making your holiday cottage bike friendly

making your holiday cottage bike friendlyCatering for the growing British cycling market

As the pinnacle of worldwide competitive cycling it may seem strange to refer to Tour de France winners as busses, but when Bradley Wiggins was crowned the king of the tour in 2012 very few of us, having waiting more than 100 years for a British winner, expected to see Chris Froome storming down the Champs-Élysées adorned in the yellow jersey just twelve months later.

Add to those names the likes of Chris Hoy, Rebecca Pendleton and many more from the record breaking GB cycling team of recent years and you begin to build a picture of a nation enjoying one of the most successful times in its cycling history.

So often elite level success trickles down to greater recreational participation; cycle paths have begun to pop up and be developed in greater numbers and many enjoying a stay in a holiday cottage this summer will now be looking forward to getting the family out for a day on the bikes. There are many ways of making your holiday cottage bike friendly and many owners will be looking for ways to appeal to this market.

So what can you do to cater to this growing market?

Provide guests with the information they need

It’s a good idea to provide your guests with information such as where the local cycle paths are, how long the cycle will be, potential stop off points and also the level of difficulty.

Whilst some may be after an adrenaline fuelled speed cycle through the local woods others will be seeking a more sedate experience whilst taking in the views so make sure your guests know what they’re getting themselves in for.

This information doesn’t need to be restricted to arrival or as a pack in your holiday home either.  Consider promoting the local cycle paths on your website along with images from those unrivaled views.  If you’re aiming to attract this sort of market it’s important to make sure they know everything you have to offer.

Washing and drying facilities

The British weather can be notoriously inclement no matter what the month, which when cycling is involved often leads to muddy and rain sodden clothing.

Providing designated areas where dirty clothes and trainers can be aired and washed will be an added bonus for visitors and will also limit the mud and dirt to certain parts of your holiday cottage.

Storage

Bicycles take up space so you need somewhere to store them.  There is now a wide array of space saving storage devices on the market specifically designed for cyclists and they don’t have to cost the earth; some begin from just £29.99 from well known hardware stores.

Any potential space saving within the cottage itself can also save expense on having to erect external bike sheds and installing further security devices.

Providing bikes for your holiday cottage guests

If you’re providing bikes for your guests then you’ll need to confirm with your holiday cottage insurance provider if they are happy to extend your liability insurance for this activity and comply with policy conditions and good health and safety practice. At the very least you’ll have to ensure they’re regularly inspected and maintained by a competent person.  If they’re defected in any way they should be made unavailable to guests until they have been repaired and are in full working order.

Make sure you provide helmets

Wearing a helmet is a vital part of cycling health and safety so if you’re providing bicycles to your guests it’s essential that you make these available.

Like your bike a helmet should also be inspected on a regular basis, with a log kept of when you last made an inspection, along with any replacements or repairs carried out.

Consider adding signage where your bikes are stored to remind them that the helmets are there for them and recommend they should be used at all times.

Boshers are specialist providers of insurance to holiday homes and cottages. For more information on how a specialist insurer can help and support your holiday home please give us a call on 01237 429444.

 

6 replies
  1. John Dover
    John Dover says:

    Can’t see how you could possibly recoup the cost of bikes,helmets, bike sheds and insurance in sort of increased weekly charges for your cottage that most people would be prepared to pay. Seems a complete “no no” to me.

    Reply
  2. Philip Dawes
    Philip Dawes says:

    My local council (Suffolk Coastal) has a scheme that will pay 50% of the cost of providing bikes & equipment for guests – even so the cost (and worry) of maintainance lead me to agree with John – I don’t want the hassle of a guest phoning me up in the ‘small hours’ just to say they have a puncture!

    Reply
    • Mark Lavington
      Mark Lavington says:

      Totally understand your concerns, our preference is to make a storage space available for those guests who wish to bring there own bikes or point those who don’t towards local cycle hire companies who often also offer a maintenance and recovery service. Bike friendly shouldn’t have to be supplying the bikes yourself, just facilities and information.

      Reply
  3. Rick Bond
    Rick Bond says:

    A helpful article although it am Interested in your comments recommending the provision of helmets for guests. My understanding that this could make you liable for an injury if the rider chose to use the wrong sizes helmet when no other size was available or if a helmet showed signs of scratches, dents or other aspect of wear and tear which would render it unfit for use. Judging by the way my kids helmets got knocked around when not been worn, I think I’d be buying new helmets every week. I’d be interested in your thoughts on this and other alternatives as it could be quite an expensive item if having to purchase new helmets regularly.

    Reply
  4. Pedal Power
    Pedal Power says:

    Some interesting points raised in the article.

    I’m sure the advice will help some cottage owners attract and keep cyclist customers.

    Thanks for the article.

    Reply

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