Author Topic: Roadside stand/ camping/ B and B  (Read 2140 times)

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Offline dameyonbeaman

Roadside stand/ camping/ B and B
« on: May 03, 2012, 08:50:50 pm »
Hi All,

I own a small farm on the Transamerica bike route in KY between Harrodsburg and Berea.  I was talking with a biker who stopped in front of my house and he suggested a roadside stand at the road with snacks, water, Gatorade etc. 
We have also been throwing around the idea of making a camping spot at the farm with an outdoor shower and port a potty. 
So my questions are:
1.   What kinds of items besides the obvious what items would be good to offer?  I was thinking some small first aid items and even some fresh produce.  We have strawberries right now that rock.  We were thinking about expanding into offering lunch items such as sandwiches.  Any thought on this?
2.   If we offered camping space with access to a shower, free wifi, bike repair tools, camp fire site, and other basic camping amenities, what would people be willing to pay?  This would also include breakfast with farm fresh eggs.
3.   My wife is also a massage therapist, would people be interested in massage and yoga?
4.   Do people often take detours off of the route or do they stay a couple of days?  There are other very pretty rides close to us that are not on the routes map and there are other activities close by.
5.   Other than signs on the road to the farm, where is a good place to offer our services and are there other homes or places that cater to bikers?
Thank you so much and any help is appreciated. 

Dameyon
dameyonbeaman@gmail.com

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: Roadside stand/ camping/ B and B
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2012, 09:44:56 pm »
Hi Dameyon. Adventure Cycling Association wants to promote lodging and related services that cater to cyclists. A good contact there is Jenn, who writes about it in her blog here and here. You can get listed on their maps and web site.

I'd base the charge on what nearby state parks (not commercial RV parks) charge, adding something for the tools and Wi-Fi amenities.

Most cyclists would just stay the night and move on, but a few will want a rest day or a bike-tuneup day. A nearby special event (fair, bluegrass concert) would entice more to stay.

Massage would be popular.

A "water" sign will get lots of cyclists to stop. Then almost anything to eat will sell. Breakfast will sell if it is early.

Most of us carry adequate first-aid supplies.

Just one rider's opinion. You will soon see more.

Fred

Offline John Nelson

Re: Roadside stand/ camping/ B and B
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2012, 10:21:16 pm »
Just one more opinion:

(1) Fruit, vegetables and fresh bakery items were hard to find on the TransAm until Missouri, so those items would be very much appreciated. Freshly made sandwiches would probably also be a success. Food packaged to be eaten later down the road would also be in demand. A guest book for cyclists to write in is a good way for cyclists to communicate with those behind them.

(2) About $8 to $10 per person per night would be in most cyclists' budget. It'd be worth another $5 or $6 for breakfast. You could probably get $3 a bundle for firewood. Some comfortable chairs around that campfire would be very nice. You could probably sell supplies for s'mores.

(3) I don't do massages, but I know that a lot of other cyclists do.

(4) I wasn't much interested in rides other than the route. I would only spend one night somewhere unless there was something pretty compelling to stay for.

(5) You should get listed on the ACA maps if possible, although that may take a year or two to reach many cyclists. Word of mouth works great along the TransAm, so positive experiences will get passed on--much of your early business will probably come this way. You should request that your guests pass it on. You'll also need a sign out on the actual route. Most cyclists would be very interested in exactly how far off route you are, if any, and what kind of riding surface (paved or unpaved) exists between you and the route. If you're ore than a half-mile off route, especially if unpaved, cyclists will need considerable motivation to drop by.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Roadside stand/ camping/ B and B
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2012, 03:49:03 am »
Hello Dameyon!

My two cents:

1) How far are you from a bike shop? If it's a ways away, it might be nice to have a few spare tubes and patch kits available for sale. No need to get too elaborate if it's not your thing. And how about some postcards of the area for sale?

2)With all those amenities, yeah $8-10 per person would be a fair rate. Without all those, maybe $5 a person?

4) Folks might take a detour/break day if there was something of interest in the area.

5) warmshowers.org is a great hospitality network for touring cyclists. However, since you will be charging for services you wouldn't be able to list on it.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Roadside stand/ camping/ B and B
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2012, 07:32:31 am »
Hello Dameyon!

My two cents:

1) How far are you from a bike shop? If it's a ways away, it might be nice to have a few spare tubes and patch kits available for sale. No need to get too elaborate if it's not your thing. And how about some postcards of the area for sale?

2)With all those amenities, yeah $8-10 per person would be a fair rate. Without all those, maybe $5 a person?

4) Folks might take a detour/break day if there was something of interest in the area.

5) warmshowers.org is a great hospitality network for touring cyclists. However, since you will be charging for services you wouldn't be able to list on it.

John pretty much nailed it.

Offline Miller

Re: Roadside stand/ camping/ B and B
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 09:09:16 am »
+1 to John Nelson's post above... I'll be coming through in 2014 and organic fruits and vegetables, a shower, and a nice/affordable place to camp would score big with me. There's a woman on the northern tier route who hosts cyclists on her farm. Below are a couple of journal entries from cyclists who stayed there...

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=1&page_id=55131&v=Vi
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=1&page_id=55224&v=V4

Also, I think what Dave at the Knott County Historical Society offers in Hindman is unique. You might get some ideas from him...  A cyclist's journal entry below...

http://bikingamerica.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/kentucky/

Offline BikeFreak

Re: Roadside stand/ camping/ B and B
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2012, 12:05:28 pm »
Hi Dameyon,

Your idea is great. I wish other farmers would do the same thing as you did right now by contacting "us".

I suggest you get listed on the ACA maps as a primitive camping spot. The primitive camping spots are of extremely great value to many cyclists. Many privately owned campground demand 20-30 dollars for a single tent site - thus it is welcome to camp for free or for a few bucks. Don't overdo it in the beginning (too many services).

Lucas

Offline DanE

Re: Roadside stand/ camping/ B and B
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2012, 12:05:39 pm »
Stove fuel might be a popular item. You could sell the butane/propane gas canisters and perhaps you could buy Coleman fuel in the gallon can and just sell it to the riders to fill up their fuel bottles and charge by the pint or something as you measure it out of the gallon can.

Offline bikeguyrich

Re: Roadside stand/ camping/ B and B
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2012, 09:59:11 pm »
The warm shower and a clean port-o-potty are sure fire draws. Have separate campsites that are good for tenting with picnic tables.  Post what you have at the bikeshops along the route within 100 miles either way with a contact phone number.  Offer the shop employees a discount to check it out. The shops will tell the cyclists what your all about. If your not near a town or a good breakfast joint you can offer breakfast, or snack foods but don't overdo it, stick to non perishable stuff and keep it simple until you know your market. Offer the massages, that could be a draw. Having a bike stand and tools is another plus, along with a free water for cyclists sign.  Being friendly and welcoming will be your biggest asset