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Introducing the “bike bothy” – huts for cyclists

28 Mar 2014 touring accommodation USA
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The bike-friendly US state of Oregon, home of America’s cycling capital Portland, is to build a network of ‘bike pods’ along its most popular cycle routes.

But with a nod to Scottish hikers, we’d rather call them bike bothies. The wooden huts will be built on long-distance routes like the Oregon Coast Bike Route and the TransAmerica Trail. There’ll be two types: overnight ‘pods’ and daytime ‘hubs’. The State Parks Department explains it further:

“The deluxe overnight ‘Bike Pods’ will be constructed to serve the long distance touring cyclist, while the day use ‘Bike Hubs’ will be constructed to best serve the needs of the day use cyclist whether for recreation or cycling. All Pods and Hubs will feature bike parking, seating, maps and/or interpretive information, and shelter. All hubs will also be equipped with a bike-repair station that will include a bike stand, tools, and an air pump.”

Other facilities will include food storage, water taps, secure lockers, and electrical outlets for recharging phones, and secure lockers. The State Parks already have several dedicated ‘hiker-biker’ campsites, where spaces are reserved for people arriving on foot or by bike, not by car.

The scheme is firmly targeting the spending power of the travelling cyclist, with many of the hubs being built in urban locations.

“Specific ‘Bike Hubs’ are strategically located within communities to bolster the connections between bike routes and local businesses. By providing amenities in town cyclists are encourages to stay and explore the local communities. These hubs will allow local communities to welcome bicycle tourists to capitalise on the recreation lands that surround them and benefit economically from cycle tourism. Many of the targeted locations for Pods and Hubs are within economically depressed counties, hard hit by both recession and the long and difficult transition from resource extraction industries to other viable sources of employment.”

The promoters are now bidding for Lottery funding to cover most of the $435,000 cost. Rather endearingly, the bid includes a letter of support from a local microbrewery, who point out:

“Cyclists spend money at local businesses, especially breweries.”

Could the idea take off in Britain? We’d love to see these on the National Cycle Network’s challenge routes.

Via BikePortland.

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