Bike Overnights FAQ

Bike Overnights 101

What is Bike Overnights?

The Bike Overnights program at Adventure Cycling embodies the mission of Adventure Cycling by working to make bike travel accessible and inclusive for all, especially people from historically marginalized communities including BIPOC, LGBTQIA, women, and gender nonconforming cyclists, and cyclists with disabilities.

We encourage the bike travel community to share and join together in accessible, inclusive short overnight trips in their community; provide direct support and resources to those from BIPOC, LGBTQIA, women, gender nonconforming communities, and communities with disabilities who want to experience bike travel; and create accessible and inclusive resources, stories, and experiences for people beginning their bike travel journey.

How does the program work?

  • We share Bike Overnight rides led by bike adventurers who are committed to our mission of connecting and inspiring bike travel with their community! Bike Overnights are short and inviting for anyone who has been curious about a Bike Overnight trip.
  • We provide stipends and sponsorships between $100-$3000 for beginner bike travelers from marginalized communities to begin their bike travel journey.
  • We share educational resources, stories, videos and interviews, as well as shorter routes (coming soon!) to help inspire and support beginners in the bike travel journey.

Why is Bike Overnights important to Adventure Cycling?

The mission of Adventure Cycling is to inspire, empower, and connect people to bicycle travel. Historically, Adventure Cycling, like many organizations in the cycling, outdoor recreation, and adventure travel industry, has inadequately done the work of advocating for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and other marginalized communities.

To ensure our mission embodies the values of equity, access, inclusion, diversity and justice, we are undertaking work to empower and provide resources and support for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and trans/women/intersex and gender nonconforming people. Bike Overnights is a step forward in doing this work. Adventure Cycling is here to welcome and support all those who want to experience the joy of bike travel, and we want to make sure it is inclusive and accessible. You can read more about our commitment to diversity and inclusion here.

How to Go On A Bike Overnight

What is a Bike Overnight ride?

Bike Overnights are beginner-friendly, accessible, and take place over no more than 3 nights, and each day includes fewer than 60 miles of riding. Rides that do not meet these requirements will be removed from our Bike Overnights event listings.

Are rides open to anyone?

Bike Overnights are meant for the general public! There is also a need for safe spaces, especially in historically inaccessible and inequitable places like the outdoor recreation or cycling industries.

We’re happy to share rides that center and are only open to BIPOC, transgender, women, intersex, gender nonconforming, or lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, asexual cyclists. We share all rides in our Bike Overnights event listings but these types of rides may not be open to individuals who do not identify as such.

What do you mean by beginner friendly?

A beginner friendly ride takes into account the mileage, elevation gain, road and traffic conditions, on-street or off-street trails, shoulders, and other considerations that make a trip accessible to anyone. When considering a route, ask: Would you take your friend who’s never gone on a bike trip?

When others sign up to participate in your ride, ensure you communicate with them extensively about what they should expect on your route, and try to plan for the possibility of people needing support or to turn around.

Do we have to camp?

No. There can be great options near you or perhaps closer via train, bus, or ferry, but going to cabins, organizing a lock-in, or considering an Airbnb, bed and breakfast, or another option is great! Let us know what other options you’ve explored — we’d love to hear about them.

Can children go on a Bike Overnight?

Absolutely! If rides aren’t appropriate for young kids or may include substance use like alcohol, it’s great to let your riders know and talk about that at your trip meeting.

How can I learn more about leading a ride?

We’ve created a great guide for you! There are also videos available, as well as several ride guides, created by Roxy Robles and Radical Adventure Riders. If you would like to contribute resources about leading an accessible ride, please reach out!

How much does it cost to share my ride on your platform or to join a ride?

Nothing. A listed Bike Overnight event may have associated costs or fees, like pitching in to pay for a campground or for a shared meal. Ride leaders, please list any predicted associated costs in your event listing. Participants should get in touch with the ride leader with questions.

Troubleshooting Your Ride Submission

I don’t have all the information yet. Can I still share my ride on your platform?

You need to answer every question in order to share your ride. If you’re hoping to lead a really great public ride, it’s helpful to give as much specific information as possible, including a public way to contact you such as your Instagram handle, website, or email.

I don’t have the route set in stone yet or don’t use Ride with GPS. Can I still share my overnight?

It’s okay if you don’t use Ride with GPS, although it is a great tool to share your route. We recommend that you share a detailed account of your route in your event description, whether it’s a map you draw and share, cue sheets, or sharing each step at a pre-trip meeting. Make sure people know where you will be going, stopping, and meeting up, especially so you don’t leave anyone behind! Not having a set itinerary is probably going to be hard for beginners to plan for.

Do I have to sign up on the Adventure Cycling website to share my route?

Yes. You may have signed up on our website previously, so if you are having trouble, we recommend resetting your password.

Do people who are interested in my ride have to sign up on the Adventure Cycling website to enjoy my Bike Overnight?

No, but there are advantages to doing so. When you encourage participants to sign up for your ride on the Adventure Cycling website, you will have everyone’s contact information in a handy place in order to send pre-trip information and meeting invites. Participants will also receive your contact information. If they do not sign up via our website, you will need to make sure they can get in touch with you. Adventure Cycling does not take responsibility if riders cannot experience a Bike Overnight due to miscommunication.

What about liability and insurance?

All bike trips associated with Adventure Cycling’s Bike Overnights program, including Bike Travel Weekend and Bike Your Park Day, are independently and voluntarily organized by individuals, businesses, or groups and are not under the control of Adventure Cycling Association, including Adventure Cycling staff or contractors. Ambassadors or trip leaders are volunteers and are 100% responsible for their trip and for working with all the participants on the trip.

If you have concerns about being responsible for individuals who you do not know on your Bike Overnight, you can do one of three things: you can limit participants to known friends and family members; you can research and use a liability release form applicable in your state; or you can work with a club, shop, or other entity that has liability insurance and would be willing to use it to cover your trip.

There's more information on how you can assess and help your group manage risk in our Guide to Planning and Leading a Bike Overnight here!

I don’t see a Bike Overnight in my area. What do I do?

We’re hoping we can get as many Bike Overnight adventures shared across the globe as possible. If you’re interested in leading or perhaps partnering to lead a ride, we have a lot of inspiration on our blog and website. You could also think about reaching out to your local bike shop, subreddit, bike club, or local chapters of groups like Friends on Bikes, Radical Adventure Riders, Out Our Front Door, and more! They may be interested in helping get a ride going or pointing you in other directions.

Nobody signed up or showed up for my ride. What should I do?

That’s unfortunate! Please do continue to go on your ride — take photos, enjoy it. By following through, you show you can be a good leader. You can also schedule it again or follow up asking why folks couldn’t come. Sometimes life gets in the way, and continuing to share the joy of a Bike Overnight definitely makes you a great ambassador for the mission. We hope you try again and have more success.

Bike Overnights Support and Resources

How do stipends and sponsorships for Bike Overnights rides work?

Adventure Cycling can provide funding in increments from $100 to $3,000 for those who want to improve access and inclusion to bike travel by centering beginner bike travel for persons from Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQ+, women, intersex, gender nonconforming communities, and persons with disabilities. Individual stipends top out at $500, and larger grants are available for groups with a 501(c)3 status or another nonprofit fiscal agent.

What kinds of projects can receive Bike Overnights funds?

We mostly support rides and events where people from marginalized communities can experience and connect to the joy of bike travel! Bike Overnights trips MUST be three (3) nights or less, with mileage of fewer than 60 miles a day, and include at least four (4) participants. We have some reporting and photo requirements, and you can learn more about proposals and agreements by emailing bike-overnights@adventurecycling.org.

Are there funds available for other projects that aren’t Bike Overnights trips?

Yes! There are also stipend funds available for projects that support this work, such as creating articles, videos, webinars, and other resources. We will consider events and other educational gatherings depending on their alignment with Bike Overnights and Adventure Cycling’s mission.

I don’t have a non-profit status but I’d like to plan a larger event. Can I get funding over $500?

Unfortunately, we’re limited in our ability to provide larger grants to individuals. We’d love to talk more to coordinate and to see if there are possibilities to support your work! Email bike-overnights@adventurecycling.org.

What is required to receive funds?

We’ll ask you to provide a proposal, as well as some reporting or narratives on how you used the funding. This includes photos and a follow up chat with our Bike Overnights staff. If you particularly awesome photos, we might ask to purchase them! We also ask you to share on social media, and we’d love to talk about more opportunities to reach your followers.

Is there a limit to funding?

Yes. While we would love to fund every Bike Overnights ride, we only have so much funding each fiscal year. Depending on the number of requests we receive, we might not be able to support every $3,000 sponsorship request. Our fiscal year, and our Bike Overnights funding, renews every October.