Bike Tourism 101
What is Bike Tourism? After years of traveling by bike and subsequently working with tourism organizations on their bike travel initiatives, we drafted this working definition of Bike Tourism: Any travel-related activity, for the purpose of pleasure, which incorporates a bicycle.
We believe strongly in keeping things simple, so we use this definition to remind ourselves that bike tourism is broad and varied; and, oftentimes, the most successful bike tourism efforts stem from the simplest ideas.
What’s interesting about bike tourism is that it blurs the boundaries between traditional tourism worlds. In other words, bike tourism isn’t only about the bike. You can ride a rental bike on your vacation, in between playing tennis and sampling the new brewery, and you’re participating in bike tourism. You can ride self-supported across the US, taking breaks to hike in national parks or visit art museums, and you’re participating in bike tourism.
What this means for potential bike tourism destinations is this: You don’t need to build complicated or expensive new infrastructure; you simply need to create an environment that is welcoming to people on bikes, and then offer lodging, food, and water. In the end, it comes down to good customer service: recognize that a bicycle may be involved in your guest’s experience and be prepared to support it. Once you have the basics, you can always grow your bike tourism destination by offering dedicated bike trails or other services that are exclusive to people on bikes, but we encourage you to start with what you already have and keep things simple.
For further information, we encourage you to read the following blog posts which look at various aspects of bike tourism:
What is Bicycle Tourism
5 Reasons Why Bicycle Tourism Matters
5 Ways Bicycle Travel and Touring Are Changing
If You Sign It Will They Come: The Old West Scenic Bikeway A Year Later
Bicycling and the New Gold Rush
Video Interview with Bill White
All #BikeTourism Posts
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about building your bike tourism destination, and consider hosting us as a speaker in your community or working with us to market your area to bike travelers.