Why we're expanding Bikeout

Former Cofounder

Why we're expanding Bikeout

Former Cofounder

Riders on the Schuylkill River Trail on the first Bikeout in 2016.

Credit: Brian James Kirk

After four years running Philadelphia’s largest bike camping adventure, we’re excited to share a larger vision for Bikeout, an adventure company that empowers people to have bike travel experiences.

Since we launched our first overnight trip in 2016, more than 1,000 riders have traveled with Bikeout. Now, we're hoping to offer the experience to more people by expanding our Overnight trips to new cities and launching our first multi-day Getaway.

Our original goal was simple: show off the abundant natural resources and beautiful trails surrounding Philadelphia while making bike travel easier to try. We provided bag transport, invited experienced group leads from the community to lead the way and partnered with local bike shops to support our ride.

Our destination was Sankanac CSA, a beautiful working farm in the region, where we celebrated the journey with a meal using fresh produce sourced from the farm’s fields, live music, a campfire and a night of camping under the stars. More than 120 riders joined us that first year and we immediately knew it was something special.

Riders head out on the start of Bikeout: Philly to Phoenixville. | Credit: Brian James Kirk

What began as something of a hobby soon started to outgrow itself as a side project.

Watching the event sell out so quickly each year, we were thrilled to see Bikeout’s reception by riders of all kinds. Experienced tourers found a new way to connect with the bike community and brought along friends who may have been reluctant to try bike touring. Folks that were new to bike camping shared with us in surveys that they were more interested than ever to explore using a bike.

Because of the hurdles of bike camping, like expensive gear, confusing routes or the challenge of finding friends to come along, we saw Bikeout as an exciting way to introduce more people to the world of bike travel.

This past year, we wondered if there was a bigger opportunity for impact. We began reaching out to folks in the bike travel and tourism communities across the country to understand the industry and sat down with dozens of Bikeout attendees to find out what they were most interested in. We were truly inspired by the support of so many people who gave us their time to shape the future of the organization.

We’re thrilled to announce that in 2020 we will expand our flagship Overnight ride series to at least 4 new cities including Atlanta, Washington D.C., New York City, and Chicago while also launching a multi-day Getaway in the Finger Lakes for riders looking to dive even deeper into the world of bike travel. Our goal is to create memorable experiences that celebrate local communities, while reaching new people interested in bike adventure.

We encourage you to take a look around our new website, which includes our first trips, new articles, stories from the Bikeout community and a whole lot more.

Over the years, Bikeout has grown much bigger than we ever expected. | Credit: Tim Tiebout

Bringing these experiences to life are Brian James Kirk and Amanda Crawford-Staub, who have grown their love of bike travel through trips around the region and across the U.S. Brian will use his background in journalism and expertise in storytelling to bring new perspectives and local insights to our riders and the greater biking community. Amanda will design Bikeout journeys by leveraging her experience in travel, experiential learning and trip curation.

While we’re doing the work to connect the dots, Bikeout has not been possible without the support of a network of local organizations and individuals in Philadelphia and beyond. Every rider that has attended Bikeout has made this a thrilling project to work on. Our partners, including local bike shops, farmers, chefs, bike advocacy and community fitness groups, snack and beverage providers, trail operators and many more, have been crucial to making our trip experiences so special.

We want to thank everyone that has supported us in our home city. As we expand, we plan to grow our network of partners who believe in our mission and highlight the amazing work being done in communities across the U.S.

In addition to expanding our own community, we’re excited to contribute to the broader bicycling community. With more people on bikes than ever before and growing investments in bike and trail infrastructure, we think this is an exciting time for us to support the efforts driving bike transport and tourism across America. We’re confident that riding a bike is a rewarding and, at times, transformative way to see the world, and we hope you’ll join us as we start on this new path.

We hope to see you on an upcoming ride. And please don't hesitate to get involved or get in touch.

Crawford-Staub is a former Cofounder of Bikeout, before operations were taken over by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

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"I wasn’t prepared for the ride to be so dramatically different from my daily urban commute, biking alongside beautiful fields and rivers."

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Why we're expanding Bikeout
We're taking our flagship Overnight ride series to Atlanta, Chicago, New York City and Washington D.C. and launching our first multi-day Getaway.
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