The Sunshine Coast Bike Route is a project of Transportation Choices – Sunshine Coast (“TraC”) in partnership with the Sunshine Coast Tourism Association, local Sunshine Coast governments, Powell River Cycling Association and MOTI. Our vision is a designated bike-touring route linking the whole Sunshine Coast from Langdale to Earls Cove and on to Powell River that will draw cyclo-tourists to the Sunshine Coast, while also serving the needs of local cyclists.
TraC is also working with the BC Cycling Coalition. The BC Cycling Coalition is leading a BC CycloTouring campaign with the goal of establishing destination cyclo-touring routes and increased cylo-tourism investment in BC. The Circle Route, which would connect the Sunshine Coast with Vancouver Island, is one of BCCC’s priority projects.
Why the Coastal Bike Route?
It’s really a no-brainer. Cycling is one of the fastest growing recreational activities in North America, and cyclo-touring is a growing sector of the tourism economy. Some facts to consider:
- Québec’s La Route Verte generates an estimated $200 million in economic benefits for communities along the route.
- Oregon’s bike touring infrastructure is attracting up to 1.2 million visitors/year, with average expenditures of $83/day.
- In 2008 cyclo-tourists contributed $40 million to the economies of communities along the Great Allegheny Passage between Marlyland and Pennsylvania.
- The BC Cycling Coalition estimates the potential for $20,000 expenditure per year per kilometer of developed bike route.
The Sunshine Coast is ideally situated to capitalize on this growing market. We are the closest daytrip and multi-day destination to the Lower Mainland, easily accessible by visitors arriving via the Vancouver International Airport, and a natural part of a larger Circle Route that connects to Vancouver Island via Horseshoe Bay or Powell River. It’s not a question of whether to build a destination bike route, by why not?
What do we need to make this happen?
First, we need buy-in from local governments and communities along the proposed route. With this support and the input of local cyclists and organizations, we will develop a route map and name, and then begin the hard work: finding the funding for signage and improved cycling facilities along the route. We will not build a route overnight, but we can build one step by step. While this work is ongoing we will also be working on marketing the route through a Coastal Bike Route app similar to the Sunshine Coast TrailMap app and other means.
Our initial goal was to have the route map and logo finalized by December 2016. While we have made great progress on the logo – see our February 2017 post with four logo options to choose from – the winter weather has complicated the task of assembling the detailed route data for mapping. Our goal at this point is to have the data finalized by end of March 2017, and handed over to the app developer in time for the 2017 bike touring season.
TraC is pleased to announce that we have been awarded funding from the Sunshine Coast Community Foundation (SCCF) and the Healthy Communities Partnership (Sunshine Coast) to advance the Coastal Bike Route project. The SCCF grant is for $4,500 to support finalizing a route map, developing a CBR logo for signage and designing a mobile route app. The Healthy Communities Partnership funding is for $1,500 to support community consultation on the route and logo design. Our goal is to have the route map and logo finalized by December 2016, with a finalized mobile app ready in 2017 in time for the 2017 bike touring season.
We’d like to thank the Sunshine Coast Conservation Association for supporting our SCCF application and acting as our charitable sponsor, and express our appreciation to the SCCF and Health Communities Partnership for their support for the CBR.