So, I did a thing. I bought a house in the southwest corner of Virginia to use as a vacation rental/Airbnb, but targeted directly to cyclists. The house sits directly on a gravel road that is part of the Appalachian Journey gravel race, and the county has about 300 miles of gravel road, plus it’s near the Blueridge Parkway (paved). I’ve set the basement up for bikes, and outfitted it with everything I could think of that a traveling cyclists might need: 4 Bike Hand bike stands, floor pump, repair stand, tools (allen wrenches, cassette removal tool, chain whip, chain breaker etc), bike cleaning kit (brushes, sponges, shop towels, Park chain cleaner, Zepp citrus degreaser, simple green), bottle/camelback cleaning kit, clothes line to dry kit, medical supplies (gauze, wound wash, scrubbers, tweezers).
What else would you need? I was thinking of a “donation” box - patched tubes, Co2’s etc, sort of need one/take one. Will add rubber flooring next spring.
Sounds like you are off to a very strong start - seems like a great place to visit. I think having cycling themed artwork around the place would be nice - I really like what you did with the rainbow bands in the basement.
Since it’s on a gravel road, and catering to gravel, I think that having bike cleaning stuff and maybe an outdoor ‘station’ for that would be nice. Also just thinking about 2-4 people coming back after a ride where it rained and you will want them to be able to clean up a little before coming inside. Making it easy for people coming back from a dirty/muddy ride to treat your place gently will encourage that.
I think some kind of guestbook for people to write in would be nice, maybe some way to share routes. Not sure how to do this digitally - maybe create a strava club that people who stay there can join? Not sure how that works. I think a route library would be good too.
I do like the idea of the donation box, don’t know how well it will work in practice. I think having spares of things people might not bring with them but end up needing (chains, cleats, etc) would be nice, but I don’t really know how that would work. They would need to be known about and accessible to the guests, but I don’t think the honor system would work. If there is a bike shop close by this might not be that important.
Pay it forward bin = box of junk almost instantly. I’d just have one box of charging and connecting cables, keeping only the nicest one of each type. Maybe a few AV cables.
When I bring my bike to an Airbnb i need/want the following:
SPACE and an easy wide open flow to unload the car to the garage and kitchen.
Somewhere to ship/land my bike - bike shop, UPS / Kinkos, etc.
“Curated” routes or maps with highlighted ‘good cycling roads’ / coffee shops / stops / shops/ pizza / food / coffee / nice hikes / local ‘scenes’/neighborhoods to explore / etc.
Big wall map
List of who to call if it all goes wrong
Maybe local mechanic concierge to come and help you get setup the first night and pack up the last night. Maybe ride tour guide led by local kid. (Schedule though Airbnb Experiences or Velo guides or whatever they call it)
For that space:
Long bench / table for the guests to heckle the wrenches while you drink beer. Should not be nice table, it should be OK to get it a bit greasy.
Laundry bin / machines
Maybe an “On your honor” bike shop cabinet with quick fixes (brake pads, local tshirt / cap, water bottle, tubes, tire, drink mix). Maybe loaner “easily forgotten” items - garmin mount (rental bikes), garmin, flat kit, charging cables.
Maybe Shoe dryer
Maybe packing supply bin (scale, tape, zipties, printer, tape measure)
Maybe bike pump (so you don’t have to pack one).
Maybe bike box organizer/shelves as these tend to sprawl out.
Maybe fridge with beer take a beer/leave a beer and a note “beers/wine/whiskey is tossed after 3months so drink it” or something.
That bike wash in the garage is inviting a greasy mess for you to clean up.
thanks for the detailed list. I have most of those, but will add the ones I’m missing. The hose connection is on the side of the house, so I was assuming they’d take the hint and clean bikes outside…but you’re right, a sign is probably in order (ie “Please don’t be a d**k, clean your bike outside”)
People in an unfamiliar space doing things they don’t typically do cause people to do unthoughtful things. For example, business travel hotel parking lots are low speed demolition derbys at night - you get people in unfamiliar rental Altimas in the parking lot of a Courtyard by Marriott bouncing off the Camry next to them because the sat nav is reminding them to take a right while they are wondering where the closest Panera Bread is. You’ll get some dude changing his tire in front of his buds, he’s going to shoot tubeless goo everywhere and then drag his chain across everything. You need to put a bike cleaning station away from the nice stuff.
unfortunately I’m about 1500 miles away (Texas vs Virginia). However…I did justify purchasing a Cannondale cyclocross/gravel bike to ship out there for my own use when I visit. I need to ride around and map new courses
What about bikes? You could get interest from roadies who don’t own a gravel bike, and it would be easier for some people than would have to fly their bikes otherwise.
Maybe a trainer or two. I don’t know about weather there, or air quality due to forest fires, but if somebody was planning a cycling vacation and was stuck inside that would be a really nice option.
Depends how far you want to go…
Some sort of electric jet wash (those that connect to mains power and water)
Washer/drier for bike kit
More than one shower, so riders in groups don’t have to wait too long for their turn. Also make it nice showers with plenty of water and space.
List of nearby bike shops/mechanics
List of nearby shops and food places with opening times
Phone numbers of places that deliver food
thought about the air compressor…then thought about people exploding their tires with it. Went with standard floor pump instead : )
50ft hose w/ “power wash” attachment, plus regular spray head
nice washer dryer in the house
looking into shoe dryers
2 full bathrooms
will add shop list
shopping and dining links are on website and in guest book
don’t think there’s any delivery (a bit too rural), but 15 min drive to town.
Air compressor for seating tubeless tyres. Depending on the tyres, that can be very hard with a floor pump.
Alternatively, you could have one of the add-on airblast containers that you connect to a standard pump (not the home-made big bottle version probably). Less chance of clueless people accidentially using it, but will be appreciated by thise who need it to seat a tyre.
Random thing and a bit hard to maintain - ice bath. Essentially a big bin and lots of ice in the freezer. Probably difficult to keep the ice stocked up, but I could see that being a fun thing to do with mates on a bike trip.
A Di2 charger! Torque wrench also useful for reassembling bikes after travel. Floor pump is good, if you had one with a compassion canister for seating tubeless tyres that would be a nice touch.
Maybe some kind of drying rack or heated shoe tree in case it rains?
Since you have a website already, one thought is having an annual leaderboard for best guest times up a local climb segment or loop. Could set up a Strava club as well. A place we stayed in the Alps a few years ago had this, was a fun extra bit of competition for the type A riders. Great that you’ve already got routes on the website.
Definitely be good to find good local complementary services you can recommend to your guests like bike rental, servicing, massage, restaurants and food delivery, etc.