Ultimate guide to cycle friendly holiday accommodation
As both owners of a bike friendly holiday cottage and avid mountain bikers ourselves, we can provide some great tips on how to create holiday accommodation that is perfect for cyclists.
Top range mountain bikes and road bikes can run into thousands of pounds each. Even a family with a couple of kids and some basic bikes will have the best part of a thousand pounds worth of bikes. So they will want somewhere secure and undercover they can lock them up. At our bike friendly holiday cottage in North Wales we have a large lockable brick built store for bike storage. It is only a couple of meters from the off road parking so makes storing bikes a breeze.
If you have been out on your bike (certainly if mountain biking) you often need to give it a wash down. So provide a hose or a jet-wash. We have a hose pipe, jet wash and selection of bike washing brushes at our cottage and that does the trick even after the muddiest ride. You could even provide a bottle of Muc-Off or something similar.
It really is essential to provide some clothes washing facilities (i.e. a washing machine). People don’t like riding every day in mucky or sweaty clothes.
You will need somewhere people can dry wet cycling gear. So this could be a good old fashioned garden washing line for use in the summer or an indoor airer. We provide both options for our guests.
Bit of a tricky one this. Most serious cyclists we know would rock up with their own tools and spares. After all, they probably take them out on the ride with them. However people do forget things.
So how about providing a basic tool kit that people can use. Perhaps a chain link splitter, cable ties, stand pump, tyre levers, puncture repair kit, a couple of screwdrivers, some chain lube and a range of allen keys. We just have a bag hanging up in our bike store with these inexpensive bits in it. If you really want to push the boat out how about providing a bike repair stand? We picked one up on ebay for £20 and it is ideal when you need to play around with your bike set up.
In your welcome pack, jot down the websites and phone numbers of local bike shops.
I think most people will have already figured out where they want to ride. However a few local recommendations can really make the difference to a holiday. Perhaps mention places to eat along the way, what parking facilities are available at trail centres etc. However some people may be unfamiliar with the area, so we would recommend listing some routes in your welcome pack and on your website. Also why not provide a few local OS maps and guide books so people can plan their own route. On our website we have included a section about some of the best mountain biking routes in North Wales.
Emergencies do happen, so give guests details of how to contact the emergency services. While everyone (we hope!) from the UK knows that you dial 999, guests from overseas may not be aware of this.
Many people on cycling holidays want to leave the car behind and arrive by bike. So provide information about the nearest train station and other public transport options.