Last week, Pastry Peddler owners Deanna Bell and Colin Hall were awarded the most Bicycle Friendly Business in the region by the Ontario By Bike Association. The award was designed to recognize businesses that support cycling in their communities. A winner was selected from each of the 13 tourism regions in Ontario, as well as a recognition award for businesses that provide an important service supporting cycle tourists.
While cycling has been experiencing a boom in popularity, the Pastry Peddler was ahead of the curve. Encouraging cycling was part of the café’s mission from the beginning, which is evident in their logo and the décor of the café. For several years, there was even a bicycle repair shop operating above the business on the second floor offering on-the-spot support to cyclists with equipment issues. During the cycling season, bike racks are installed in front of the café providing a handy parking spot for cyclists. Even though customers can’t pull up a chair inside the café given the current lockdown, there are plenty of take-out options including good coffee, a variety of baked goods and picnic lunches which can be consumed on a picnic table behind the shop by the dam or later during the trip for those who don’t require immediate satisfaction. Peddalling requires energy, after all!
Cycling has been growing in popularity as an inexpensive, healthy and sustainable way to explore beautiful scenery. Locally, bike traffic has been reflecting that trend, spurred by the 2018 introduction of the Peterborough & the Kawarthas Classics Road Cycling Routes, two of which take cyclists past the café’s front door.
Covid restrictions last summer gave the industry an unanticipated boost, which is expected to continue as travel restrictions persist. Ontario By Bike promotes cycling and cycle tourism across the province through a network of 1500 certified, bike-friendly businesses. Their website provides information about cycling trails and road routes by region, along with information on organized bike tours for small groups. Their fall survey reflected a growing appetite for expanded cycling activities among respondents, including becoming “cycle tourists” by exploring routes outside their immediate area. There is plenty of evidence of cycling’s growing popularity right here at home.
Last fall saw the launch of the Millbrook Mountain Biking club, Millbrook MTB, a non-profit group promoting mountain biking, helping with the design, construction and maintenance of local bike trails and sharing education to encourage safe, responsible and enjoyable cycling. In September, the founders set a goal of attracting 50 members. Their membership currently sits at 125. One of the constraints new cycling enthusiasts are facing is a shortage of bikes, which is an international issue.
Whether you are new to the sport or an avid enthusiast, you will find many like-minded cyclists on the roads in the coming months. There is lots of local help to get you started and keep you moving on the cycling routes and trails that criss-cross our community. KG