Mountain biking tourists and adventurists worldwide are always on the look out for “bike friendly accommodation”. While anyone with room to accommodate guests can easily make the claim, understanding what mountain bikers need and helping their vacation become really great is all in the small details.
Photos are taken from our local Sababike partners whom we’ve helped become a super bike friendly place!
At Sababike, we’ve set out on a mission to visit local accommodations and help them become more bike friendly. How do we do it? We believe that in order to accommodate mountain bikers the hotel, hostel or cabin must be able to enhance their mountain biking activity on top of being a nice place to stay. To achieve that there are three main principles to take into account:
1. Location: In order to be bike friendly the location of accommodation must be ride friendly.
2. Understanding the rider mentality: While as a business owner you’re not obliged to be a mountain biker yourself, it is important to understand the sport, the needs of the riders and a bit of the culture surrounding mountain biking.
3. Facilities: There are some almost mandatory facilities to offer in a bike friendly accommodation, and a lot that will be a very welcome addition.
We took our own experience as mountain bikers and mountain bike tourists alongside with our guiding and travel experience in various destinations and compiled a checklist which any business owner can use to become more bike friendly. Believing that reading a document and checking boxes isn’t always enough, we made ourselves available for “house calls” – visiting accommodation owners and helping them become more bike friendly using some of the following tools:
1. General analysis of the area and the riding potential: can you “ride out ride in”, quality of nearby trails and driving or shuttling distance to good trail heads in the area.
2. Default facilities: does the accommodation offer a safe place for bike storage? A lounge to gather in for post-ride beers? Early breakfasts and lunch packages to go? You can make a mountain biker’s stay as good as the quantity and quality of MTB-specific services that you offer.
3. Additional and MTB-specific facilities: A proper tool box and bike stand, energy gels, spare tubes and parts and a nearby bike shop are some of the things that mountain bikers will be glad to know are available, even if they don’t end up using them. Can you supply maps of the area or even have GPS track files available? Can you call up a guide or offer shuttle services? Small touches can make a big difference.
Going the Extra Mile
Becoming a bike friendly accommodation might sound like a bit of a daunting task, but in reality, a few basic services will go a long way. Of course you can decide to have everything and anything a mountain biker might ever need, but it isn’t always necessary to become a 100% MTB-specific place to be bike friendly. Start with a few small steps, be aware of what riders need and don’t be afraid to ask your local riders and guests for their input. And feel free to drop us a line for more advice!