Mythic cycling tours in soulful Sperrins
By ELEANOR MCGILLIE 8 October, 2015
A CLUSTER of tourism businesses based in the Sperrin Mountains are collaborating to launch Cycle Sperrins next week – a tourism led initiative to attract touring cyclists from across the globe.
The Cycle Sperrins Consortium, which is made up of speciality food producers, farm businesses, tearooms and quality accommodation providers based along the world-class four day cycle route, will welcome Tourism NI chairman, Terence Brannigan, to officially launch the initiative.
Supported by Derry’s rural tourism project Discover Faughan Valley and also the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Cycle Sperrins aims to attract touring cyclists from across the world to this undiscovered jewel in Northern Ireland’s crown.
The consortium was brought together by Far and Wild, the adventure company behind Cycle Sperrins, which provides bike hire and guides for the route.
Lawrence McBride, director of Far and Wild, said the archaeology, scenery and rustic charm of the Sperrins is already capturing the hearts and imaginations of cyclists from Holland and Germany.
Mr McBride said: “This is a powerful example of a cluster collaboration where 10 small experiential tourism businesses share a strong interest in working together to promote a top-quality product to the rest of the world.
“This cycling experience includes Glenelly Valley which listed in the National Geographic magazine’s Top 10 Drives in the World. The key behind Sperrins Cycle Consortium is the idea of each business passing on customers to the next point along this attractive route. It is local people who tourists want to meet and whose knowledge will help touring cyclists experience the many flavours and hidden delights they otherwise might miss.
“As a consortium, we plan to raise the profile of the Sperrins so people will come here, cycle our moderate hills in the centre of historic Ulster and leave with an enchanting story to tell.”
Mr McBride said the launch event at Broughderg Tourism Centre on Tuesday (October 13) will showcase the Sperrins as an off the beaten track route for touring cyclists.
He added: “We are delighted with the support of Tourism NI and look forward to welcoming Mr Brannigan. We also look forward to attracting cyclists from overseas to come and explore the beauty and flavour of the Sperrins along our 160km multi-day cycle route.”
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