Al's Place Cycling Hostel in the TransAmerica Trail in Farmington MO | Adventure Cycling Association

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Farmington is a small Missouri community with a population of about 17,000 and seems an unlikely bicycle travel destination. Perhaps it was the TransAm and cross-country cyclists coming through the town, or for some it may have started with the doctor's orders, but bicycle travel and cycling seems to have ignited a spark in many local resident's lives and created a community spirit of hospitality and dedication to making Farmington a better place to bike and visit by bike. So when I made a call to Virginia Blaine last spring about organizing a dedication celebration of the newly designated and signed U.S. Bicycle Route 76, she and the cycling community jumped on board. A few weeks later I called again to follow up, and was surprised to find that they had pretty much already figured everything out — they were going to make USBR 76 T-shirts, a celebration cake and lunch, a ride and ribbon-cutting, speakers, tours of Al's Place, the city staff was already involved, and, with her usual sense of humor, Virginia stated that "Farmington's celebration is going to be better than Springfield's." Springfield's Ozark Greenways was planning a similar celebration on the same day, and I thought a little friendly competition couldn't hurt.