The popularity of cycling tourism is driven by a number of factors, among which the most important are adequately prepared facilities, good quality cycling infrastructure, places of interest and potential tourist destinations. While appropriately prepared cycling routes increase the attractiveness and give a sense of security, the infrastructure which cycling tourists will use during or after their day trips should not be neglected. The use of facilities such as night shelters, catering establishments, rest areas, has one common denominator - parking of a bike. In most cases, this involves the bicycle and sometimes its luggage.

In order to meet these expectations and bearing in mind the benefit that the development of cycling tourism may bring to the region, both for tourists and entrepreneurs, the West Pomerania Province, as of 1st January 2022 launched the call for applications for the award of the certificate of a Bike Friendly Place. More and more entities are joining the programme and their database can be found on our website:

How to take care of the cycling tourist in a Bike Friendly Place and beyond? One of the keys to success is to place bicycle stands in front of the site, but as we all know, they come in various shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, the stands of a type still widely seen do not allow the bicycle to be attached securely, i.e. by the frame. If you attach the bike by the wheel, it can easily become the object of a thief, because it takes only a few seconds to detach the wheel from the bike. Bad weather conditions, such as strong winds, can also be a problem for a bicycle, as the gusts of wind can cause it to topple over and thus damage it.

So what should a perfect bicycle stand look like? An inverted U-shaped stand works very well. This allows at least two bicycles of any type, frame size, tyre width or handlebar shape to be supported and attached. Typical dimensions for such a stand are a length of about 1 m, a height above ground of about 80 cm and a tube diameter of 5-9 cm. The recommended distance between the racks is a minimum of 1 metre.

A good stand allows the bicycle to be supported and the frame and one wheel to be secured to it with a single U-lock or other lock the cyclist may have. The stand must also be firmly and permanently fixed to the ground, so that it does not disappear with the bicycle parked beside it. And then there is one more thing, a very important one: the location of the stand as close as possible to the entrance of the premises and in a clearly visible place. Placing a bike rack 100 metres from the entrance, somewhere at the end of the street behind a rubbish shed will not make cyclists use it. On the contrary, they will rather look for an alternative place, where they can leave their bike safely.

Of course, there are many variants of good bicycle stands - e.g. semi-circular, rhombus-shaped or inverted V-shaped stands, or in other original shape thanks to which they also perform a decorative function of a given place. A well-designed and appropriately positioned bicycle can also double as a barrier to car traffic, in case there is a problem with drivers who park their cars just about anywhere, contrary to the regulations.

In the case of tourist attractions, it is worth considering the installation of lockable bicycle boxes or providing a supervised room where the bicycle and luggage, optionally the luggage itself, can be safely left. This allows the cycling tourist to visit attractions freely, without having to carry all their belongings with them, which in many situations can be a prohibitive factor, discouraging them from visiting places of interest.

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