North Bay is a hub of cycling activity with an active community of riders, cycling events, bike tours, and grassroots organizations advocating for safe cycling and trail infrastructure.
Discovery Routes, a local charity whose mission is to connect communities through trails, has been leading the community’s cycling advocacy for over two decades. Improved cycling infrastructure for the safety of all road users is a large part of the advocacy work. In concert with the development of the Voyageur Cycling Route, Discovery Routes has influenced the addition of paved shoulders, bike lanes and Share the Road signs on municipal roadways and provincial highways throughout the region.
To support equitable access to local cycling trails, Discovery Routes runs a local bicycle donation program called ReCycle Bikes. Close to 1000 used bicycles have been donated to the program since 2015 – an impressive number for a community the size of North Bay. Hundreds of volunteer hours have gone into the program that provides opportunities for individuals in need to have a properly fitted bicycle, in good working order.
Discovery Routes also coordinates a Community Bicycle Education Program under Cycling Canada’s Can-Bike curriculum. The goal of the program is to build a culture of safe cycling in and around North Bay while encouraging the safe and responsible use of the local trails. In recent years, the program has focused on training educators so they can teach students the skills and knowledge to ride for commuting and recreation safely. The North Bay Mountain Bike Association delivers on-trail skills development for youth and adults, instilling a life-long joy of riding.
To inspire trail use for health and well-being a handful of self-guided rides have been developed by Discovery Routes. The “cycling experiences” celebrate every corner of the region through engaging itineraries that blend culinary, local agriculture, history, nature and culture with a cycling adventure on the region’s signature trails including the Trans Canada Trail and the Voyageur Cycling Route.
Written By: Jennifer McCourt, Discovery Routes
If you would like to go and join the 2023 Provincial Championships, please follow this link to sign up for the Provincial Championships in North Bay.