Nearing the end of a 1,000-mile trek that began in Boston on July 4, nine cyclists, promoting an effort to get people out of polluting automobiles and onto bicycles, rested in Baltimore last night.
They arrived here about 1 p.m. and spent the rest of the afternoon touring the Inner Harbor. The cyclists were to leave the Baltimore Youth Hostel on Mulberry Street today and head for Annapolis. Their trek is to end Thursday in Washington.
The cyclists represent the New York-based East Coast Greenway Alliance. They have been pedaling along deserted railroad tracks, park trails, riverfront bike paths and back roads on their way south.
A greenway, according to the alliance, is any open space with trees and grass. The alliance hopes that one day, greenways will become a network of pedestrian-bicycle paths stretching along the East Coast from Maine to Florida.
Taking the roads less traveled, one cyclist said, can make all the difference.
"Greenways are non-polluting and non-gas consumptive transportation alternatives," explained Anne Lusk, 44, of Stowe, Vt. She writes and lectures about the importance of greenways and has done extensive research on the issue.
"Everyone in America should have close access to a greenway system for biking, walking, jogging or roller skating," Mrs. Lusk said.
Mrs. Lusk said that in cities, greenways can be no more than a few trees accenting a city block. They could even be used as a "safe-walk" for children, helping them to avoid the dangers of the streets, she said.
The cyclists include a retired police officer, a math teacher, environmentalists, a civil engineer and high school students. They were organized based on their backgrounds to ensure that the group is prepared for any experience they might encounter.
Private businesses provided the helmets, bikes and other equipment used by the cyclists. Volunteers in the cities they visited provided shelter at nights. The group, which bikes up to 50 miles a day, is followed by a van carrying their luggage, sleeping bags and other equipment.