That’s right! You heard it here first! The dates have been set and the VIA Rail Bike Train is coming to Windsor and Essex County!
I can’t tell you how excited we are that this fantastic project is coming to our region. We have been working with project founder and organzer, Justin Lafontaine, for the past year and we are thrilled that they’ve decided to add Windsor/Essex as a pilot project.
So what is the VIA Rail Bike Train? Well, here’s a little taken from the Bike Train site itself:
The Bike Train Initiative introduces bike racks onboard select passenger rail trains to destinations across Ontario, making cycling holidays easy and accessible. The initiative is a project of Transportation Options, a non-profit organization dedicated to stimulating sustainable systems of transportation.
Originally developed by Toronto cyclist Justin Lafontaine and launched in partnership with VIA Rail Canada between Toronto and Niagara in 2007, the Bike Train has proven to be a fun, economic and environmentally friendly way to enjoy a cycling getaway. Getting to the destination is made easy as passengers travel in comfort while their bicycles are safely secured in a baggage car with bike racks. In 2008 the Bike Train Initiative won two Ontario Tourism Awards: Best Tourism Marketing Partnership and Excellence Award for Tourism Innovation, and in 2009 was selected as a Finalist for the Deloitte Tourism Innovator of the Year TIAC Award.
Tickets went on sale last week and they’ve been selling! Justin tells us he’s receiving positive feedback and people are very excited about coming to Windsor and Essex County.
And to make the whole thing even better, the WindsorEats Wine Trail Rides will be promoted on the site as an additional feature that cyclists can purchase!
Justin Lafontaine is the brain child behind the initiative. We met up with him yesterday, told him to sit down, relax, put his feet up and answer a few questions for us…..
The VIA Rail Bike Train will be making it’s way to Windsor/Essex June 17-20 and July 29-August 2. There are many activities that are being planned around these two weekends and they’re not only for Bike Train participants. Everyone in Essex County will be invited to join in and show everyone what a great community we belong to. We’ll keep you posted on what those events will be and how you can be a part of them.
While the Bike Train is starting off with only 2 weekends in Windsor/Essex, we hope that it will be a huge success so that it can expand and happen again next summer every weekend!
We have to give a huge thanks to our Wine Trail Ride guide, Chris Carvallo, who met up with Justin and the Bike Train crew on multiple occasions and showed them a multitude of routes throughout the city and county. Thanks Chris! We owe you!