Bicyclists Bring Business rolls in to help region put tourism pedal to metal

Published Sep 13, 2017 at 4:00pm

Events to help the Mohawk Valley take advantage of the bicycle tourist market are being held this week.

“Bicyclists Bring Business: Canalway Trail Tourism for Your Downtown!” was presented at the thINCubator in Utica Tuesday. The program by Parks & Trails New York and the state Canal Corp. focused on the demographics and needs of the bicycle tourist, as well as offering tips for making area communities and businesses more bike-friendly and attractive to outdoor recreationists.

Speakers provided updates on the Mohawk Valley’s growing cycling network, opportunities presented by the creation of the Empire State Trail, and strategies for realizing the potential of trail tourism.

Attendees received a copy of a guide for attracting bicyclists to New York’s canal communities.

On Wednesday morning, there was bike-a-round. Participants met in the parking lot of Aqua Vino, alongside the Erie Canalway Trail, and left on a relaxed ride through Utica and on a short stretch of the Canalway Trail. Afterward, the bicyclists discussed their observations and suggestions.

“Utica and the Mohawk Valley have so much to offer cyclists, including breathtaking scenery and intriguing history,” said Robin Dropkin, executive director of Parks & Trails. “With the canal’s bicentennial celebration in full swing, and with funding secured to connect the Empire State Trail to the Mohawk Valley, it’s the perfect time to take a look at the impact of cycling and develop strategies that local communities can use to attract more cycling visitors.”