Cornwall and the Counties Tourism, has over 2,000 kilometers of cycling/motorcycling routes mapped and is getting reading to ‘peddle’ this region as a destination for cyclists of all kinds.
Morrisburg will serve as a hub of this activity.
“We are in the process of creating a paper map,” said Linda Wilson, executive director of Cornwall and the Counties Tourism, who had a draft copy of the map and its routes here in Morrisburg on November 29.
The 28 routes are organized as loops, from 40 km in length to 230 km in length. The recommended routes for cyclists, are considered safe and have water/food amenities available along the way.
The loops include two Quebec entry points as well as entry points from Ottawa and Brockville.
“Our plan is to have the map ready for the end of this year,” said Wilson, who plans to take it to the Vélo show in Montreal in February among other high profile cycling shows in 2013 and to the outdoor and leisure shows in Ottawa in the coming year.
Wilson is also working with GPS technology to push the loop maps to Garmin.
The other side of making the maps work is proper roadside signing of the loops.
That will come in partnership with the Counties of SD&G.
In partnership, the two will apply for funding for the signs, and if successful the signs will be installed, on existing posts by the counties road crews.
“The signing will happen, at least partially, if we get the funding, early in the summer if possible,” said Wilson.
Each loop will be marked by a different colour, making it easy for cyclists to navigate.
As part of the loop system, Wilson has selected areas across the region as ‘hub’ sites where people can drive to, park and unload their bicycles to cycle some of the loops.
Morrisburg is one of those hubs that are located across the region.
“Much work is being done at the county level, but there is still work to be done at the local level to support the initiative,” said South Dundas economic development officer Nicole Sullivan.
She suggests investing in some infrastructure such a bike racks and possibly working with businesses to help educate them on becoming cycle-friendly and cycle-ready.