Bicycling indicates and adds to healthier, more vibrant lifestyles and communities. Just as it's important to maintain clean streets, green spaces, and historic structures in any community, it's equally important to create and/or maintain an air of bike-friendliness, whether through tangible objects, changes in attitudes, or a nice balance of both.
While that may sound complicated, becoming bike-friendly is actually quite simple, and like a bike itself, contains just a few major parts to work properly.
Read on to learn about 3 important ways you can promote bike-friendly practices in your business and community.
1. Install Bike Racks
Perhaps the simplest, easiest thing you can do to tell the public that you are bike-friendly is to place a bike rack (or lots of bike racks) outside of your business and advocate them throughout your community.
A row of bike racks outside of the Meyersdale Train Station near the trail head.
If you own a business near a major trail or bike way, then it's essential for you to include at least 1 bike rack at your business. Much of your business comes from cyclists, and while it is possible to lock a bike to a tree, fence, or other such object, the best, most secure option is a designated bike rack. Many cyclists will not feel comfortable leaving their bike locked to random objects, especially over night.
In such cases, which are surprisingly common, especially in small, rural towns, you may lose a significant amount of potential business if you don't have bike racks.
Check out David Byrne's NYC bike racks for some creative takes on traditional rack designs.
2. Provide Tools to Make Simple Repairs
Consider investing in patch kits, a floor pump, or a Bike Box for your business. These inexpensive items are absolutely priceless to a bike tourist who is far from home, without essential tools to make simple, but important, repairs such as a flat tire. In fact, it's highly recommended that all businesses near trails and bikeways have, at least, a floor pump, as it is extremely difficult to fully fill tires using a travel-sized hand pump.
An on-the-go Bike Repair station at Whole Foods in Pittsburgh. The station includes a pump, allen keys, and wrenches all securely attached and free to the public.
By providing such tools, you will be responsible for helping many cyclists complete their journeys, providing a much needed convenience, and really being a positive part of many cyclists' perspective of a business and/or town.
And most likely, these cyclists will spread the word about how great and bike-friendly you and your business are, they may return again and again, and will certainly tell others about their good experience.
For more bike repair inspiration, check out this Bike-Part Vending Machine.
3. Practice a Forward-Thinking Attitude
A positive, forward-thinking attitude is a lot less tangible than bike racks or bike repair kits, but it's an important part of bike-friendly businesses and communities.
Most simply, someone with a forward-thinking attitude looks toward a bright future that is both successful and sustainable. Forward-thinkers also elect innovative ideas and solutions to problems. Always looking ahead, forward-thinkers see a vivid big picture, allowing them to feel less stress due to day-to-day, small-scale problems.
Part of a forward-thinking attitude is being bike-friendly. Bike-friendliness indicates that you promote a healthy future, an excellent, improved quality of life, and a strong, sustainable community.
For more ways you can become or continue to be bike-friendly, check out 5 Easy Ways to be a Bike-Friendly Business or these additional bike-friendly business tips.
How do you advocate bike-friendly business practices? Comment below!