Bike Tour Business


Leanne Farmer of A Wee Pedal joins us today to share how she started her own bike tour business in 2019, navigated the challenges of 2020 and COVID-19, and is entering 2021 fully booked.

She discusses the business pivots she has made in her bike tour business to focus on the local community and shares how she is making connections through social media. Leanne discusses OTAs, insurance, and safety.

Leanne also shares three key lessons all tour operators can benefit from by going on other types of tours in other cities, continuing to tweak your tours, and volunteering and giving back to your community.

Today’s episode of Tourpreneur is sponsored by RocketRez

“It’s important to tweak your tours to keep them fresh so you’re not just going through the motions yourself.” – Leanne Farmer – A Wee Pedal

Growing a bike tour business
Leanne Farmer and A Wee Pedal bike tour business enjoying Edinburgh

This week on Tourpreneur the tour operator podcast:

  • How Leanne found a source of purpose by lending her bike fleet to key workers.
  • Pivoting to providing local family rides, women’s confidence-building rides, and maintenance courses.
  • Finding connections on Facebook and Instagram and organic word of mouth marketing to help grow her bike tour business.
  • Tips for operators who want to engage with the community and support other local businesses.
  • Setting up a charity to raise awareness of her son’s condition and the inspiration for starting her business.
  • The advantages of going on other tour business tours to develop your tour experience.
  • The best and worse things Leanne has seen on other tours, including storytelling, safety, and brand image.
  • The OTA that was delivering most customers before COVID.
  • Tweaking tours and adhering to COVID safety rules.
Leanne Farmer shares how she started a bike tour business.
Leanne Farmer shares how she started a bike tour business.

Who is Leanne Farmer of A Wee Pedal Tours?

Leanne Farmer is the Founder of A Wee Pedal, providing cycling tours in Edinburgh. Her company had a year fully booked with tours before COVID. When a national lockdown hit in March, it resulted in an empty calendar overnight, before pivoting to find greater success.

She is the winner of the Best Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year for Scotland and Northern Ireland from the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and the recipient of the New Kid on the Block Award 2020 from Small Awards.

Before starting her own tour company, Leanne was a PE teacher of 22 years and holds a Bachelor of Education in Health and Physical Education from Liverpool John Moores University. She is also a volunteer cycle ride leader and Play together on Pedals instructor and services bikes for key workers during COVID-19 with Cycling UK.

Our Favorite Quotes:

  • “You must engage with other businesses. It’s not really a competition – you’re all out there supporting each other and keeping the ball rolling.” – Leanne Farmer
  • “If you can collaborate – the more the better.” – Leanne Farmer
  • “These things are always temporary. We always find a way out of them.” – Leanne Farmer

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Leanne Farmer:

Exploring the World of Tour Entrepreneurship

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Shane Whaley is the Producer and Host of the Tourpreneur Podcast. He is also the curator in chief for the Tourpreneur Daily Brief. Shane has worked in the travel industry for almost twenty years.