Since the group founder Dave Wright approached Magnetawan town council in late March with ideas promoting cycling in the area, the group has been busy getting the word out.
One of the main goals of the group is encouraging businesses to become "bicycle friendly" by installing bike racks and registering with Ontario by Bike, a provincial bicycle tourism organization.
Also on the agenda of Almaguin in Motion is mapping out preferred cycling routes throughout the region on both paved and gravel roads, putting up bicycle route signage, installing bicycle racks and, eventually, starting a bike share program.
Courtney Rizzo and Dave Gray, local economic development officers have been instrumental in spreading the group’s message to the local municipalities and have met with great success.
Wright says, "Magnetawan really jumped on board, embraced the group’s ideas and enabled us to start implementing immediately. The council here is very progressive. By Canada Day, Magnetawan will have 15 brightly painted bike racks spread throughout town, 50 ‘bike route’ signs posted on our best cycling routes with over a dozen great routes starting and finishing in Magnetawan already available online."
And you don't have to be a bike fanatic to enjoy riding in Magnetawan. One of the routes is only eight kilometres long, which takes in highways 520, 124 and 510.
Not only has the Magnetawan Central School painted eight of the bike racks, they also painted the first "bike share" bicycle, which will available for anyone to use in town. This bike is one of many the group "AIMs" to have in bike racks around Magnetawan this summer.
AIM already has a Facebook page and is going to create a website tying the region together and will enable cyclists from southern Ontario to discover the great riding here and where to stay, eat and shop.
Almaguin in Motion was formed in April and already has members throughout the Almaguin area and is growing daily.
According to Wright, "We have keen local riders from throughout Almaguin who are coming together and electronically mapping out the best cycling routes from Novar in the south to west of Dunchurch and north of South River. These routes can then be downloaded onto smartphones and bicycle GPS units right off the internet and used by anyone. "
Not only is cycling a great way to enjoy the outdoors and beautiful scenery Almaguin has to offer, it's also a good form of exercise. Cycling is very easy on your joints and can be a great cardiovascular workout.
The most common complaint about bike riding is the seat is uncomfortable. This can dramatically improved by having your seat height and angle adjusted correctly and installing a gel seat cover or by wearing padded cycling shorts.
AIM has a social group ride every Tuesday night at 6 p.m. starting and finishing at a local restaurant/pub. The ride is open to anyone and there is a wide range of ability levels of participants. The location of the next group ride is available on the AIM Facebook page or by emailing Dave at email@example.com.