Valley Cycle Tours named top tourist attraction in the Ottawa Valley
Valley Cycle Tours has been named best in tourism by the Ottawa Valley Tourist Association ahead of summer.
The Beachburg, Ont. business provides personalized guided and self-guided bicycle tours throughout the Ottawa Valley along with shuttle service.
Owner Cindy Jamieson also runs the Whitewater Inn in Beachburg and says she was proud to receive the award, noting all the challenges she had to maneuver during the two years of the pandemic.
"Incorporating stays at the inn as well once that opened up," Jamieson tells CTV News. "And offering fun food nights and just trying to do whatever I could to make it work."
Riders can sign up for day trips or weekend long adventures. Customers can bring their own bicycles or Valley Cycle Tours has options for rent.
"We have some e-bikes now as well, some gravel bikes," says Jamieson. "But definitely the most popular bikes we have are the touring bikes that are good for gravel or asphalt."
Travelling from Ottawa to spend the weekend in Beachburg, Lucie Quinn brought her pedal-assisted bicycle for the tours
"We were looking for a weekend getaway not too far from home, but out of our area and some place that we though could have a little bit of diversity," says Quinn.
"Walking, biking, all kinds of activities," said Quinn of the reasons they were convinced to spend the weekend in Beachburg. "So that just kind of amped us up and peaked the curiosity because it wasn't just one thing."
Being a local to the region and taking tours out herself, Jamieson believes it's her personal service that has provided her best year of business yet.
"There's a huge demand now from the international crowd who want these small experiences," the cycling expert explains. "They want to be in a small hotel, they want small groups, and they want one on one service of what their experience will be."
But the Owner of Valley Cycle Tours adds that it is not necessarily the cycling itself that has created so much success for her, but rather the attraction of the valley and all there is to see and learn.
"There's so much history here in the Ottawa Valley because of the Ottawa River," says Jamieson. "Right down to Champlain's story of so much discovery of Canada, and I think a lot of Canadians were taking a second look during the pandemic."