We are keen to encourage businesses to become ‘cyclist friendly’ establishments – we can promote this special offer via the Lakes & Dales Loop website and other marketing, and hopefully encourage more cyclists to visit, meaning more business for you!
Why are cyclists worthwhile?
Cyclists come in all shaped and sizes, but they do usually share several common needs and preferences when it comes to what they are looking for from a place to stop for refreshments and / or somewhere to stay overnight. Cyclists can be really good customers. After a stretch in the saddle they can be pretty tired, hungry and thirsty, so are very appreciative of somewhere warm, comfortable and dry to rest – for a hour or two, if not overnight. Service providers who ensure cyclists feel welcome will not only have them coming back time and again as repeat customers, they’ll be telling all their cycling friends about you, too!
How to make cyclists feel welcome if you are a food and drink service provider (cafe, pub)
- Provide safe and convenient cycle parking facilities, ideally near the entrance and / or where they can be overlooked. Stands that allow bike frame and wheels to be supported and locked to an immoveable object are much better than those into which a single wheel slots.
- Include a selection of hearty, carbohydrate-rich, dishes on the menu, such as jacket potatoes, chunky wholemeal sandwiches, beans on toast, pasta dishes, etc.
- Offer to refill water bottles (with free tap water).
If you are an accommodation provider, in addition to the above you might also consider…
- Offering securely locked, under-cover, overnight cycle parking.
- Keeping an up-to-date file of information about cycle hire / spares / repairs providers in the vicinity.
- Offering to provide, at a cost, a packed lunch including filling flasks and bottles with hot and cold drinks.
- If you do not provide evening meals and it’s a tidy distance to the nearest available, offer cyclists a lift to / from the local pub, take-away, etc.
- Having an overnight laundry service for cycling kit.
- Offering to dry wet outer clothing and shoes.
- Being flexible with meal times, within reason, as riders doing long days may wish to leave early or arrive late.
- Offering single night accommodation, if only during quieter periods, to cyclists enjoying a moving-on tour.
- Providing information on cycling opportunities nearby, e.g. for guests staying for a few days looking for ideas on what to do. This might include, cycle hire, cycle routes, guided rides, cycle-friendly attractions, etc.
- Consider keeping some simple cycle maintenance equipment, including puncture repair kits, a selection of inner tubes, a track pump, a basic cycle work-stand, a range of allen keys, some old rags and lubricating oil.
If you are interested in securing a seal of approval for your cycle-friendly credentials, there are a couple of relevant accreditation and publicity schemes, including
If you are keen to find out more about the benefits of welcoming cyclists and how to go about it, taking inspiration from other Cumbrian tourism businesses that are reaping the rewards, have a look at the Cumbria and the Lake District Cycle Tourism Toolkit – this is full of really useful information on all aspects of marketing and provision for cyclists.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of marketing for cyclists or developing your business to become ‘cycle-friendly’ please get in touch.