In 2002, the first year we ran our Mayors' Ride, a true giant stepped forward to give his future to the National Bicycle Greenway. Andrew Heckman, who you can read about here, nearly lost his life for the exact thing we are trying to promote - an interconnected network of bikeable roads and paths that will make it possible for all those traveling short distances and long to safely co-exist.
It was Andrew, for example, who I thought about when I rode for 14 hours across the Great Salt Basin as per this post.
Indeed Andrew, you did not give your now compromised body for nothing. The National Bicycle Greenway will one day become real. And know that it was your example that greatly inspired it!!