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'Airbnb' of mountain biking... crazy? stupid?

Feb. 16, 2017, 12:07 p.m.
Posts: 21
Joined: May 31, 2007

Hey all, as some of you know, Sacred Rides has been offering award-winning mountain bike tours around the world for over 20 years. I’ve been blessed to make this my life and to travel the world with my mountain bike.

For the last year and a half I've been working on a program to enable passionate mountain bikers around the world (like yourselves) to do the same: earn a living (or at least some extra $) on your mountain bikes.

The result is our new Getaways program. We have 20 affiliates already launched and offering 1 and 2-day mountain bike adventures in their backyard (including someone on the North Shore), and we are looking to bring on 100 more this year.

We provide everything you could possibly need to get up and running as quickly as possible: a beautiful website, an advanced booking and operations system, marketing training and materials, operations and guide training, industry discounts on bikes and other gear, and much much more.

I'd love to know what you all think of this. Is it crazy? Stupid? Awesome? Revolutionary?

p.s. I'm happy to accept criticism and helpful suggestions about the program, but please know we didn’t go about this quickly or lightly. We’ve put a TON of work into this program and into developing the tools and training our affiliates need in order to succeed and offer safe, amazing adventures on their local trails.

If you have issues with it and want to give me feedback and criticism, that’s great (and appreciated), but if you just want to shit-talk the idea because you like shit-talking other people’s ideas instead of coming up with your own, why not find another thread to waste your time on?

Feb. 16, 2017, 12:24 p.m.
Posts: 8935
Joined: Dec. 23, 2005

How is permitting and tenure handled?

Feb. 16, 2017, 12:44 p.m.
Posts: 2906
Joined: June 15, 2006

I'm not really sure I understand…so these affiliates are guides? Do they need insurance, or does Sacred Rides provide it?

This trip to Kelowna was definately an undertaking - Liam and I had been planning this project for 24 hours. We worked really hard to pull out all the stops in this video. We had slo-mo goggle shots; time lapses; pedal flips; outrageous product shots; unloading and loading the bike; walking through the field with your hand in wheat. At the end of the day this trip was all about just getting out and riding with all my friends.

www.letsridebikes.ca

Feb. 16, 2017, 4:10 p.m.
Posts: 2080
Joined: April 2, 2005

so about that exclusive thing. say one gets a specific area, and offers first a good service, but gets worse with the time. is there a quality check? why can't several persons serve one area and you work with a rating system so potential guests can choose their guide by themselfs? if you call it airbnb of biking allow some competion…

MTB-Freeride.TV

Feb. 16, 2017, 6:31 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Sept. 20, 2006

How is permitting and tenure handled?

This. And what about trail access? Organizations like BCBR, Endless, Rocky, etc all put money and hours towards the trail; there is a direct correlation between the business and the access. A business models that lets anyone become a guide in their own backyard for a fee should include some funds put towards the area in which the guide is operating.

Feb. 16, 2017, 9:18 p.m.
Posts: 2906
Joined: June 15, 2006

Or is his just the AirBnB part where they pay to come and stay at you house and the mountain biking is up to them?

This trip to Kelowna was definately an undertaking - Liam and I had been planning this project for 24 hours. We worked really hard to pull out all the stops in this video. We had slo-mo goggle shots; time lapses; pedal flips; outrageous product shots; unloading and loading the bike; walking through the field with your hand in wheat. At the end of the day this trip was all about just getting out and riding with all my friends.

www.letsridebikes.ca

Feb. 16, 2017, 10:22 p.m.
Posts: 26382
Joined: Aug. 14, 2005

This. And what about trail access?

Yep. I can foresee issues with access in other areas with this. For example the map shows ride in Ontario. And I do know in some areas land access has taken years to develop. And some are actually on private land and bringing this in would cause major issues.

I would hope that anyone who decides to sign on with this would add in the cost of having their own lawyer check everything before signing.

www.thisiswhy.co.uk

www.teamnfi.blogspot.com/

Feb. 17, 2017, 5:19 a.m.
Posts: 12799
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

I am not sure if I understand the whole idea correctly. I could offer guided riding in my area under your company's name? Basically like a franchise system not unlike to, say, Starbucks? So, how does the system work financially?

Does it work internationally? What about local differences in land use/managment? There are for example quite a few trails deemed illegal/off limits to riders. If one of my clients or I crashed what about the bills?

Setting up a person with a website and a blog and basic instruction is nice, but what about the fine print? And, as others have already stated, what about trail days/giving sth back to the local communities/quality control?

"You don't learn from experience. You learn from reflecting on the experience."
- Kristen Ulmer

Feb. 17, 2017, 6:50 a.m.
Posts: 335
Joined: Nov. 20, 2010

Interesting idea, sounds more like Uber.

If I understand correctly, anyone can be a guide, the 'service' just connects the client with said guide.

Feb. 17, 2017, 8:03 a.m.
Posts: 1403
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Interesting idea but is it really catching on? This guiding thing may more be for newbie riders, which IMO would be more being an instructor than a guide.

There is so many resources for trails in areas I have never ridden. Paying for a guide in Moab or Oakridge where I was last spring, would not even be considered. Plus the MTB community is so friendly everyone is more than happy to give directions and advice out on the trails.

People always ask me what's the phenomenon
Yo what's up? Yo what's goin' on- Adam Yauch

Feb. 17, 2017, 8:52 a.m.
Posts: 1915
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

So it's $3500/yr to join and, based on a per ride price of $175 (I used the Spokane offerings), that would mean just over 22 paid customers a year to break even on the fixed costs. Assume 2 riders per "tour", that's 11 days of paid service just to break even.

For the affiliates who have signed up already, how long does it take them to break even in the first year? How many leads do you generate for your affiliates, on average, per month?

:canada: :england:

Feb. 17, 2017, 10:33 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Aug. 29, 2008

Does Sacred Rides provide insurance coverage?

Feb. 17, 2017, 10:42 a.m.
Posts: 549
Joined: Sept. 2, 2010

It does seem to fit the description of a Franchise under our Franchise Act - so the financial information etc. should be disclosed in advance.

It is too bad the buy-in is so steep. I really like meeting folks and sharing trails. I usually do it for beer. But if I had "paying clients" my wife would possibly be more open to me taking off for a weekend of bike fun. With $3,500 /yr, fuel, increased insurance and vehicle costs etc. I think you would have to make it a full timey kind of gig or an adjunct to some other operation (river guiding perhaps) to make it feasible.

That, for me any way, would take the fun right out of it. If it were a bit more Uber/ish (another business model I know nothing about) where it is on an, if you feel like it, are available type of dealio - I might be in.

Still - if someone is up in Smithers looking to ride, let me know. I am generally happy to play tour guide and don't even charge (although beer and gas money always accepted) Although, for the most part our trails are fairly well set out and it's hard to go wrong.

In any event - I am passing this on to some folks I know that might be interested. For the right person it may be awesome.

Feb. 17, 2017, 11:34 a.m.
Posts: 2009
Joined: July 19, 2003

you guys are asking some good questions. I am no lawyer but I do play a mountain bike guide at times. I would keep in mind that if you get sued for negligence, (ignoring insurance/waiver and permitting/tenure) you are going to be held to expectation of an experts standard of care. being that there is no mountain biking guides association it is hard to say what this is. based on my a mental survey of other guides I know, at a very minimum this would mean an 80 hour first aid ticket, a reasonable rescue plan, a PMBI level 1, the ability to fix just about anything which may break on a trip with in reason. the ability to navigate by map and select appropriate terrain for the group.

that's just off the top of my head, this would all be sorted out at your expense in court. fun.

Just a speculative fiction. No cause for alarm.

Feb. 17, 2017, 1:17 p.m.
Posts: 26382
Joined: Aug. 14, 2005

being that there is no mountain biking guides association it is hard to say what this is.

This^^

There has been variations of the instructor program over the years I think. Interestingly back when I took my NCCP Level MTB Coach's part of the sessions was pretty planning appropriate routes, what to do when extraction of injured was needed, and so on. Know a kid who took the MT Level coaches then the PMBI Level 1 and he said it was pretty much the same material with slight variations.

The only other stream I can think of would be a 2 year course like this.

http://www.algonquincollege.com/pembroke/program/outdoor-adventure/overview/

www.thisiswhy.co.uk

www.teamnfi.blogspot.com/

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