Hybrid.Pedal, a bike tour organized by The Conservation Alliance and KEEN, Inc., is raising awareness about conservation projects as is follows a route from Portland, OR to Salt Lake City. The tour will end in Salt Lake on Tuesday, August 7 with a celebration of Utah Wilderness at the downtown Gallivan Center.

The Hybrid.Pedal route connects the dots of places Conservation Alliance funding is working to protect, or has already saved. The Conservation Alliance grantees leading the effort to save these special wildlands are working with the riders to organize events as the tour passes through their communities.

“Hybrid.Pedal is a rolling celebration of the efforts to protect our wildlands and rivers for their habitat and recreational values,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. “The Alliance supports the most effective conservation organizations in North America, and each of these groups is fighting to save special places in their backyards.”

Alliance grantee Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance is planning a warm Salt Lake welcome for the tour with the “Utah Wilderness Day” celebration at the Gallivan Center. Utah Governor John Huntsman and Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson will be on hand to congratulate the riders. The welcome will be followed by a concert by musician Greg Brown. (For more information see www.suwa.org).

The tour kicked off in Portland on July 25 with a ride to the flanks of Mount Hood, where Oregon Wild, an Alliance grantee, is working to protect 125,000 acres of Wilderness. Coincidentally, just as the riders ended their first leg on the mountain, a US Senate committee voted unanimously to support Wilderness legislation for the areas.

Riders then rolled through Central Oregon where they partnered with Alliance working to protect The Badlands and Skyline Forest, two separate wildlands near Bend, OR. Before leaving Oregon, the group visited Steens Mountain, a desert gem whose protection was spearheaded by Alliance grantee Oregon Natural Desert Association in 2001.

Hybrid.Pedal will visit the North Fork Payette River and the Boulder-White Clouds Mountains in Idaho before heading south to Logan Canyon in Utah. The Payette was saved from a proposed dam in the early 1990s by an Alliance grantee that eventually became Idaho Rivers United. Idaho Conservation League is currently using Alliance support in its effort to protect the Boulder-White Clouds as Wilderness. Grantee Winter Wildlands Alliance has worked doggedly to establish a nonmotorized winter recreation area in Logan Canyon.

“The diversity of projects along the route is stunning, but the common thread is the deep passion local people hold for these special places,” said Sterling. “Hybrid.Pedal provides a link to that passion.”

KEEN, Inc. is producing a documentary film about the ride which will premiere at the Outdoor Retailer trade show on August 10. The riders are also producing a blog about the tour at http://hybridpedal.blogspot.com/.