Andy Ostmeyer, a writer for the Joplin Globe, visited Ottawa on a recent cycling adventure. He drew many of the same conclusions that I have about the promise of this small town as a hub for cycling and tourism in Kansas and the region. He calls Ottawa “a glimpse of the future of cycling in the Midwest”. Ottawa will soon be the hub of nearly 230 miles of interconnected trail in the heart of Kansas. Andy points out how trail and bicycle infrastructure investments, like the Legacy Square project, will continue to drive business investment and tourism to the area. He even mentions my bike shop as an example along with a new bed-and-breakfast that is being developed specifically to support trail users. You can read the entire article here.
Here’s a great quote from the article.
Riding around Ottawa and its trails, stopping for lunch downtown and filling up with gas before I left, I understand better than before that the economic impact of trails grows as these routes get connected. As they get bigger, their draw grows, their constituency grows, their economy grows. As more miles are added and more towns are linked and more services are offered, the trails go from being local or regional destinations to state and then national destinations and, ultimately, can become international destinations.