complete, while two other segments still need to be planned.

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