US industry organisation PeopleForBikes is planning to roll out a digital Ride Guide populated with information supplied by bike shops, existing cyclists and other partners. The "where to ride around here" info will be contained on a web page, in an app and could also be printed out on handlebar cards by bike retailers, suggests the US coalition of cycling suppliers and retailers.
The Ride Guide platform will cost $1.2 million and is built on software developed by Black River, a software company founded by industry veteran Eric Lynn, a former creative director of Trek Bicycle of Wisconsin. Blackriver.cc already contains much of the functionality of the planned new site.
Lynn envisages that the new site will be a place for cyclists to upload and share their (non-competitive) rides, and that – for a fee – bike businesses will be able to promote events on the platform.
"Getting your customers onto safe, enjoyable routes is one of the best ways to create active, frequent riders," stresses a PeopleForBikes platform promo.
From the bike industry the organisation has so far raised half of the planned costs of the platform, reports Bicycle Retailer. The $1.2 million funding will be spent on sales staff and to populate the platform with content, including videos. The plan is for a July launch.
The Ride Guide will be aiming to convert now-and-again riders into regular ones, in the hope that more bikes and bits will be sold.
The platform will be up against a number of long-standing websites that offer similar "user-generated" and curated content, such as Love to Ride, started in 2007, which is already available in ten countries, including the US. However, PeopleForBikes is hoping, via promotions, it can make the Ride Guide into an industry standard.
Most of the features on the site will be free for consumers to use, but some could be available for a Strava-style fee to premium users.
The concept grew out of a desire by the retailer-led 20 Collective to create a campaign to get more people riding.