It’s finally here!  The Bike Train is coming into town this Thursday!  And there are so many ways you can celebrate and welcome these visitors to our region.

On Friday, June 18 Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island is hosting a free breakfast at Windsor Inn on the River, 3857 Riverside Drive East, at 9 a.m.  Everyone is invited for the official launch of the Bike Train to Windsor-Essex.  After breakfast there will be a group ride with participants to the head of the Greenway Trail led by Windsor Police and local volunteers.  So bring your bike and help us kick off the start of a great weekend.

Later that evening, join us at Point Pelee National Park for WindsorEats Picnic at the Point.  After a guided tour to the point, we’ll sit down for a meal made with local Essex County products prepared by County Connect and then sit around a fire and listen to live music.  Tickets are only $30 and the event is open to everyone.

On Saturday, June 19 WindsorEats will also be hosting our Wine Trail Ride.  We have a number of Bike Train participants joining us on this ride.  We will be visiting Colchester Ridge Estate Winery, Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery and Tredki Acre Farms.   Tickets are $35 and include guided tour, tastings, tours and a meal made with local Essex County products.

I have been more than a little excited about the arrival of the Bike Train to our region. For over a year we have been working with Justin Lafontaine, founder of the Bike Train, and so many others in the community to ensure that this ride is a success.

The Bike Train takes place over two weekends this year and is part of a pilot project.  Why are we making such a big deal about this event if it’s only two weekends? If this year is a success and there is enough support and interest, the Bike Train will become a permanent fixture to Essex County.  Imagine it.  Every weekend could bring tourists to cycle through our community.  It could be the catalyst for change and the growth of cycling tourism for our region.

Our Wine Trail Rides have been extremely successful because they involve activities that people love all while riding their bicycle.  Our routes and trails are amazing but there are still problems we need to overcome.  We envision a comprehensive cycling trail that connects the city to the county and towns and the wineries to one another.  Having the Bike Train choose Windsor-Essex as a destination helps us get one step towards that vision.

The Chrysler Canada Greenway Trail is vital to our rides and a gem of trail system.  But we want the system to grow.  The Bike Train could be that catalyst for change.  Other communities have used the Bike Train to implement trails in their regions to not only accommodate the participants from the train, but additional cycling tourists who are using the trails everyday.   But this doesn’t only benefit visitors, it would benefit us.  It’s a win-win situation.

So join us this weekend on any of these events!  Help us welcome our visitors and show them that Windsor Essex is a great place to visit and worth every minute of their time.