Where to Cycle in Nova Scotia A Great New Resource for Enthusiasts of All Levels
By Joel Hornborg
Have you ever wanted to explore more of your community by bicycle, or maybe venture into new parts of our beautiful province? Local cycling and community development enthusiast Adam Barnett recently published a new cycling guidebook for Nova Scotia, in partnership with Bicycle Nova Scotia and through a collaboration with cyclists across the province. I sat down with the author to find out more about this new and exciting recreational cycling resource.
Adam Barnett has been working in outreach and communications with Bicycle Nova Scotia (BNS), a non-profit organization, for over three years. The positive public response to a series of free cycling maps, produced in a recent partnership with Tourism Nova Scotia, helped identify the need to develop a new provincial cycling guidebook. While the Blue Route initiative of BNS aims to connect communities through active transportation, this book is aimed at recreational cyclists looking to explore the province through cycling loops, helping the public find routes for cycling that appeal to a wide range of interests and abilities. The book includes a large-scale fold-out provincial map, outlining all 106 routes indexed with easy access to relevant information and stats for each route, including length, estimated time, difficulty, elevation change, and more. Individual maps and descriptions for each route also include valuable ride considerations to help make the ride more enjoyable. The book also includes features on Destination Trails, the Cabot Trail, and routes suitable for cycling with kids. All route information is also available electronically through the BNS website for easy downloading to the device of your choice. This easy-to-use resource will help make cycling accessible by allowing people to choose cycling routes they feel comfortable with and that align with their travel plans.
Barnett has drawn from his personal experiences as a cycling tour guide around Atlantic Canada, and tapped into local expertise to access route information through crowdsourcing. As a starting point, he generated an updated provincial cycling map through social media and direct contact, as well as analyzing data from Strava, Ride with GPS, and Map my Ride. He then engaged in continuous community feedback from bike shops, riders, and communities to collect the most accurate and current route information. Finally, he scouted every route to verify the route details and fill in the gaps. The result is an invaluable cycling resource that will appeal to both local and visiting cyclists seeking to explore Nova Scotia.
The author aims to give credibility to the great cycling opportunities in Nova Scotia, a beautiful province that is well-suited to being explored by bicycle, noting that “on a bicycle, you smell, hear, and feel the area so much more.” As more and more people get out cycling across the province, it should promote increased provincial commitment toward developing cycling tourism and enhancing safe and supportive cycling infrastructure, including revised road maintenance strategies by the Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Renewal. Barnett’s philosophy of cycling is grounded in the health benefits of being active outdoors in your community. He hopes this book helps to remove barriers to getting outside, and helps people have positive cycling experiences. “If you are interested in cycling and exploring in Nova Scotia at all, there are routes in there that are guaranteed to be new to you and give you all the information you need. You’ll blow your mind over the beauty of the routes around our province!”
Where to Cycle in Nova Scotia is published by Nimbus Publishing and will be officially launched on July 14 in Wolfville. The launch will take place at the Front Street Community Oven in the Robie Tufts Park (117 Front Street) at 1pm, with copies of the book available for purchase, oven-baked pizzas, and a community bike ride. The book will be available in early July in bookstores and bike shops across the province, as well as online. Revenue from the book sales will support future cycling initiatives of Bicycle Nova Scotia. Check bicycle.ns.ca for updates and details.