As summer finally arrives in the UK, the attraction of a trip into our glorious countryside becomes ever greater. With around 13 million adult cyclists in the UK, increasing numbers of us are choosing to make this trip by bike.
For those owning property in the countryside, cyclists offer a growing and diverse market. While this market may not offer substantial direct revenues, it may provide valuable secondary incomes from land and assets which have already been diversified.
A good example of this is where owners of upland areas of commercial forestry have integrated mountain bike trails below the trees. Secondary revenue is in turn generated for the land owner from ancillary trail head facilities such as cycle hire, catering and car parking in addition to the primary forestry income.
Catering for cyclists may also offer an additional revenue stream for existing leisure ventures such as house and garden opening. Around 34% of cyclists are categorised as recreational or family riders however this group is often surprisingly neglected. Rural Solutions has recently been working with a land owner in southern Scotland looking at providing short, flat and family friendly trails. We have found the introduction of these trails proves especially popular: increasing visitor numbers, extending visitor dwell times and subsequently benefiting the visitor spend at existing leisure attractions.
In summary, Rural Solutions is currently finding that capturing the pedal powered pound can provide a valuable secondary income to a variety of existing rural ventures.