Has your community embraced bicycle tourism? If not, maybe somebody should get on that. Bicycling is one of the fastest growing types of outdoor recreation and tourism and communities are capitalizing on the economic benefits that bicycle tourism generate.
Bicycle travel or touring focuses on the bicycle as the primary means of transport. Typically touring cyclists seek out low traffic, scenic rural roads and, because their journey is slower, they have longer stays in the region. Touring cyclists prefer to soak up the atmosphere and characteristics of a place, spending their money locally and making meaningful connections with local purveyors. With 60-100 million people biking recreationally each year, bike travel and tourism will only grow with the benefit of healthy communities, less congestion and environmental health and happiness growing as well.
Your community can attract bicycle tourism and the related benefits by ensuring that there are enjoyable rides throughout. These can include the afore mentioned low traffic, scenic rural roads, bike paths, rail trails, mountain bike trail networks and long distance trails. As cycle tourism has developed from a niche product to a booming sector we have seen bicycle routes grow by 66%+ over the past few years. As travelers continue to demand more authentic experiences, community planners and cycle touring businesses have lead the charge in developing areas of disrepair into thriving, environmentally friendly areas of enjoyment for cyclists of all ages.
If you have not yet explored your local bike trails, scenic roads or bike paths, challenge yourself to do so this cycling season. The health benefits of cycling have been well documented and you will notice places in your community that you have never fully appreciated when speeding by in a vehicle. Maybe you too will become a bicycle tourist either in your own town or when traveling.
Below are a few links to rides that we at Airo enjoy in our community:
Bicycle tourism is here, there and everywhere. Get out there and support your community rides. You may just find a new passion.