Attracting Cycle Tourists to your Business
Top Tip: don’t be put off by appearances!
If they are hot and sweaty, or drenched, or windblown, they are looking for a lovely break and great experience and will remember and recommend a welcoming refuge from the elements.
Great Bike Parking
Provide good quality bike parking and lots of it.
A bike loaded with panniers can be heavy, unwieldily and valuable. Bike parking should provide stable support and a safe and secure place to lock it. A ‘wheelbender’ style bike rack won’t be any use.
A good bike rack will support the frame of the bike and enable the bike to be parked and locked parallel to the rack/support. Although cyclists will often make do with trees, power poles, fences and downpipes, they will feel welcome when they find you have decent bike parking installed is an obvious and safe spot.
As well as enjoying coffee, beer and other cold beverages, a cyclist will want a place to fill up their water bottles so they can stay hydrated between stops. A cyclist will feel welcome if you make provisions for filling water bottles or offer to fill their bottle for them.
In this regard cycle tourists have the same basic needs as everyone else, but they need these facilities more often because they cover their distances at a different pace, they may be on back roads / trails (without petrol stations!) and they are drinking more. A friendly sign pointing them to the loo, and letting them use it without security checks will make them feel welcome. Toilets on the trail can be few and far between, so please make yours a welcoming pit stop.
Clear Signage and Reliability
- Make your business easy to find with clear signage directing them off and back onto the trail.
Place directional signage on the trail and at key points between the trail and your business. That will help your customers feel confident about leaving the trail and finding you.
- Be clear and reliable about your opening hours.
Informational signage with your opening details will also encourage customers to head your way. But make sure they are current and applicable – your potential customers will be very annoyed if they detour and find you aren’t open when you said you would be. When you are tired and hungry extra distance is most unwelcome.
A Warm Welcome
It is the little things that matter, and like all your customers, the cycling ones like to feel welcome. Here are some ideas:
- Bike related decorations, signage, souvenirs acknowledge your cycling customers passion for biking and show your support.
- Stock or provide helpful items that would appeal to a cyclist? Sunscreen, tyre patch kits, wooly seat covers…..even if you don’t usually sell food, consider stocking some snack bars or lolly bags.
- If you sell items that can’t be easily carried on a bike, like Art or Wine, then provide delivery options and make that obvious. That way they will know they can browse with intent! They might look like they are down to their last few dollars and make then biggest purchase of the day.
- Team up with other similar businesses and advertise each other as the ‘next stop’ on the trail.
- Sponsor facilities on the trail like seats, picnic tables, shelters and toilets.
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