The 83km Timber Trail, which runs between Pureora and Ongarue in the King Country, was one of the earlier trails to be completed, in 2013.
Last year 6500 people rode the trail – and many used the services of Paul Goulding’s Epic Cycle Adventures.
“We started off three-and-a-half years ago with a van, a trailer and four bicycles, and now we’ve got three vans [and] 40-odd bicycles,” Mr Goulding says.
“Business is about 40 percent up each year, so … we are very optimistic.” . .
The Central Otago Rail Trail shows the potential from cycleway.
It took time for people to realise the opportunities for the provision of accommodation, food and other goods and services but the trail now brings thousands of visitors and their money to remote rural communities.
It has brought life to dying towns and provided off-farm income for people on previously isolated properties.
This is being replicated in other parts of the country as new cycleway take off.
One of the more recent success stories is the Alps 2 Ocean cycleway which starts near Mount Cook and finishes in Oamaru.
Not all the trail is off road yet and there are long stretches where people have yet to seize the opportunities to feed, water, accommodate service and sell to the cyclists and their support crews.
But even in its infancy the trail is attracting thousands of cyclists and will host the sold-out Alps 2 Ocean Ultra next summer.
Here’s an appetiser for the trail: