Manitoulin Cycling Advocates win award at tourism summit

Guy Nielen, left, joined Maja Mielonen to attend the Destination Northern Ontario Tourism Summit in November, where they were awarded for their dedicated efforts to promote cycling and improve both safety and accessibility on Manitoulin island.

TIMMINS – The City of Timmins hosted the Destination Northern Ontario Tourism Summit this November 18-20 where Manitoulin Island Cycling Advocates (MICA) was again acknowledged for its work in the tourism industry.

MICA president Maja Mielonen was thrilled to be called to the podium at the Summit’s Tuesday gala and awards night to accept the Industry Leader Product Development Award in recognition of the outstanding efforts towards the growth and development of the Northern Ontario tourism industry

MICA’s active volunteer lobby efforts have resulted in cycle infrastructure for a safe active lifestyle and has provided the foundation to develop cycle tourism on Manitoulin Island since 2010. 

Thanks to MICA’s hard work, Manitoulin Island is now known as one of the best cycle destinations in Ontario and Canada. 

“We wish to thank the many MICA business partners and all Island municipalities that have partnered in so many projects over the years,” Ms. Mielonen said. “Together we made Manitoulin a cycle mecca.”

“Together we have achieved our vision to increase safe cycle infrastructure, achieve regional connectedness, partner and work with other cycle industry leaders resulting in wonderful cycle product development attracting this new tourism to Manitoulin with our annual event, all-inclusive cycle adventure packages, outreach through advertisement and tradeshow attendance,” Ms. Mielonen continues.

MICA’s lobby efforts have resulted in: paved shoulders on three provincial highways on Manitoulin Island; seen the conclusion of the 1,000 km Georgian Bay Cycle Route (GBCyR) feasibility study, implemented by the Waterfront Regeneration Trust that connects Northern Ontario to Southern Ontario; the development of a thriving cycle tourism economy with annual cycle events and multiple annual all-inclusive cycle tour adventure packages; earning a reputation as one of Canada’s best cycle destination; the creation of the Manitoulin Island and La Cloche Mountains Cycle and Road Map, which sold 11,000 copies to date (January 2020 will see the 5th edition being printed); the installation of nine trailheads in nine communities with local points of interest and detailed cycle route descriptions; the supply of 60 bicycle route signs with monetary installation assistance to Island municipalities; a bilingual website, with options to order maps, book events; OPP positive enforcement program assistance; and bike kitchens, local community bike repair workshops in three communities.