Mountain bike business Ride in Peace Adventures is making tracks with a 50% surge in bookings compared to last year.
When lockdown hit, owner Chris Roper, who started the Aberdeenshire based company in 2017, decided to update his website and introduce a new booking system changing its focus from international tourism to UK based tourism.
Ride In Peace Adventures (RIPA) offers mountain bike coaching, guiding and riding across Aberdeenshire for all ages and abilities.
There’s also a Little RIPA kids programme which includes after school taster sessions and holiday camps for children aged 7-16.
Mr Roper was inspired to start his own business after years of travelling and working abroad, including some time in Austria as a mountain bike leader.
The 32-year-old said: “After four years of college and university studying sport coaching and sport science, I turned to outdoor sports starting with becoming a ski instructor, raft guide and mountain bike leader in Austria.
“After seven years and 16 different seasons of travel and experience working for others I decided to stay in Scotland and started RIPA 2017.
Biking and riding is more than just a sport or activity, it can be a lifestyle!”
“Since then I have been slowly building business, starting with local active schools to help get local kids and families interested.
“Biking and riding is more than just a sport or activity, it can be a lifestyle.”
Mr Roper credits a lot of his success to help he has received from Business Gateway. He approached them during RIPA’s launch phase, where he was signposted to a range of workshops to help get his venture off the ground. He accessed support with business planning, bookkeeping and finance.
More recently he has been involved in DigitalBoost, Business Gateway’s national digital upskilling programme.
The support allowed Mr Roper to develop a high-quality website and recent integration of a new tour operating booking system, which allows a more user-friendly way for customers to book.
He said: “The pandemic has highlighted how useful social media is when you’re looking to grow your customer base, so this was a priority area for us during lockdown.
“Thanks to the clear advice and guidance given by the DigitalBoost team, I was able to develop a social media strategy and reach potential target audiences.
“RIPA bookings for the 2021 are looking strong considering the challenges we have all faced.
“We have also been able to develop a website that meets our needs, allowing us to enhance our efficiencies and spend more of our time delivering a quality experience for our customers.
“As with all things mountain biking it has its high summits and low troughs.
“Every business and decision has been affected and is continually changing but the overall cycling and bike industry is booming and in demand, let’s hope the interest keeps up.”
Looking to the future he hopes to keep building the business and most importantly promote what Aberdeenshire has to offer when it comes to mountain bike riding.
Mr Roper said: “RIPA wants to help get people riding bikes and being comfortable with their control when riding, their confidence whilst riding and overall consistency of riding. building their awareness on a bike and realising their best way to enjoy their ride.
“Getting people young – old and every individual in between riding bikes and being happy riding bikes. Best thing is meeting new people and showing off the best trails that Aberdeenshire has to offer.”
Mr Roper has shown his support for the North East Now campaign, which has made it easy for people to support local firms from a wide range of industries during the pandemic.
He said: “The North East Now website looks good.
“Any site that provides businesses alternative advertisement and cross sector promotion are to be welcomed.”
For further information on Ride In Peace Adventures, visit www.rideinpeaceadventures.co.uk
To find out more about North-East Now, visit www.northeastnow.scot
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