Ontario By Bike Network:
Industry Update February
Get Ready to Welcome Cyclists in 2017
The 2017 cycling season* is coming up fast. With the official start to spring less than a month away make sure you are ready to welcome cyclists and make the most of the resources Ontario By Bike provides to help you do that.
Certified bicycle friendly locations be sure to check your Ontario By Bike listing and make sure all info and links are up-to-date
- Ensure you still have the Ontario By Bike window decal in an easy-to-spot location and a copy of our regional resource tool kit for staff to reference
- Include info on cycling in your area on your website with a separate 'Things to Do' webpage/s, linking back to the Great Places to Cycle page
- Consider including the Ontario By Bike logo on your website, digital and print marketing materials
- Make use of our communication outreach tool kit, with pre-crafted social media posts and promotional text
*Fast becoming a 4-season sport, a growing number of cyclists cycle all year and vacation around the province looking for winter fat biking adventures.
What's New with Ontario By Bike
With the continued interest and growth in cycle tourism around the province, not only do we have an increased reach to consumers through our many marketing platforms, but we have an growing number of industry partners and businesses connecting to this market through our programs and related services.
- There are now 1,250 certified bicycle friendly businesses across Ontario in 35 regions
- Our newest regional partner - Prescott Russell
- This spring, stay tuned for more info on planned workshops and/or stakeholder meetings to support cycle tourism destination development in: Saugeen Shores, Sault Ste Marie, Blind River, Sudbury, Manitoulin Island, Halton Region, and across Ontario's Highlands.
Regional Renewal Fees
In fall 2016, we provided information to our partners in a number of regions on our new destination and partner renewal fee structure. Having administered the Network in some regions for 6 years, the renewal program brings a number of benefits to our hosting partners and businesses in these areas, including:
- Continued administration of the bicycle-friendly business program in renewal region
- Outreach and verification of all participating locations in renewal region
- Updated Great Places to Cycle regional webpages and cycling resource tool kit
- Ontario By Bike Cycle Tourism Development webinar/s
- Digital marketing and print map distribution
The Bigger Picture
Cycle tourism is on the agenda, no longer just regionally, but now increasingly at the provincial level.
We are looking at ways to assist the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation to celebrate and promote cycle tourism in Ontario. Working with a number of provincial organizations, we have put forward a series of recommendations and are following up with our contacts to ensure continued forward momentum.
The Ministry of Transportation began the process to identify a province wide cycling network in 2015. Ontario By Bike was pleased to be a part of the consultations across the province that were held in November 2016. We look forward to sharing more information with you as it becomes available.
Want to Know More?
Consider attending the
Ontario Bike Summit April 11 to 12
in Toronto. This annual event is a great industry meeting place and conference with informative speakers covering a wide range of cycling topics.
2017 Cycling In Ontario / Le vélo en Ontario Guide
Ontario By Bike, supported by a growing number of partners across the province, continues to produce Ontario's leading, and only, cycle tourism publication.
The 2017 edition of Cycling in Ontario / Le vélo en Ontario Guide is now available and printed in both English and French. In its 5th year, the guide has grown significantly in popularity, size and reach since it's inception. Now 32-pages, it showcases cycling in Ontario to consumers with easy to read suggested day and multi-day trip ideas and featured stories.
The free guide is a key trip planning resource for cyclists looking to explore more of Ontario by bike. It is packed full of road, trail and mountain bike self-guided itineraries, info on ride destinations, tours and events.
Request physical copies to distribute to visitors at your business, visitor information centre or bike shop! The guide is very popular and will move fast. Simply send an email to
with your name, mailing address and preferred number of guides.
to view both French and English copies of the guide online or download as PDF file.
It's Show Time!
Ontario By Bike will be attending a number of significant cycling and travel shows over the next few weeks with our
Ontario Cycle Tourism Information Centre. Its a busy time, but we're excited to get out and chat with consumers and cyclists looking for ideas and resources to help plan cycling experiences in Ontario.
We'll be attending the
Montreal Bicycle Show
Salon du Velo
on February 24-26 at
. Bilingual staff will be engaging with cyclists and sharing resources from across the province, while showcasing event partners Northumberland Tourism, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Tourism, Explore Waterloo and Ontario Tourism.
On the same weekend, we'll be connecting with cyclists and o
utdoor enthusiasts at the Outdoor Adventure Show February 24-26, at The International Centre in Mississauga. Find us at booth #420 or at the Ontario Outdoor Adventures Theatre on Sunday at 12:15pm for our presentation - Build Your Own Cycling Adventure - Rediscovering Ontario By Bike!
Click here for $4 off admission.
We'll be at it again the following weekend at the world's largest bicycle consumer show -
The 2017 Toronto International Bicycle Show
. Located at booth #815, we'll be there along with m
any of our tourism partners, a number that increases annually.
Our booth and display are always popular with cyclists picking up our annual guide, cycling maps from dozens of regions and municipalities from around the province, complimentary Pedal Magazines, info on certified bicycle friendly businesses and other resources we have on display.
Inquire about having the Ontario Cycle Tourism Information Centre available for your show, conference or cycling event by contacting info@OntarioByBike.ca
Innovative Ideas: Community-built Bike Racks
With the County paying for the materials, students and staff worked to produce these fantastic resources for cyclists, who will certainly get good use of them along the Historical Cycling Route, where they will be installed this spring!
Why is this an innovative idea?
It's a win-win with significant savings on the production and the addition of branded bike racks along a cycling route. And just as important, this initiative drives community buy-in for cycling initiatives (and cycle tourism) and
instils a sense of ownership for the students.
While the students designed and created the bike racks, they were provided guidelines based upon resources Ontario By Bike has compiled for industry and tourism partners at www.ontariobybike.ca/bikeparking
if your community has a similar story to share or you are looking for more information on how you can start a similar project in your own community.
New Research Now Available:
Regional Impacts of Cycle Tourism in Ontario
Recognizing the need for more data and tourism impact research to support the growing cycle tourism sector in Ontario, Ontario By Bike/Transportation Options, along with research partners RMCG Inc, undertook and recently completed three regional cycle tourism studies.
Using a variety of methodologies, data was collected and assessed by region, and compared cross regionally, providing valuable insight for participating research partners and cycle tourism destinations.
The comprehensive reports look at the status of cycle tourism in Windsor/Essex County, Halton Region, and Prince Edward County. Download the reports and read more at:
This research would not have been possible without the contributions from many partners, tourism organizations, event coordinators, regional municipalities, Eco-Counter and businesses participating in the Ontario By Bike Network. Thank you.
The 2016 pilot research project, supported by the Province of Ontario in partnership with RTO1, RTO3 and RTO9, has enabled us to create and test a research template and model that can be transferred to other regions. To find out more about how we can bring this model to your region, contact us for more information.
Stay Connected with Ontario By Bike!
Share your destination or business posts using the hashtag #OntarioByBike!
Connect & Support Cycling Events
Research conducted in Ontario and beyond shows that cycling events can have a positive impact on a destination. From great word-of-mouth marketing, to generating return visits and overnights stays, cycling events can
contribute significantly to the local tourism industry.
There are a number of ways to help support and foster the growth of cycling events in a region. Here
are just a few:
Become 'preferred accommodations' for events with unique packages, including bike storage
- Local breweries, wineries, cafes or restaurants can supply/sell drinks or meals or be vendors at events; a great way to showcase reasons for riders to return to the area
- Community organizations can help rally volunteers, who share local knowledge with visitors
- Attractions can offer special pre/post events, making more reasons for riders to bring their family and stay longer
- Local businesses could include welcome signs and add a link and event details to a website, to help welcome riders and promote the event
Take the Next Step ...
- Find a local or regional cycling event happening near you - www.ontariobybike.ca/events
- Send an introduction email, letting the event coordinators know your interested in supporting the event, providing a few suggestions (see above)
These relationships must start somewhere and are two-way streets. If you're a cycling event coordinator, consider proactively connecting with local tourism organizations and businesses to explore ways to enhance your event.
If you're not sure who to connect with or whether there are existing cycling events occurring in your area, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not Yet a Participating Location?
It's easy to register on-line to become an Ontario By Bike participating location and experience the many benefits.
Registration will be reviewed and your listing added within 48 business hours. Look forward to receiving a welcome package with decal in the mail.
Industry E-Newsletter Archive
Our Industry E-Newsletter is sent out twice annually with content that includes updates from Ontario By Bike, marketing tips and promotional opportunities, best practices and trends in cycle tourism product development, featured businesses, new cycling infrastructure announcements and other valuable industry insight. To view past issues
We also published a popular Consumer E-Newsletter, and have that archived dating back to 2011.
Click here to read past issues
We have a lot of fun putting together content for our 7+ annual issues and hope to inspire more consumers to explore
Ontario by bike.
Consider sharing the link
with your network! We are always looking for content suggestions, so do sent us your news.
Keep Cycling Maps and Resources on Hand!
Cyclists always appreciate when businesses and other bicycle friendly locations have the
latest cycling maps and resources available for reviewing or to take with them.
Don't have any maps or resources at your business?
We suggest calling your local tourism office to find out how you can get a quantity. Cycling maps often move fast, laminating a copy for display may have more longevity. Also consider making an Internet-connected computer readily available for cyclists who require route, trail or other tourist information.
Not sure who to contact? Connecting with Ontario By Bike by sending us an email, as we do have a limited selection here in our office of maps, or can help direct your inquiry.
There's so much to celebrate!
From Canada's 150th Anniversary and the associated
Canada 150 celebrations occurring across the province, to the launch of new and exciting cycling routes and resources in Ontario,
2017 is set to be a year to remember. Interest in cycling in Ontario continues to grow and we're excited to share all of the great (and growing number of) cycling experiences available to consumers, both avid and recreational cyclists.
We want to remind you to share your new products, experiences and services for cyclists and any promotional materials for your business, destination or organization so we can in turn share these with cyclists through our network, at events and through our consumer marketing channels!
Our bi-annual industry newsletter will be sent out again late fall, but feel free to connect back before that should you require any assistance or resources.
From Louisa & Michael
Ontario By Bike Network
Project of Transportation Options
850 Coxwell Ave ~ Toronto, ON ~ M4C 5R1