What is Bikeout’s future? How have the last few months redefined the future of bike travel, for us and others?
These are questions we’ve been working on and thinking about since March, like so many other people whose futures have been impacted by a profound public health crisis.
We’ve spent the last three months reading about and reacting to the trends we’re seeing in the biking and tourism industries. These industries will be fundamentally changed, not only by health concerns, but by the cultural impact and economics of this global shift. We’ve talked to dozens and dozens of friends, partners and attendees that have helped us evaluate and refine our strategy for moving forward.
This is not just a reaction to the moment. We’re working on a new Bikeout that is responsive to what we expect to be a new era.
As we navigated the past few tumultuous months (not one, but two internal pivots), it’s funny to think that one of the things that we probably needed most was a weekend away on our bikes. The chance to take a deep breath.
That’s also become a sort of rallying cry for our mission: we truly believe that bike travel makes a whole lot of sense for humans right now. Get outside, explore your own backyard and region and challenge yourself. We want to be among those doing the work to empower more people to do that.
While doing this work to respond to the health crisis, we've also been deeply moved more recently by Black Lives Matter, because Black lives matter, unequivocally, today, yesterday and tomorrow. We plan to honor this movement by proving a commitment to it in our work, starting by reviewing our existing internal inclusivity plan and company principles and learning from people who are asking for more. We’ll find new ways to do our part to help dismantle systemic racism and will share an update on our plans in July, after evaluating over the course of the next few weeks.
What to expect next
Today, we’re sharing our immediate next steps as a travel company responding to a continuing health crisis.
- We’re thrilled to announce the details and availability of our first multi-day Getaway trip to the Finger Lakes, this Aug. 13-16. These small group trips were always a part of the Bikeout plan, but they’ve taken on outsized importance for us as we look ahead. We think this trip is an exciting new framework for thinking about bike travel, with a mix of activities, thoughtful speakers and programming, all in a beautiful new place. And with all the change in the world, we've completely redeveloped our health and refund policies in response to the times. Learn about this trip here.
- This summer, we’ll be sharing brand new, downloadable trip guides focused on curated bike adventures. These special guides will allow people to have their own private, self-guided Bikeout experiences and are being crafted with the unique needs of our riders in mind. Our first Guide is already in production, in partnership with the Philadelphia region's D&L Trail —the trail partner of last year's Philly to New Hope trip. We plan to offer Guides that are helpful for riders completely new to bike camping and for people that already create trips on their own, and the first Guide will be available in July!
- We’ll return to a more consistent content strategy, sharing stories about the people and places that make our bike communities so strong. After evaluating our digital strategy in a tidal wave of new online and virtual offerings, we hope that stories about the bike travel community can be a fun and helpful break. You can catch up by reading newly published stories about Devin, Kieran, Steve, Rob and a handful of Bikeout attendees from last year.
- We're still indefinitely postponing all of our large group Overnight trips in 2020. We believe these larger-scale events will be an important cornerstone of Bikeout and we’ll revisit them again in the future. Attendees were refunded in May, but if you didn’t receive payment or have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, we’re deeply grateful for and receptive to feedback from this community. In fact, if you’re interested in helping right now, we have a 4-question survey about our digital trip guides that takes less than 5 minutes to complete here. And we hope you’ll be in touch with any questions or thoughts by emailing us at email@example.com.
We’re excited to be on a path forward again and hope you’ll be there with us. See you soon.