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Visit Scotland | Alba

Go the extra mile

Businesses interested in welcoming cyclists should consider certain opportunities to increase bookings.

This article goes through a number of ideas that businesses could use to go the extra mile and add real value to the visitor experience of cyclists.

Connect with local cycling operators

Work with other cycle-related operators. These could be local guides, tours operators and companies, local hire, or retailers. Together, you can tap into the trend of taking cycling holidays with partners, families, and groups of friends.

Offering a digital cycling specific information pack before arrival is the best practice. Or you could provide a list of relevant operators on your website.

An old man with a bike inspects a map of North Queensferry

Offer packaged services

You can work collaboratively or via a tour operator to package services. Tour operators can package these together and carry the expense and risk of complying with the regulations.

Working with a tour operator or destination management company will also open more business to you. As and when you need business or supply forward bookings from them, they can help you with your own operational planning.

Package travel regulations

Are you considering or already packaging two or more services such as accommodation and cycle hire? When you sell them directly to consumers, you must comply with package travel regulations.

Read more about package travel regulations

Offer transport for visitors and their bikes

Offering an airport or train station pick up using bike racking on a vehicle is a sure way to attract visitors who travel with their own bikes.

Businesses who welcome cyclists may also wish to link up with local taxi and minibus hire companies. They can run shuttles or offer pickups for cyclists (depending on their route or when they have a mechanical breakdown).

These services add unique value by solving potential problems for guests travelling around the region.

Offer emergency kits and tool stations

Cyclists tend to travel light, especially those who are travelling to Scotland by air. These visitors won't bring much in the way of maintenance kit. So, they'll appreciate you offering the basics to help with maintenance and cleaning such as:

  • a track pump for both presta and shrader valves (read about the difference between both valves)
  • cloths and rags to clean bike frames with access to a bike wash area
  • a range of adjustable spanners and allen keys
  • spare bike helmets which are adjustable for different fits
  • a track maintenance stand
  • spare tubes for various sizes of wheel or puncture patches

Some providers also offer small first aid kits with emergency heat blankets, patches, bandages and plasters. This is simply to cover grazes, scrapes and potential cuts. Little thoughts go a big way which shows you consider the needs of the cyclist.

Why not place a laminated card within the first aid kits giving the traveller essential and emergency numbers to call here in the UK? This should prove handy if they are lost, broken down, immobile and in need of assistance.

The rise of e-bikes and specific needs of the user

Retailers report that the sale of electric bikes, or e-bikes, are on the rise in the UK with around a 70% increase in sales year on year.

E-bikes are an increasingly popular option for older cyclists who typically are less able to sustain effort for long periods. But also within the mountain bike community, where power assisted bikes helps with climbing steeper terrain.

The growth in e-bikes has naturally seen a demand for fast charging stations such as BOSCH packs. These can recharge 50% of a typical battery pack in around 2-3 hours which is enough to enable a rider to return to base.

E-bikes will typically have average range of around 35-45 miles (55-70 kilometers) depending on the chosen mode and terrain. Although the cyclist can extend this by recharging at local attractions, caf├ęs, shops, etc.

Bicycles in a rack at Bike Bute bike hire

Understand the Scottish Outdoor Access Code

The Land Reform (Scotland) Act gives everyone new rights of responsible access to Scotland's outdoors. This is a huge advantage over other destinations across the world.

Cyclists have the right of responsible non-motorised access to most land in Scotland. It doesn't matter whether it's for recreation or to journey from place-to-place.

Businesses can play their part. Help visitors prepare for journeying around the regions by bicycle. Check if they know the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and its responsibilities. Also check whether they're well-prepared for trains, road conditions, traffic laws, and the weather.

These factors all help ensure our visitors have a positive and memorable experience.