Sparling starts Blyth Bike Tours - May 17, 2018
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Reece Sparling of Blyth has taken his passion for cycling and applied it to his hometown with the creation of Blyth Bike Tours.
The 16-year-old Sparling is hoping to have a storefront open just north of Memorial Hall in June and his website, blythbiketours.com, should also be operational by then.
Sparling says that he and his family have taken a number of organized bike tours over the years in cities like Chicago, Washington D.C. and Seattle and felt that, with all of the tourism and development ongoing in Blyth, such a tour would be a good fit for the village.
The young man has a number of passions, including soccer, which he has been playing for years.
Sparling has played for a number of area soccer teams and more recently has been involved with the Huron FC futsol (indoor soccer) system.
He is hoping to continue the heritage storytelling tradition for which Blyth has become known in recent years.
There will be two tour options. The first will be a 90-minute tour of the village that begins and ends at Blyth Cowbell Brewing Company, which his father co-owns. The second will last between two-and-a-half and three hours. It will begin at Sparling’s storefront at 441 Queen Street and the tour will be split in half with a lunch at the brewery positioned in the centre.
There will also be an option for private group tours that will have to be booked one week in advance. For those tours, he said groups can bring their own bikes and helmets, whereas on the public tours, the company can provide bikes and helmets for tour-goers.
Sparling, a lifelong Blyth resident, will be personally guiding all of the tours.
One addition that Sparling is hoping to work out is coin-operated showers for cyclists who have made their way to Blyth from long distances. If his facility can house coin-operated showers, cyclists can shower and change before heading to any of the village’s numerous destinations.
He said that while the logistics have yet to be worked out, that’s a service he hopes to provide in the near future.
For more information on Blyth Bike Tours, visit the company’s website at blythbiketours.com. Although the website has yet to be officially launched, Sparling says it should be live in the coming weeks.