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Pennsylvania Governor Ridge to Lead Pennsylvania's Keystone Ride 2001; Annual Bike Ride to `Peddle' Travel and Tourism Through PA's Northern Tier.

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 10 /PRNewswire/ --

Pa. Gov. Tom Ridge will kick off the seventh annual Keystone Ride -- a two-day bicycle trip to promote travel, tourism and safe bicycling in Pennsylvania -- on Monday, Sept. 24.

Keystone Ride 2001 begins in Bradford, McKean County, and continues through the forests and rural areas of Pennsylvania's Northern Tier, ending at Wellsboro, Tioga County, on Tuesday, Sept. 25.

"Once again, our successful Keystone Ride will spin through this great Commonwealth, showing residents and visitors Pennsylvania's unmatched natural beauty, thriving businesses and hometown pride," Gov. Ridge said. "This year's trip will take a spectacular journey through the great hardwood forests and scenic rural areas of our northernmost counties."

Gov. Ridge has traveled throughout the state in the six previous Keystone Rides, each time touting the Commonwealth's rich cultural, historic and natural resources.

Travel and tourism is Pennsylvania's second-leading industry, and Pennsylvania's travel and tourism performance has improved steadily since early 1995. Gov. Ridge noted national studies that show Pennsylvania is the fifth-most-popular state among U.S. travelers following California, Texas and Florida, and New York.

"Our rural areas support Pennsylvania, not only with farming, timber, and manufacturing, but also with historic, cultural and natural resources visited by millions of tourists each year," Gov. Ridge said.

Keystone Ride 2001 will consist of various scheduled stops at tourist and historic attractions along the route.

Under the leadership of Gov. Ridge, Pennsylvania has expanded its efforts to promote safe bicycling opportunities across the state. Cyclists can now hit trails and road routes in nearly every corner of Pennsylvania for a long- distance trek or a leisurely afternoon ride.

Pennsylvania has converted more former railways into biking trails than any other state -- 113 open rail-trails covering more than 1,000 scenic miles.

Additionally under the Ridge Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has designated seven bicycle-touring routes, and has created a Bicycling Directory of Pennsylvania and a Bicycle Driver's Manual to promote safe, enjoyable riding.

For more information, or to register for the Keystone Ride, bicycle riders should contact the Governor's Office at (717) 787-2500, e-mail keyride@state.pa.us, or online through the Keystone Ride website on the PA PowerPort, www.state.pa.us, or directly at keystoneride.com.

CONTACT: Kevin Shivers, Deputy Press Secretary of the Pennsylvania Office of the Governor, 717-783-1116.

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Date:Jul 10, 2001
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