Bikepacking Collective Routes Fund and Network

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Introducing the Bikepacking Collective Routes Fund, a member-funded initiative to develop high-quality, signature bikepacking routes. Each year, we’ll select a handful of routes to fund, establish, support, and add into our network. Read on for details…

Since 2014, we’ve been at the forefront of creating, establishing, maintaining, and sharing bikepacking routes all throughout the world. To kick off a new phase of this effort, we’re excited to unveil the latest collaborative incentive for our Bikepacking Collective members.

The Bikepacking Collective Route Fund will operate with a mission to seed, refine, and support exceptional bikepacking routes. We’ve already secured several routes for 2020-2021 and are working with route creators and documentarians to finalize these routes and create guides which will ultimately be published exclusively within the Bikepacking Collective route network. Here’s more about this new initiative in an FAQ:

What are Bikepacking Collective Routes?

The Bikepacking Collective Route Network is our established collection of original and exceptional bikepacking routes designed by our team of experienced Route Architects or skilled contributors from the community. Routes established by the fund are top-tier, high-quality bikepacking routes that need additional support to be fully realized. These routes will be incubated through the fund before ultimately being published within our Bikepacking Collective Routes Network. Collective Routes will be secured in the concept or scouting stage based on their potential to become “bucket list” routes within our global route network. Each Bikepacking Collective Route will be partially funded by the Bikepacking Collective, our growing community of members around the globe.

As an example, one route we’ve designated as a Bikepacking Collective Route for 2020-2021 is the Eastern Divide Trail, a 4,700-mile route spanning the eastern US, from Newfoundland to Florida. Our team has been instrumental in the initial scouting and planning of the route, and we’re committing funding dollars and energy directly toward finalizing and documenting each segment to a high and exacting standard. Another is the Ruta Chingaza, a weeklong conservation-oriented loop in Colombia’s high paramos. Stay tuned as we announce more exciting new routes throughout the year.

Who creates Bikepacking Collective Routes?

Bikepacking Collective Routes are created by talented, experienced individuals or teams from around the worldwide bikepacking community. Route creators/teams will benefit from our collaboration and capacity, and receive funding for scouting, writing, photography, planning, and other such advocacy, community efforts, and documentation required for route success.

How are Bikepacking Collective Routes funded?

This project is largely made possible by our members. We’re pledging 5%* of annual Bikepacking Collective membership dues toward funding new Bikepacking Collective Routes. This dollar amount will be bolstered by additional design, marketing, creative, and platform support from BIKEPACKING.com, as well as additional corporate sponsorships that we procure for each route. Our aim is to align pertinent routes with brands that will be featured on route guides and associated videos or documentation. Further, we’ll work with Bikepacking Collective Route creators to design custom graphics, maps, and other informational materials.

*This number may change based on membership numbers. We hope to increase the percentage over time.

How much funding will each Bikepacking Collective Route receive? How many will be funded?

Our goal is to support up to five Bikepacking Collective Routes every year. Each route will receive a percentage of the Bikepacking Collective Routes Fund that will be determined based on the project scope and needs. And, if applicable, we’ll organize additional funding from brand partners.

Collective Routes are expected to receive a sizeable amount of seed money to go toward the development and documentation process, as well as a substantial investment of time and resources for additional design, marketing, and network support. We’re committed to helping properly fund these routes—we know how time consuming the route development and creation process is.

Bikepacking Collective Routes Access Fund

In recognition of the immense value that diverse perspectives add to BIKEPACKING.com, we’re allocating a portion of the Bikepacking Collective Route Fund specifically for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals with an interest in riding or developing Bikepacking Collective Routes.

Given the unique obstacles these groups face due to generations of systemic racism and inequitable access to the outdoors, we’re committed to highlighting BIPOC voices through inclusivity in route creation, storytelling, and knowledge sharing on the site. Stay tuned for complete details on two new funding opportunities for BIPOC riders in the coming weeks…

How can you support these initiatives?

The best way to support these efforts is to become a member of the Bikepacking Collective.

What makes a Bikepacking Collective Route?

We will evaluate potential Bikepacking Collective Routes based on several factors:

  • Theme or concept. It goes without saying that Bikepacking Collective Routes should be exceptional, and we place a priority on routes that emphasize conservation and environmental stewardship, humanitarian storytelling, and advocacy of lands or communities;
  • Location (while we are accepting route concepts from anywhere, we will prioritize locations based on feedback gathered from our bikepacking community survey);
  • Logistical perfection (ideal start/end points, resupply, camping locations, etc);
  • Length (while we’re most interested in bikepacking routes that are 7-10 days in length, we envision many Collective Routes to be longer, regional routes—e.g. across states, provinces, or regions);
  • Comprehensiveness of development/documentation plan.
  • Rider feedback. All routes in the Bikepacking Collective Routes network should meet a high standard for ride quality and have feedback to support it.

Interested in learning more?

If you have a bikepacking route that you think is exceptional and meets all the criteria above, please fill out the form below. We’ll carefully review every submission, but we ask that only serious applicants submit proposals to us. Routes should be largely original, well structured, and highly compelling.

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