Tips for Retailers
How bicycle retailers can make a difference
Bicycle business owners and industry leaders play a crucial role in making towns bicycle friendly. You can increase ridership—and grow the bike business—by building local partnerships; supporting grassroots, state, and national bike organizations; and helping create new and improved places to ride.
Here are a few tips on what you can do.
Make your store the hub
Retailers can share their passion for bicycling by making their stores cycling hubs for new riders, families, seasoned cyclists, and elite racers.
- Host open house events, and welcome the community into your store.
- Hold repair clinics, safety checks, bike rodeos for kids, and events for women.
- Organize social and/or training rides for all abilities.
- Maintain a board in your shop and/or on your website to describe recommended rides and current trail, path, and road conditions.
- Sponsor cycling events, organized tours, and fundraisers.
Support local advocacy
Your support of bicycle advocacy groups and initiatives is one of the most important investments you can make in the future of your business.
- Enlist your business as a member of your local bike club, advocacy group, or trails organization.
- Donate staff time, product, or cash to their important causes and special events.
- Display advocacy group brochures at your store, sell memberships on their behalf, and give discounts to members and volunteers.
- Get involved in Safe Routes to School programs, and help get kids riding again.
Link to local government and community leaders
Connecting with leaders in your community is key to staying informed and shaping decisions that affect bicycling locally, from park and trail access to road and path planning.
- Get to know decision makers and community leaders. Take them on a ride!
- Regularly attend city council meetings and let your voice be heard.
- Join the boards or advisory committees for parks & recreation, transportation, open space, and planning.
- Encourage your city to apply for Bicycle Friendly Community status, and get involved in the process yourself.
Support national leadership
Federal decisions shape bicycling on the local level, whether through federal transportation funding for bike paths and complete streets, or mountain bike access to national forests, parks, and scenic areas. Help influence federal policy by uniting as an industry and as bicyclists.
- Join national organizations, like Bikes Belong, the League of American Bicyclists, and the International Mountain Bicycling Association.
- Attend the National Bike Summit (organized by the League of American Bicyclists), and lobby for bicycling.
- Write letters to your members of Congress about national issues and opportunities pertaining to bicycling.
- Make a personal donation to BikesPAC (if you're a Bikes Belong member) and support the re-election campaigns of members of Congress who work to make the U.S. bicycle friendly.
"Contact your local bike advocacy organization(s), offer your support, and find a way to say 'YES' to advocacy. We've had great impact with our advocacy-membership sales program. . . . The benefit is that we're supporting a greater cause of bicycling while converting more of our customers into cycling advocates, which is obviously good for the business of bicycling." –Jack Johnson, Landry's Bicycles, Boston, Massachusetts "It's important to get out there and keep saying 'bicycle' to all those people who rarely think about our industry when they make decisions. We need to get out of our little pond and swim with the bigger fish. That's where the people, the decision makers, and the funds are!" –Fred Boykin, Bicycle South, Decatur, Georgia ---- You can download this one-pager as a PDF by clicking the file below.