Adventure Cycling Association Reports Record Year
Robust growth seen in largest American cycling group’s revenue and program activities
Missoula, Montana — Adventure Cycling Association today reported a record year for fiscal year 2010 (ending September 30) with 15% growth in overall revenue — from $3.6 million to $4.1 million, gaining robustly in its development, tours, and sales programs, as well as in ad revenue for its award-winning bicycle-travel magazine, Adventure Cyclist.
As North America’s largest membership nonprofit cycling organization — with nearly 45,000 members — Adventure Cycling’s income supports its efforts to improve conditions for bicycling and bicycle travel across the U.S. and provide resources and inspiration for people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
Jim Sayer, Adventure Cycling’s executive director said, “Given the continued weakness in the U.S. economy, our performance was all the more impressive — but it’s also a sign that in difficult times, people turn to things they love, like bicycling and traveling by bike.”
Donations and Tours Revenue Rose 30 Percent
Of special note, Adventure Cycling saw a 30% upturn in charitable donations in support of its advocacy and program work to advance bicycling and bicycle travel. Members and donors appreciated the group’s efforts to establish an official U.S. Bicycle Route System, as well as the association’s work on federal and state transportation policy. Along with donations, Adventure Cycling supports these programs with grants, which increased 12% in 2010, and with net proceeds from tours and product sales. “We were humbled and energized by the generosity of our members,” said Sayer.
Adventure Cycling’s tours department saw a 16% increase in tour participants and a nearly 30% increase in total tours revenue in 2010. Offering over 40 guided cycling tours last year — including supported trips, self-contained tours, and educational courses — more than 1,000 riders rode with Adventure Cycling.
New Maps and Sales Growth
Adventure Cycling released its newest long-distance cycling route in May 2010, the 2,389-mile Sierra Cascades Bicycle Route. With the addition of the Sierra Cascades route, Adventure Cycling’s Route Network now encompasses 40,699 miles — the largest mapped network of bike-friendly routes in the world.
The Sierra Cascades map release helped boost Adventure Cycling’s sales department, which saw a 5% increase in overall map sales, selling more than 31,000 maps for the year. Adventure Cycling’s online store, Cyclosource, sells the organization’s renowned bicycle maps as well as bicycle-travel gear. Its total sales revenue increased 12% in 2010, and since 2000, sales revenue has grown 30%.
“Buoyed by the release of the Sierra Cascades route, big increases in map sales to non-members, and wholesale map sales, 2010 was our best sales year ever,” said Teri Maloughney, sales and marketing director.
Increased Ad Revenue
Advertising in Adventure Cycling’s membership magazine, Adventure Cyclist, increased 19%. This was good news after a decline in ad revenues the prior fiscal year. Published nine times each year, Adventure Cyclist features bicycle-travel stories from around the world, how-to information, gear reviews, and more, reaching more than 87,000 readers annually. Adventure Cyclist is the association’s number one member benefit, along with discounts on maps.
“In addition to the high quality of the magazine and the creation this year of our first Cyclists’ Travel Guide, our ad sales have been invigorated by the enthusiasm and dedication of our new ad representative, Rick Bruner,” said Sheila Snyder, chief operations officer.
Membership Steady with Areas of Significant Growth
Adventure Cycling’s membership numbers held steady in 2010 (at 44,700 members), as did inquiries (people asking about services and member benefits) with approximately 13,000 requests for more information. (Membership renewals were stronger than 2009, increasing 2%.) On average, new members increase between 2 and 3 percent every year, with the largest increase in the last decade occuring in 2008 when total members increased 12.2%. However, since 2000, memberships have grown nearly 40%.
Adventure Cycling Association’s 44,700 members hail from 45 countries, from Argentina to Uruguay. Every state in the U.S. is represented, with the most members residing in California and the fewest in North Dakota; 1,300 members live outside of the U.S. in countries from Argentina to the United Arab Emirates, including members in Malaysia, Cyprus, Russian Federation, Swaziland, and Slovakia.
While regular memberships held steady, big gains were made in the organization’s life member program bringing in 48 new life members this year, a 37% increase over last year. An individual life membership costs $1,000, while a joint life membership runs $1,500. Adventure Cycling has more than 1,500 life members.
The organization also saw a significant spike in its corporate supporters in 2010, up 66% over last year.
“In the last year, we’ve improved our corporate supporter benefits and created new ways for our corporate supporters to engage with the organization and our mission-driven work,” said Amy Corbin, membership and marketing coordinator. “In particular, our May social media fundraiser for the U.S. Bicycle Route System drew several new companies to the program.”
Sayer added, “With more than 22 states and the District of Columbia working on implementation of U.S. Bicycle Routes, it’s not surprising that cycling and outdoor recreation businesses are excited to be involved. The creation of official routes will mean that there are many more cyclists out there.”
Working closely with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Adventure Cycling’s leadership in the creation of an official U.S. Bicycle Route System is attracting many new supporters to the organization. It’s also creating important alliances between the association, other cycling organizations, and transportation officials on the state and national levels.
On July 2, 2010, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood called the U.S. Bicycle Route System, “a win for states, a win for local communities, and a win for America.”
What’s in store for FY2011?
Adventure Cycling has just announced its 2011guided tours and plans to announce its next long-distance cycling route this November.
“Of course, we’ll continue our work on the U.S. Bicycle Route System,” said Sayer. “We’ll also complete a new alternate on our Underground Railroad Bicycle Route, and release a substantially improved Atlantic Coast route next summer. As far as budgeting goes, despite our success this year, we remain conservative in our outlook for 2011. However, if this trend continues and we can expand our programs, it means great things for bicycle travel in North America.”
Learn more about Adventure Cycling Association at http://www.adventurecycling.org/whoweare/.
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Adventure Cycling Association is the premier bicycle travel organization in North America with over 44,000 members. A nonprofit organization, its mission is to inspire people of all ages to travel by bicycle. It produces routes and maps for cycling in North America, organizes more than 45 tours annually, and publishes the best bicycle-travel information anywhere, including Adventure Cyclist magazine and The Cyclists’ Yellow Pages online. With more than 40,000 meticulously mapped miles in the Adventure Cycling Route Network, Adventure Cycling gives cyclists the tools and confidence to create their own bike travel adventures. Contact the office at (800) 755-BIKE (2453), firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.adventurecycling.org.
Source: Adventure Cycling