Today we’d like to introduce you to Cynthia Ord.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve spent the past ten years to become a travel marketing specialist. After getting a Masters degree in tourism economics, I worked for a series of local travel brands all over the world. Most recently, I headed the marketing department for a cannabis tour company here in my Denver hometown.
Then, last autumn, I started to feel a shift.
Professionally, I reached a point where I wanted to build my own platform and my own brand, using all my skill and experience to help it grow. Personally, I reached a point where I wanted a better balance between sedentary screen-staring and being outside, active, in the field.
Cycling has always been a part of my life, but I’ve never traveled by bicycle before. I hatched the idea of a grand cross-country bike tour as a foundation for a new personal brand, and as a way to spend an entire summer season outdoors pushing myself to my physical limits.
The ‘Little Miss Bike Tour’ concept was born early in 2019. I’ve spent the past few months planning this four-month journey and establishing a presence online. I’ve been training, gearing up, packing, and sharing the story as I go. Now, I’m just counting down until Day 1 of the ride, which will be June 15 in Astoria, Oregon.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The training has been a little rough. I’ve done a lot of supported road biking, but I’d never strung several days together on a fully-loaded bicycle until this past March. My first overnighter was a wild ride. A group of friends and I rode from Downtown Denver to Waterton Canyon and the Colorado Trail. The gravel portion was extra muddy, and it was so cold — we got snowed on that night in our tents.
The packing has also been a challenge. When you’re carrying all your gear and supplies on your bike, the idea is to keep the load as light as possible. It’s hard to strike a balance between comfort and weight. I’m down to about 50 lbs of added weight, but that’s still too much! I’m having a hard time figuring out how to shave off more ounces.
I still feel like I’m not quite “ready” for 50 miles of cycling every day and camping almost every night for weeks and months on end. But I suppose you get better at bike touring by setting out and starting! I’m sure there will be a lot of learning as I go.
Little Miss Bike Tour – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My hope for Little Miss Bike Tour is to build a successful influencer brand. There are a lot of bad actors out there who grow artificial followings and offer dubious value to advertisers. I’ve been in marketing long enough to know better. By the time my brand matures, I hope to be an authentic and authoritative voice in the bike tour niche and to offer worthwhile collaborations with compatible brands.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success, for me, is to be able to support myself comfortably while doing what fulfills me. I’ve always been attracted to the glamour and perks of the adventure travel industry, often at the cost of stability and career security. I’ve lived abroad in countries where the dollar is strong in order to get by on a freelance income that wouldn’t work in the States. There’s always been that trade-off.
The goal now is to have it both ways. I want to create enough value and build a client base that can support me wherever in the world I want to live — including here at home in the Mile High City.
- Website: http://littlemissbiketour.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/littlemissbiketour/
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/littlemissbiketour
Portrait in the red sweater by Rachel Sorbet