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Newport News cycles through the pandemic with German sister city

The Sister Cities program usually brings travel amongst communities, but with COVID restrictions, local cities are finding other ways to connect

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — "Greifswald has the climate action challenge that they participate in, and they challenged Newport News to participate."

Beverly McLean is the Secretary of the Tidewater Trails Alliance. She's hoping those trails may soon see an attendance uptick thanks to Greifswald, Germany. The European city has long embraced cycling as a climate conscious means of transportation and body conscious means of body maintenance. It's one of the things they've shared with Newport News since the two became Sister Cities. 

The main component of the Sister Cities program is travel between the international counterpoints, but when COVID19 shut down travel between nations the two had to find another way to connect. Greifswald has long had a cycling culture, championing both the climate impacts and fitness benefits. Last year they challenged Newport News to join them, and attempt to beat them, in their cycling journey.

The competition was such a success, that they're running it back in 2022. Three weeks starting May 1st, with participants in each city logging their kilometers, the country that amasses the most kilometers wins the competition. 

Newport News residents can sign up online, using an app to track their progress.