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By the Power of the Bike! 

Monday, April 09, 2012 10:26:19 AM

             It may seem the most obvious thing in the world to say, but appealing to bicyclists is an excellent strategy to sustain your sustainable business. Here is a reminder, and some opportunities to attract bike traffic that you may not be aware of.

             Bicycles are a tremendously sustainable way to travel, and many avid bicyclists know and value that fact. The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) provides access to a tourist market that will not only want your services when they get off the trail but may be all the more interested in them because of your sustainable practices. You will want to let these bikers know you’re out there, make them want to come, and make it easy for them to do so.

            Think about where bikers may be looking and put your advertisement there. You can still advertise in all the old ways, and word of mouth can still be your best friend, but bikers may not see advertisements that people who live close to your business will. Most towns along the GAP have some kind of station at their trail head. Confluence is getting a new trail head sign and Connellsville will soon have a new visitors center. These locations are the most likely place for bikers coming through to find out about your business, so try to get your business on your town’s GAP map. Many trail riders use Trail book, consider taking out ad space in it. Scratch on another’s backs. Keep in mind that riders are likely to stop in more than one town as they ride the GAP whether or not they do it all in one go. Recommend your fellow businesses in other towns to your customers. Another tasty batch of Trail town Ice cream will be coming out this season. Each of the trail towns has its own unique flavor so bikers will want to try your flavor after stopping in each other town. Finally, many trail users today have smart phones. Strongly consider online advertising. If your business comes up in a tourists’ search and they can find directions they are more likely to come. Consider social media sites like foursquare.com as another way to attract business.

            Making your business bike accessible can be harder because it depends somewhat on your where your business is located, but there are things you can do. Bike racks are one of the best as well as one of the easiest things to install. You can buy bike racks online or build your own. The Trail Town Program has a bike rack program through which you can get discounted bike racks. Outside seating is great for bikers because they can both watch their things and have access to their bike packs. If the entrance to your business is difficult to get to by bike, consider its other sides. Is there a secondary entrance that could be made more visible and accessible to bikers? Is there a nearby place they could lock up their bikes and walk over from?

            Bike traffic is a great way to sustain your sustainable business, so keep those bikers happy and coming. If you don’t have a bike rack get in touch with the trail program through http://www.trailtowns.org/ to do so.

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