I just finished writing ...sorry so long ... I just love event rides ...and am a wordy person ...
Ohhhhh mannnnn....I LOVE EVENT rides.
Short answer to what makes the best event rides - when I can do them with wifey.
But that likely does not help. Or ... wait....maybe it does ... sometimes family rides draw lots of people ...and in general are intended to be fun.
Ok ok ... just thinking about event rides is making me giddy ... let me be a bit more organized...
I would say there are two types of organized/event rides. (Not to be mistaken for races!)
1) More general population rides ... where family participation is involved, often centers around fun and time spent with friends and family and just getting out to do something.
2) Rides that are more for the bike community. Everyone is generally invited, but they tend to be out in the country and longer ... not as kid friendly.
Both types seem to not time the events (though they give time frames when support and events end).
I like BOTH. Depends what type of crowd you want to draw.
Good organizational things that I think people appreciate (though it can put a strain on the organization budget):
+ Good, clear route marks on the road/ground. And they should be simple and not conflict with other road marks. Sometimes having volunteers at strategic intersections or decision points helps a lot.
+ Road support. As much as your budget will allow. A van to pick up stragglers or those that need a lift is essential. Perhaps route riders (in vans or on bikes, depending on the route length) that check on riders who may need assistance (medical or repairs, etc.)
+ I personally like BOTH things going on before the ride, and after. I mean... at the beginning, there is NOTHING like the excitement of a ride starting. And at the end ... one just HAS to celebrate!
+ Depending on the route length ... rest stops. Most rides I have been on get their food stuffs donated ...and staffed with volunteers.
+ Tee-shirts. I love the event tee-shirts!
Things that I know have made rides frustrating for some:
- Congestion. For myself, for fun rides, I just think to myself ... if I want to ride fast this is not the event to sign up for. But some people do get annoyed. The best way is to stagger the starts. Also, if there are multiple route lengths, let the longer (and presumably faster) riders leave first. And ... if routes converge, try setting the converge points in a way that people from the different groups do not hit the merge at the same time ... that causes a lot of congestion.
- Packet pick-up on day of ride only. If you can give an option for people to pick their ride packet up early it helps I think.
How much would I pay?
Depends ... I have paid as little as $0 when I volunteered at packet pick-up and got to ride for free ... to up to $25 + $150 in donations (Tour de Cure). I think an average price would be between $25 - $60, depending on age, course length, charity, etc.
Does it matter if it's for charity?
DEFINATELY. At least for me. While I have ridden rides just for ride sake...I really like riding in events when I know it benefits something.
Ok ... not needed info ... but if you look these up it might give you ideas ...some rides I have done.
o Tour de Cure (benefits diabetes)
o Tour de Lab (benefits DoveLewis, an animal emergency clinic)
o Portland Bridge Pedal (benefits Providence Medical ... I LOVE this ride)
o Petal Pedal (benefits the Oregon Gardens)
o Hood River Harvest Ride (benefits a small town in Oregon)
o The Night Ride (I can't recall what it benefited .. but it started at 10pm and everyone had glow lights on their bikes.....awesome!)
You may say I'm a dreamer...but I'm not the only one...
~ John Lennon ~
Life's like a movie, write your own ending...
~ Kermit the Frog ~
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