But the barriers to long-distance bike travel are broad and many. New gear is expensive and logistics seem daunting. Mileage is physically demanding and some routes seem dangerous. It can feel like there’s a “code” among cyclists that’s hard to understand.
Bikeout’s mission is to help limit these barriers. We've found that if you provide the right tools, the potential of bike travel can be opened up to more people.
The team at Bikeout is made up of bike travel enthusiasts. We’ve gone on dozens of trips for days or weeks at a time. As we’ve gotten to know the bike travel community, we’ve found a consistent truth that supports our thinking: nearly no one does their first trip by themselves.
In 2016, Brian James Kirk and Mat Tomezsko announced plans for Bikeout's first adventure, a 35-mile ride from the heart of downtown Philadelphia on a protected trail to a beautiful farm just outside the city. Amanda Crawford-Staub, who was looking for her next challenge after participating with an environmental activism bike tour, reached out to see how she could get involved.
Our goal became about elevating the experience by offering the things we tend to miss when we travel ourselves: an incredible meal prepared by a chef, along with programming, like music and yoga, to round out the quieter moments. We asked experienced ride leaders to help show people the way and we carried everyone’s gear straight to the farm to make it that much more enjoyable.
To our great surprise, the event sold out in just a few days, so we doubled our capacity and sold out again. And it wasn’t just newcomers to bike travel. The bike touring community had found a new way to celebrate what they love, too.
Since then, we’ve hosted more than 1,000 riders at our large-scale overnight Festivals and more than 80 percent of riders say they’re more likely to explore bike travel.
Because of the global pandemic, we've had to reimagine how we fulfill our mission until we can host large group gatherings again, starting with the creation of digital trip Guides that provide riders with independent adventures.
We hope you’ll join us in helping to grow this wonderful community.
P.S. A special thanks to Lydia Fu, who did the wonderful biker and letter illustrations as well as the watercolor washes across the website and Danie Harris, who produced and edited our homepage video. Tim Tiebout, Neal Santos and Emily Paige Townsend provided many of the beautiful photos, which are credited individually.
If you're interested in being a part of Bikeout, there are many ways to get involved. We're interested in growing our connections with vendors and volunteers in the local communities that we're already a part of and touching base with new communities where our trips could take place in the future.