- - PeopleForBikes' New "Ride Spot" App Helps Retailers Grow Ridership

PeopleForBikes’ New “Ride Spot” App Helps Retailers Grow Ridership

After more than two years of development and more than a million dollars invested, PeopleForBikes has launched a new app called Ride Spot, which is aimed at helping retailers grow ridership.

“Creating and marketing safe, convenient places to ride isn’t just good for the community, it also boosts a bicycle retailer’s bottom line. Sales increase when cities make streets, paths and trails better for people on bikes. In fact, we know that retail sales through the Independent Bicycle Dealer channel are nearly double the average in cities with good bike networks — communities that have better places to ride have more people who ride and more people who buy bikes and gear. We’ve created a detailed guide for retailers to help facilitate both better biking and better business. This guide focuses on five ways to make a real difference,” says PeopleForBikes.

“There are 25-35 million Americans who ride their bikes just a few times per year. We’re launching a new app to help more people feel comfortable on bikes, and to help retailers better serve their customers. Ride Spot aims to get more people riding, and keep them riding.”

Unlike apps such as Strava that resort to crowdsourcing to create its maps, Ride Spot offers hand-picked routes in each community, chosen by local bike retailers or other organizations, wherein the routes give new cyclists an introduction to cycling, while helping the industry and retailers establish a relationship with the riders that continues after sales.

Ride Spot also has features that help bike retailers increase local riding participation, making their store a cycling hub in their respective communities.

PeopleForBikes offers some advice as to how every retailer can do to grow ridership:

  • Speak up when your community is discussing building bike lanes and trails. Connect with local advocates, show up when public meetings are being held.
  • Engage with other businesses to connect biking to the local economy. As a business owner and community leader, you have an important voice in how local projects and funding are prioritized.
  • Encourage your customers to get involved. Give your customers opportunities to contribute their voice, time and money to support biking in your community. Together, you’ll magnify your influence. And you’ll win your customers’ loyalty.
  • Get new people on bikes. When your customers feel comfortable in your bike shop, they will continue to ride — and to shop with you. Offer maintenance 101 classes, host events for women, trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and intersex individuals, and sponsor local cycling events geared at getting the whole family riding.
  • Help your (new and not so new) customers ride more.

Additionally, Ride Spot helps overcome some common barriers, making people feel like they belong on a bike.

“Our platform addresses these barriers by working with bike shops, advocacy organizations and others to provide great, safe routes that are easy to navigate with the free app or a printed Ride Card. We provide people with turn-by-turn directions to get them from a local Ride Spot Affiliate (a bike shop in most cases), out on a great ride. Retailers can set up events so that new riders can connect with riding buddies at a central location. With fun, safe routes, new riders will feel more comfortable exploring by bike.”

According to PeopleFor Bikes, another barrier to biking is uncertainty. People might ask, “How do I change a flat?” or “What are the hand signals I should use while riding?” These are basic 101 bike riding questions, and for this barrier, the Ride Spot app gives a series of videos to help out with unexpected snags in a ride.

Early testers of the Ride Spot app include the organizers of the Dirty Kanza, who are using the app to create challenges on the racecourse, encouraging regional riders to ride sections all year, with rewards from local retailers and others.

Quality Bike Products’ Surly brand also is working with six retailers on a trial program using the app.

The program will roll out in three stages to 30 markets this summer.

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