The Five minutes with series presents a company with five short, sharp and to-the-point questions about who they are and what they do. This week, we’re joined by Bikecation’s Chris Smith
1. Can you tell us the history of the company?
Businessman Jamie Paterson and journalist, author and life-long bike nut Rob Penn set the company up five years ago. We specialised in self-guided leisure cycling holidays and larger, guided charity and corporate rides in the UK and across Europe. Most recently, and to encourage more people to get on their bikes abroad, we have launched our new website which lets cyclists build their own custom holidays and short breaks, at Europe’s best bike-friendly hotels.
2. What are you ultimately trying to achieve?
We would like to change the way people think about cycling holidays. We want people to realise that they’re not restricted geographically, they’re not restricted by dates, nor by set itineraries. Using our website, people can book flights, hotels in over 50 destinations, airport transfers and bike hire, and go for anything from a weekend to a fortnight, on their preferred dates, to their budget, and to their dream destination.
3. What gives you an edge over other brands in the industry?
We believe we are the most technologically advanced cycling holiday company in Europe. We utilise the same back office technology as Expedia and other significant players in the travel industry, which means we can pass great deals on flights and hotels straight on to consumers. On one site, in just a few clicks, cyclists can book everything from flights and hotels, to car and bike hire, then download routes and info about their destination. Unlike many of our competitors, we’re also ATOL and TTA protected.
4. What innovations in the industry are exciting you at the moment?
We love e-bikes. Our philosophy is to get as many people as possible enjoying two wheels as well. From a travel industry perspective, we are loving the use of technology. For example: Book with us and we send GPX routes to your phone, which you can seamlessly upload to your bike computer.
5. What does the future hold for the company?
We want to be the go-to website for short break cycling holidays, allowing all different types of riders the chance to enjoy cycling abroad. We aim to increase our destination and content guides worldwide as more bike-friendly hotels appear. We’re also excited about our newly launched affiliate program, which gives your cycling club or local bike shop a unique affiliate code that tracks cookies for 30 days. If any club member or shop customer then books with us within 30 days using the affiliate code link, money goes to your cycle club or shop. It's a way for us to give back to cycling a little bit.