Comox Valley Echo
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
After an uphill year of planning and data collection, Mike Collins is taking a breather.
The Broken Spoke café and bicycle shop owner celebrated the arrival of the first-ever Comox Valley cycling maps at a bustling launch event at his shop Tuesday night.
The foldout maps outline various routes for cyclists in the Comox Valley, and are for sale in the Valley as of today (Friday) for $6.
Collins had come up with the idea for the maps last year, and had originally intended the project to be a solo endeavour.
However, Project Watershed’s Mapping Centre soon came on board with the idea. Over several months, Mapping Centre business manager Caila Holbrook and a team of volunteers spread out across the Valley on bikes, armed with GPS units and notepads.
The team took down coordinates and made note of road conditions, traffic congestion and scenery. They compiled the information, and finally produced a two by three foot colour map at a total design cost of about $4,000.
Along the way, the mapping effort also picked up support from the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition, the Downtown Business Association, Courtenay’s cycling taskforce, the Regional District and the Chamber of Commerce.
On Tuesday, Collins thanked his sponsors and sponsors and said he was “grateful you [all] had faith in me.”
Proceeds from the maps will go towards producing new maps, Collins said. As well, cyclists who buy the maps will in the future be able to go online and register comments and suggestions for improvements at www.comoxvalleycyclingmap.com.
Holbrook also noted that every map produced by the Mapping Centre in turn produces cash for Project Watershed’s environmental work on restoring the Courtenay River Estuary. She said 30 per cent of the project was funded through community way dollars, a form of currency donated by businesses to local charities.
Brian Schoneberg of the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition heaped praise on the new map.
“It’s a great idea and it’s a long time coming,” he said. “We’d love to see council and the community get behind it.”
Terry Dekker, also of the Cycling Coalition, agreed.
“It’s great for cyclists and great for tourism,” she said. “Cyclists come from out of town and [often] don’t know the area.
“[There's] amazing cycling in the Comox Valley and it’s great to have it highlighted.”
If you’re interested in purchasing a map, it can be found at the following locations:
- Valhalla Pure Outfitters
- Sure Copy
- The Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce Visitor Centre
- Project Watershed
- The Broken Spoke
© Comox Valley Echo 2011