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Peterborough & the Kawarthas Cycling Routes Getting Provincial Attention

By Kelly Jessup

[PETERBOROUGH, ON] On February 4th, representatives from Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism (PKT) (a division of Peterborough Economic Development), Shimano Canada and Wild Rock Outfitters were in Toronto to accept the Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO) award for Public-Private Partnership. The award recognizes PKT’s partnership with Shimano Canada for the development of the area’s first official road cycling routes, the Peterborough & the Kawarthas Classics.

“Partnerships are vital to success in the tourism industry. The combination of our assets in the City and County of Peterborough are what make this region such a sought after vacation destination, and this is especially true for avid road cyclists who want to escape into the countryside to ride our scenic vistas, but also value the vibrancy of our city, fresh local food experiences and rich cultural offerings we have to offer throughout the region.” said Director of Tourism, Fiona Dawson.

“Shimano Canada is passionate about cycling and cares deeply for the development of local cycling infrastructure” added David Blondel, Marketing Manager, Shimano Canada. “The Peterborough & the Kawarthas Classics Road Cycling Routes project came to life through the dedicated work of many. Seeing this project recognized at a provincial level is a nice confirmation of what is possible when key partnerships align”.

In March, Director of Tourism, Fiona Dawson will speak at the 2016 Cycle Tourism Conference as part of panel on route and trail enhancement innovations. “It was an honour to be asked to speak at this provincial conference, and solidifies the importance of the work that we’re doing here in Peterborough & the Kawarthas. The development of these routes and our partnership is being touted as an example of industry best-practice. I look forward to sharing this success story with the cycle tourism industry, showcasing the value of the product development we’re executing in our region.” said Dawson.

The new routes were launched in the spring of 2015 when PKT unveiled close to 300kms of road cycling routes starting and ending in downtown Peterborough, encouraging riders to get off the beaten path using 3 double-loop road routes throughout the County. The routes quickly became a topic of conversation in the cycling industry. Since the launch the area has gained attention from across the province including media coverage in popular cycling publications, websites and travel blogs.

Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism saw a 978% increase in traffic to their dedicated cycling experience page, and had close to 7000 visits to the comprehensive content hub for the Classics in 2015. “We’ve had a tremendous amount of success in this first phase of cycling development, and our partnerships with Shimano Canada, the County of Peterborough, City of Peterborough and surrounding townships are a big part of that.” said Dawson

With spring just around the corner, PKT is busy putting the finishing touches on their 2016 cycling marketing campaign which will begin with the launch of a new destination video which focuses on three popular disciplines of cycling – road, trail and mountain biking. The video will officially be released as part of an advertising campaign with Canadian Cycling Magazine. PKT has also partnered with RTO8 (Kawarthas Northumberland) to showcase the area’s cycling experiences in cooperation with Ontario By Bike, who will be promoting cycling in Ontario at various consumer shows such as the Outdoor Adventure Show and Toronto International Bicycle Show.
To view a teaser trailer of the promotional video slated to be released this spring, check out Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism on Facebook at

Pictured from left to right: Kieran Andrews (Wild Rock Outfitters), David Blondel (Shimano Canada), Kelly Jessup, Susan Quinlan & Fiona Dawson (Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism).