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Cycle Tourism the Road to Recovery: Ontario Cyclists Actively Making Plans to Travel This Summer

By PKED Comms
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Ontario By Bike logo with text

(Ontario, Canada) With travel likely to be limited through the summer there is a huge interest from Ontario residents keen to make plans that include their bicycles. Respectful of current travel restrictions, Ontario cyclists are wistfully making plans, ready to be activated once allowed to make summer travel plans.

Over 1,500 Ontario businesses certified as bicycle friendly by the province wide Ontario By Bike are ready to roll out a welcome to cyclists.

Just announced and showcased this year are the 13 award winning businesses who have all gone above and beyond, offering extra services and amenities to cyclists stopping at their locations, plus six best bike businesses. The awards are presented by Ontario By Bike, whose certification program has criteria that helps ensure cyclists are welcomed at businesses they choose to stop at whether it be as a cycle tourist, on a longer trip, or while biking closer to home. The Network is free for businesses to participate in and the information on each location plus cycling trails and road routes in each region is easily accessible online.

“As Ontario residents hope soon to be able to make travel plans for the summer, booking any thing closer to home is a far safer bet. With tourism being an extremely hard hit sector, we are pleased to celebrate all the tourism businesses a part of our bicycle friendly business network, and in the third year of our awards, acknowledge those that have taken it to the next level.” Stated Louisa Mursell, Executive Director of Ontario By Bike/Transportation Options.

The Covid inspired surge of interest in cycling and ensuing bike boom is not only a global phenomena but also being documented here in Ontario.

Since early 2021, Ontario By Bike has experienced a sharp increase in demand for its cycling related resources and rides.

  • Website traffic has hit new record levels with a 50% increase in 2021, compared to same period in previous year.
  • The popular annual Cycling in Ontario / Le vélo en Ontario guide distribution levels surpassed previous records for an entire year; in just two months since release 70% of 35,000 print copies are already in the hands of avid cyclists.
  • Early strong demand for Ontario By Bike Rides, small group weekend long tours to destinations in Ontario, translated into three out of four rides selling out within weeks of February announcement, and an extra fifth ride now added.

As predicted from the 2020 Fall survey, not only is 2021 the year of the ‘staycation’, it may well be the year of the ‘bikecation’!

  • 79% of cyclists anticipated making non-local regional travel plans that include cycling in 2021 when travel restrictions ease.
  • 86% of cyclists were considering participating in expanded cycling activities in 2021, beyond day trips only.

2021 Ontario By Bike Bicycle Friendly Business Award Winners:

Ontario’s Southwest
Best Business: HoriZen B&B  
Niagara Region
Best Business: HI-Niagara Falls Hostels Bike Business: County Cycle
Hamilton Halton Brant
Best Business:541 Eatery and Exchange Bike Business: Brantford Cyclepath
Huron, Perth, Waterloo & Wellington
Best Business: Four Fathers Brewing Co.
Greater Toronto AreaBike Business: Bike Share TorontoYork Durham Headwaters Best Business: The Second Wedge Brewing Co.  
Bruce Grey Simcoe
Best Business:Tucked Inn the Harbour B&B
Kawarthas Northumberland Best Business: The Pastry Peddler Bike Business: B!KE: The Peterborough Community Bike ShopSouth Eastern Ontario
Best Business: Ray’s Cottages & Campground Bike Businesses: Wheels in Motion
Ottawa & Countryside
Best Business:   Kichesippi Beer Company Bike Business: A La Carte Shuttle and Tours
Ontario’s Highlands
Best Business: Hugli’s Blueberry Ranch  Bike Business: Heritage Bikes  
Explorers’ Edge
Best Business: Thrive Foods Cafe & Marketplace Bike Business:The Bike Shop in Gravenhurst & Huntsville
Northern Ontario
Best Business: 1886 Lake House Bistro  
     *Geographic disbursement based on Ontario’s 13 tourism regions

Quotes From 2021 Award Winning Businesses:

“Being on more then one biking path / route, on any given weekend we see a large amount of cyclists coming through for short and long visits.” Mike Hruden, Four Fathers Brewing Co. in Cambridge.

“We provide bike parking at our front door as well as ample free parking for vehicles so rides can start and end at our unique destination in eastern Ontario. We have cyclists stop in that are cycling across Canada as well as families cycling from their homes in Pembroke to come out for an ice cream treat.” Brian & Judy Hugli, Hugli’s Blueberry Ranch in Pembroke.

“Located in a picturesque small town and on the Tour of Lake Nipissing route, with garden like patio and healthy choice local inspired cuisine, we welcome over 500 cyclists annually, including more serious riders as well as day cyclists riding the Kate Pace Way from North Bay.” Shawn Carr, 1886 Lake House Bistro in Callander.

“Our B&B is located just over 1km from the Tay Shore Trail, a hidden gem and 28km paved flat trail along the shores of picturesque Georgian Bay and through wonderful wooded areas. Due to the pandemic we saw fewer cyclists in 2020, however in usual years we welcome cyclists from Europe, USA, Mexico and across Canada.” Harry & Carol Gerstheimer, Tucked Inn the Harbour B&B in Victoria Harbour.

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