What better way to explore what Callander has to offer than for free and on two wheels?

A new initiative, the Callander Bike-Share Program lends bicycles for use along the town’s streets and waterfront and on the network of multi-use pathways in the area.

The Municipality of Callander says it is committed to offering healthy, active lifestyle choices to its visitors and citizens alike.

“It’s great for people to be active,” said Catharina Nordbeck, who is the events, marketing and community enhancement coordinator with the Municipality of Callander. “Exploring a community by bike, we think is an ideal way to spend the day and get to know more beautiful sights in the community.”

Nordbeck added, “This is part of the Municipality of Callander’s ongoing efforts to promote Callander as a bike-friendly destination and to promote biking in Callander.”

She says a bike festival and family bike lessons held in the spring created the community momentum to lead into the bike-sharing concept.

“We have lots of wonderful trails here in Callander such as the Kate Pace Way and the Cranberry Trail and lots of nearby biking trails going to Corbeil, Astorville and Powassan,” she said.

With origins in Europe, bike-sharing has made its way to this side of the pond. Nordbeck said she used an app to locate and drop off bikes on a recent trip to Europe. The system is not so elaborate in Callander and relies on the honour system which should work just fine in a smaller locale.

There are programs in metropolitan areas such as Toronto and Ottawa but also smaller towns like Burk’s Falls, which has a thriving cycling population.

The emergence of cycling tourism and bike-sharing means, “We want to build on that and try to position Callander to be well-prepared to receive people who want to visit Callander and explore by bike,” Nordbeck explained.

The pilot bike-share program will run all this month and the inventory of bikes has already grown. A donation from a member of the community has brought the initial fleet of three bikes up to four.

The adult bikes are available free of charge at the Callander Bay Heritage Museum Tuesday through Saturday between 10:00am and 4:00pm for participants who are 18 years and older. The municipality asks that you bring your own helmet.

For more information and to sign-out a bike, please visit the Callander Bay Heritage Museum.