HAVE WE REDISCOVERED CYCLING THANKS TO COVID 19?
2020 was a jackpot year for the bicycle market. Covid 19 played a big role with people staying in place and rediscovering the roads and trails of their hometowns.
In Italy alone, E-bikes recorded an increase in sales of more than 20% in 2020 compared to the previous year, a percentage that means an increase of 40,000 units more than 2019.
The huge increase in bike purchases, both regular and electric, suggests that a solid trend has started. This trend will involve the tourism market as a whole, and specialized operators in particular.
A convincing example for me is the birth of the Luxury Bike Hotels collection. This investment in specialized marketing and infrastructure proves how bike touring and adventure cycling is a niche open not only to users looking for inexpensive holidays with basic services, but also to a market that requires quality services and that considers the comfort and charm of the accommodations an integral part of their experience.
Why are we talking about luxury hotels when this blog is supposed to be about cycling trips?
Well, I know that the more your ride, the more you love it. And, in my experience, a bike tour is the most complete way to enjoy cycling. The bikes that people bought for commuting or easy Sunday rides will open the door to cycling as a way to see the world and to experience new things at a wonderful pace and with close up views.
As early as September 2020, articles such as this one published in the online magazine Travel Daily News, described the growing popularity of the self-guided bike tour. So, with bike sales soaring, bike tours of all types becoming popular and the creation of luxury bike hotels, I think I’m pretty safe in predicting an increase in bike tour sales as well.
I hesitate to forecast the percentage increase. I also wonder what kind of bike trips will be most in demand: Self-guided?Small groups escorted with van support? Families? Adult groups? On asphalt? On gravel? ... There are so many different ways to ride and so many kinds of experiences! Which will be most popular?
One thing that I think we will all be able to agree on: this virus will let go of its grip and as soon as that happens, the pent-up potential energy will propel us into the outdoors to socialize and to be together once again. Bike touring will be one of the best ways to enjoy a vacation that will help us to free ourselves from a difficult, lonely, period.
 Source: ANCMA, the Italian association that represents the entire bicycle market, including equipment.