Starting your own Come Cycling scheme: Step-by-Step Guide

It should be possible to have a new scheme in operation in a six-month timeframe. To be effective in the first season of operation, the project must be fully operative at least one month before the holiday season starts at Easter. So if Easter Sunday lies on 1st April, then the website should be in operation by 1st March. As there will almost certainly be some slippage, then it is recommended that the launch should be targeted to take place in January or early February. Ideally the initial discussions should commence as early as the previous June or July.

The Come Cycling Ledbury team is always available to offer advice. Contact us via the ‘About Us’ page on

First 3 months

Form a group – Invite interest by one or more of the following:

  • Contact local CTC, Sustrans or similar groups or clubs
  • Use a local cycle shop as a focus
  • Write a letter to the local press

Organise an inaugural meeting to discuss the concept.

Decide on roles – It is recommended that all group members play an active part in the initiative. The tasks (which can be shared) include:

  • Coordinator
  • Treasurer
  • Web design
  • Publicity
  • Accommodation research
  • Cycle repair, hire, etc services research
  • Route map production
  • Local facilities research including visitor attractions, country pubs, cafés and shops
  • Transport options - particularly rail, but including any bus services that carry cycles

Decide on the scope of the scheme – In Ledbury, the mapping, including pubs, cafés and country shops, was limited to a 10-mile radius, and accommodation to a 5-mile radius. Accommodation in the town itself was included, but not the town centre pubs and shops.

Discuss with outside agencies and organisations including:

  • Local Authority tourism officer
  • Local Authority cycling officer
  • Local tourism group
  • Landowning organisations such as the Forestry Commission, National Trust, Canal & River Trust
  • Statutory authorities such as National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs)
  • Local Sustrans staff or rangers

Months 3 to 6

Identify funding sources – These may be local authority cycling or tourism sections, health promotion bodies, National Parks, AONBs, etc. Once the scheme is up and running, it should be self-funding, deriving income from maps sales and enhanced tourism-provider website entries.

Identify suitable cycle routes – Local cycle maps or guidebooks may already be available, so contact the publishers to arrange supplies. Other attractive cycle routes can be identified and researched, with new maps produced. Ideally these should have a theme, which could be historical or based on the local countryside features or visits to village churches. In order to promote local facilities such as pubs, cafes and attractions, the routes should pass as many of these as possible.
Professionally-printed A3 colour maps are the ideal, but if funding is a problem, then consider self-publishing using a photocopier.
If you are intending to sell through local TICs, cycle shops, bookshops or other outlets, then you might want to apply for an ISBN number and include a barcode to assist with automated pricing.

Identify and contact accommodation providers, local attractions, pubs and cafés – This will be time consuming as it will be necessary to trawl a wide variety of information sources. As a result, this task is best divided between members of the group. The inclusion of basic information on the website should be free to the provider, but with an option for a chargeable enhancement of the entry.

Implement the website – A consistent style should be used by all the communities joining Come Cycling, so that each site looks similar and behaves in the same way.  

Identify cycle hire facilities – If there is no local facility, invite a business that is open 7 days a week, with secure storage and a convenient location, to start one up. Possibilities to consider are a pub, a fuel station or taxi firm. They will have to commit to extra public liability insurance, plus some cycle maintenance training if their experience in that area is limited.

Consider insurance – We considered taking out some form of public liability insurance but decided not to because of the low risk. You need to make your own decision on this point.

Design and print a publicity leaflet – This should be in colour, printed on light card; one-third A4 will fit in most leaflet racks.

At 6 Months

Hopefully the website is ready to go live, and you can now launch your scheme.

  • Prepare a press release.
  • Contact the local press, radio and TV to arrange interviews and photos.
  • Send the press release to cycle magazines, CTC, Sustrans, outdoor magazines and travel supplements of national newspapers.
  • E-mail all the accommodation providers giving them the website address so that they can check that their details are correct. Also inform any funders and Local Authority tourism and cycling officers.
  • Visit local cycle shops, TICs and local attractions and provide them with copies of any maps you have produced. The usual trade discount for books and maps is 34% off the retail price - they then make a 50% profit.
  • Distribute publicity leaflets - locally, and where possible, regionally and nationally.