November 19, 2012
I recently attended the annual meeting of the Bicycle Tour Network (formally called the National Bike Tour Directors Association) in Denver, Colorado. More than 125 participants, representing multi-day bicycle tour events, came together to discuss the art of designing and hosting bicycle tours; from small 60-100 rider events like Adventure Cycling offers to the large events like RAGBRAI and Ride the Rockies. Charity rides, rides for women only, hammer-head rides, historical rides, and family rides were among those represented. We discussed the nuts and bolts of bicycle events, the impact of bicycle tourism on local economies, safety, rider demographics, route mapping, and a host of other topics.
I was very impressed with the level of sharing and cooperation between ride organizers. After all, we are competitors; we all are offering rides during the same part of the calendar year. However we all realize that the expanding bicycle tourism market far exceeds our ability to meet the demand; we cannot possibly provide enough tours, which is a great sign for the future of bicycle touring.
Photo: Bicycle Tour Network photo archive
ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team -- Mo, Paul, Madeline, and Arlen -- tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, covering all things related to Adventure Cycling's tours Department. Check out our 2013 Tours!