Windmills and Hay Wagon, Black River Trail, Lowville
Suggest links to online information about biking in the region that you have or that you have seen on other websites. We realize that would be easier and quicker than filling in the ride forms. Then we can use that online information to complete the forms as needed.
ANCA’s approach to identifying the best routes, rides and trails is to go predominately with well-known, long-established routes, rides and trails. More importantly, those are the rides that are likely to be most enjoyable to the first-time visitor – and that is our main goal, an enjoyable experience which leads to return trips and positive word of mouth with friends and family. By suggesting the well-known bike trials & routes, we also are able to better engage the tourism information network around the region because the bike shop owner or Visitor-Info person is more likely to be familiar with the trail, so are more likely to provide positive reinforcement for that ride, or to suggest similar rides in the area. That is the outcome we would hope for, rather than getting a shrug from the bike shop owner or Chamber person who has no idea where the ride is. ANCA is trying to make their jobs easier by creating an online biking resource that is useful to the Chambers, as well as to the visitors.
In terms of sustainability and longevity of the website, it is most cost effective for ANCA to feature routes and trails that have been identified in existing guidebooks, recreational maps, on Chamber or Bike Shop websites, on County Planning Dept websites, and in magazines, newspaper articles and blogs. With our main emphasis on existing information, we would like to be able to offer at least one website link to more information for each route and trial, and preferably 2 or 3 links, so that the user can be that much more informed before they start their ride. Also, if rides have been in the public domain for a while and thus vetted to some degree, ANCA will have fewer maintenance issues in terms of having to correct route or ride information, and fewer disappointed riders.
So the biking-related information from area Chambers, Bike Shops, Bike Clubs and others that would be most beneficial consists mainly of website links to existing information about bike routes, bike rides, mountain bike trails, biking events, etc. That is the information that will provide the majority of the biking information presented on the Bike the Byways website. We could also use copies of printed biking brochures or maps that have not yet made it to the web. We have collected quite a few of those, but may have missed some.
Along with existing, well-developed ride descriptions and maps, pictures are another important piece of the puzzle that will help sell the region’s bicycling opportunities to potential visitors. There again, existing rides, routes and trails are more likely to have pictures available that show the ride, the scenery around the ride, and the resources and attractions along the way. So ANCA appreciates any pictures that can be shared – including pictures of biking, as well as pictures of the scenery and resources visitors might see from the seat of a bike on one of the area’s bike rides, routes or trails. We would of course credit the owner and/or photographer of the image.
Lake Champlain Biking, Lakes to Locks Passage, Chazy
On that note, it is important going forward that organizations retain full and free usage rights for all photography and video paid for with public funds, digital imagery is too valuable for promoting the region’s communities and resources to have it locked up behind antiquated and possibly ill-informed restricted-use agreements.
Contact Tim Holmes anytime to discuss any of these issues or concerns.