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How A Cycling Business Can Adapt In the Face of A Crisis

By March 21, 2020 March 24th, 2020 One Comment

Our thoughts go out to all the people and businesses impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak. There are things more important than cycling holidays to take care of right now, however we wanted to both reassure our guests and provide some insight for other cycling businesses on the steps we are taking to make sure Eat Sleep Cycle emerges from this difficult time in tact and with a strong new direction.

It’s all about the people

Our guests are most important to us. Moving trips and changing reservations is our priority and these are dealt with personally. Standard replies do not work and shutting down customer services during this period is not advised. We are not perfect but we promise to do our best to help you during these difficult times. Please bear with us whilst we work through your inquiries in order.

Next come our incredible staff team. We have a diverse multinational and multi-disciplined team. Our priority is keeping them busy with our new direction and they are with us 100% of the way. Together we are turning nervousness to excitement, threat to opportunity and negativity to positivity!

Keep the faith

There may be nothing comparable to what the world has been and will go through over the months ahead. However, the world has survived financial crises and epidemics in the past. The world will recover and cycling will resume. Following previous financial crisis cycling has even seen growth as people look to outdoor activities to detach from problems and reduce stress. 

Right now, we are faced with a terrible situation of conditions getting worse and worse every hour & every day. However, once we are over the curve of cases in each area, and isolation and other measures start working, peoples mentality will also change and cycling holidays will be a possibility once again.

Whilst it is difficult to predict when this will be it is important to remain positive and move tour reservations to later in the year, even to 2021. 

Psychology shows that the process of enjoying a holiday begins once the holiday is booked. In these very challenging times, having something to look forward to (and train for be that indoor or outdoor), even if far into the future could be just what a cyclist needs.

This is why we have implemented special booking conditions and refundable deposits for 2021 bookings. Let some good feelings flow with a holiday to look forward to!

Go online

It is interesting that the world’s largest online companies are growing during this time, whilst small shops who can not open their doors suffer. Social distancing means that in a lot of areas whilst online sales are allowed physical shop sales are not. Our Girona Hub is also temporarily closed for this reason. But do not give up!

Here at Eat Sleep Cycle we have worked night and day since the start of the outbreak to develop our online shop, to bring customers the best product at better prices than those large online retailers. We are able to do this due to the very special relationships we have with our brands. Whilst online retailers just sell product, we help to test and improve it as part of our bike hire fleet and also offer a close relationship with the end user on our tours, something that pure online retailers do not have.

If, like us, you have a close relationship with your guests and brands you can use this to your advantage. 

Local tourism

What will the tourism industry look like after the Coronavirus? 

This is something that we are exploring and building on everyday and we are ready for it!

Less international travel, certainly in 2020 and moving into 2021 is likely. Local tourism is more sustainable and ties perfectly into Eat Sleep Cycle values. There may well be fewer customers coming from closer places so we look to the European market more strongly. We are already working on translating our website to multiple European languages and developing tour products that suit each market. This is an exciting new challenge for us!

We are exploring the concept of supplying cycling tours to people in their own country. Historically people want to travel abroad but this could change. Using our local guide database (rather than transporting guides from one place) we are in a position to do this with minimal environmental impact and minimal travel for our guests.

The dependence on flying may change and the train may be more popular. When we selected Girona as our base we partly did so for the great rail links to the rest of Europe. It is possible to arrive by train from the UK in just 9 hours, or 6 hours from Paris!

Build the community

Eat Sleep Cycle has a grass-roots beginning. We ran small local events which we have built on over 5 years. We have built a large local following and this will be even more important in 2020. 

 

We offer all cycling services to locals in Girona from our Girona Hub (bike fit, bike & component sales, kit sales, etc). One of our favorite examples is our bank manager being fully kitted out in MAAP kit from our retail space and her husband treating himself to a Factor VAM!

These same locals often enjoy our regular Girona events which are normally attended with a mixture of tourists too. As soon as conditions allow for it we will be running more of these events to get people back out enjoying cycling and get the good vibes going!

Diversify services

From the beginning Eat Sleep Cycle has developed expertise in many different areas of cycling including European tours, corporate events, bike hire and retail. Recently we have added coaching, online retail and there are more tricks up our sleeve which we can not reveal just yet. Our team is multi-disciplined and can work across several areas of the business.

This approach is paying off dramatically during this crisis. Whilst our physical hub (shop) is closed the retail team can focus on developing our online shop. 

Our tours team is busy moving guest reservations to later in the year and setting up for the biggest year in Eat Sleep Cycle history for 2021! 

Many of our ideas come from the community and we are plugged into professional riders and coaches. We heard that coaches are also taking a hit during this period but also that many people want a training plan, especially since some are confined to training indoors. In comes our new coaching programs to help both parties. Of course there is nothing better to train for than a cycling holiday!

In Summary

We hope that this is helpful to other cycling businesses and also useful for our guests. We wish you the very best during this period and we can not wait to ride with you again as soon as this is over.

You are Protected!

We just wanted to take the opportunity to mention…

Eat Sleep Cycle S.L. is a registered Spanish Travel Agency, registration number ESB55305734. This includes financial coverage for losses in case of insolvency by Seguros Catalana Occidente, Policy Number: 8-6.673.112-A & Civil Liability insurance by AXA Seguros, Policy Number: 81701012.

Want to Support Eat Sleep Cycle?

You can! Take a look at our online shop or contact us about booking your next cycling holiday! Give us a call now on +34 972 754 301 or contact us online!

P.S. Enjoyed this blog? Why not sign up to receive notifications every time we post and get regular updates on our latest tours!

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