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5 Tips for Hosting Cyclists in Your Short-Term Rental

By Nathan Guss|8 min|April 2024

Biking season is just around the corner or already in full swing in many places. Read on for tips on how to cater to cycling enthusiasts.

Many areas around the country are magnets for cycling tourists. Places like Durango, Colorado; Moab, Utah; Bentonville, Arkansas; Brevard, North Carolina; and East Burke, Vermont draw mountain bikers by the thousands. Road biking also has its share of dreamy destinations—upstate South Carolina; the Finger Lakes region in New York; Asheville, North Carolina; and Burlington, Vermont, just to name a few. With the relatively recent emergence of new types of cycling, such as gravel biking, fat biking and e-biking, such destinations are bound to see even more visits. E-bikes, with their electric assistance, have made cycling accessible to more people. Fat bikes (mountain bikes with oversized tires) and gravel bikes have extended the cycling season: the former are often ridden on snowy or frozen trails, and the latter allow riding gravel roads before and after singletrack trails open.

Whatever the reasons, cycling tourism is booming. According to a report by Grand View Research, its compound annual growth rate is expected to be 9.1% through 2030. Is your short-term rental business in one of the many areas that attract cyclists? You can make your rental stand out with some bike-related amenities that will enhance your guests’ visit. Whether your property is nestled in the heart of a mountain biking haven or along the scenic routes favored by road bikers, tailoring your accommodations to their needs can significantly boost your unit’s appeal. Here are some tips that will help you become a superstar host for cyclists.

1. Provide a secure storage location.

Secure, convenient bike storage can make a big difference for your guests. Traveling cyclists often face the dilemma of where to safely store their bikes when they’re out doing other activities or overnight. Providing a solution eases a common concern.

Indoor Options

For properties without dedicated outdoor spaces, hallways or mudrooms can be excellent for bike storage (think the mountain bike hanging in the hallway in Seinfeld). Recently highlighted in the Wirecutter, the Delta Cycle Michelangelo Gravity Stand is a great choice for such areas. It leans against the wall, requiring minimal installation with only one screw, and doesn’t take up much space. Its arms are adjustable so it can accommodate different bike types.

Outdoor Storage Options

Sheds: If you have the space, you could set up a secure shed specifically for bike storage. Fit solid locks and reinforce the door with a heavy-duty padlock or a deadlock. Cover windows with frosting or blinds to prevent would-be thieves from looking in. Motion-sensor lights can also deter potential larcenists.

Garages: Wall-mounted racks are an outstanding solution. The Steadyrack Classic Rack is ideal for vertical storage, freeing floor space for other uses. For a cheaper, simpler option, screw some hooks into a beam for hanging bikes. Just be sure they’re big enough for mountain and fat bike tires.

2. Set up a workshop with essential tools.

Bike Stand: Bikes are wonderful but sometimes finicky machines in need of constant adjustments and repair. A bike stand in a garage or mudroom would be a major plus for any cyclist. This allows for easy, ergonomic access to their steeds, sparing them from the discomfort of bending over an upside-down bicycle.

Tool set: When traveling, it’s easy to forget the tools needed to keep a bike running smoothly. A basic tool set saves your guests a trip to the local bike shop to purchase something they already have at home. If you’re concerned about someone walking off with a tool, you can attach them to a wall or post with cables. Here are the basics:

  • An Allen wrench set for adjusting various components
  • Flathead and Phillips head screwdrivers for various adjustments
  • A chain tool for chain issues or replacing broken links
  • Tire levers for removing the tire from the rim for tube repairs or replacements
  • A pump to keep tires inflated
  • Chain lube suitable for the local riding conditions (ask a local bike shop for recommendations on the best type for your area).
  • Degreaser for cleaning chains and gears

3. Set up a recovery area.

When you go to an exciting new cycling destination, it’s easy to be inspired to push your limits and put in some extra miles exploring. And naturally, that often translates to sore, tired legs. Most cyclists would appreciate having a recovery area that will help them bounce back for the next big day of riding. Here are some inexpensive items to include for post-ride recovery:

  • Yoga mats, straps, and blocks for stretching
  • Foam rollers to alleviate muscle tightness and enhance blood flow
  • Massage balls to relieve muscle knots and tension
  • Bluetooth speaker for relaxing music

4. Provide a bike washing station.

Bikes, especially fat and mountain bikes, can get pretty dirty after a long ride. When grime builds up, bikes get creaky and less fun to ride. A bike washing station helps your guests keep their bikes riding smoothly. Here’s how to set one up:

Choose a convenient location: Ideally, the area should have a hard, non-slip surface such as gravel or concrete. This makes it easier to manage water runoff and keeps the area tidy.

Supply the necessary tools: Equip the station with a range of cleaning tools. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A hose with an adjustable nozzle for different water pressures.
  • Brushes of various sizes—larger brushes for frames and wheels and smaller ones for cleaning gears
  • Sponges and rags for scrubbing and drying

Install a bike stand or a frame with hooks: This allows guests to clean their bikes without having to bend over, making it easier to reach all parts of the bike.

Consider water management: To prevent mud and water from accumulating, ensure the station has proper drainage. Install a drain or put the station in an area where water can easily run off to avoid erosion or puddles.

5. Share your knowledge.

If you’re a cyclist yourself, this part is easy. Where are your favorite places to ride? Where are the trailheads and parking areas? What are the current conditions? Give your guests the lowdown. They’ll appreciate getting insider info that will help them make the most of their cycling holiday. If you don’t ride, talk with friends who are avid bikers or bike shop employees to get a general feel for cycling in your area so you can give your guests an overview and answer basic questions.

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