Bicycling tourism is big business in many parts of Nova Scotia and there's no reason Cumberland County can't catch up and become a cycling hotbed.
That was the message Peter Williams of Halifax's Eastwind Cycle brought to an audience of bike enthusiasts, business people and government and tourism officials at the Joggins Fossil Centre last Thursday.
"Cumberland County has so much great natural beauty," Williams said. "It could really position itself as a great destination for cyclists."
As part of a comprehensive cycling program for the province, which includes both rural and urban riding, Williams pointed to several rides in Cumberland County that would to attract cyclists.
"When you look at the route up towards Tidnish and back along the Amherst Shore, that's great riding and it's very beautiful," Williams said. "And the Parrsboro shore road from Parrsboro to Advocate is spectacular. It's challenging but there's a lot of people who like that sort of thing."
Eastwind Cycle guides cyclists in Mexico and along Cape Breton's Cabot Trail and Williams said Cumberland County's potential isn't being fulfilled.
"With Cape Chignecto, Cape d'Or and the Joggins Fossil Centre, Cumberland County has so much great stuff. It's a great place for people to go on self-guided tours," Williams said. "It would be ideal to further develop those routes to link those places so people can ride between them, making Cumberland County a great cycling destination."
Developing the routes requires only simple changes.
"What I'd like to see is a committee formed which would put together a cycling tourism map of the Cumberland County," Williams said.
"It would cost very little to brand Cumberland County as bicycling destination. It's just a question of will," he finished by saying.