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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 24,004
11/27/13 8:29 A

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Volunteering...good thought, that! Thx for the tip!

Highly agreed on the yuckiness of fund-raising...!

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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CROSSEDFLAGS's Photo CROSSEDFLAGS Posts: 91
11/26/13 9:58 P

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I have done several charity rides going all the way back to the 70's near Baltimore. I enjoy doing them and want to set several rides next year as goals. The last really big charity ride I did was "America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride", which is a 100 mile circuit around Lake Tahoe in June. So.... Beautiful scenery is a must in my book. Around here at home I have done many as well that encompass rural areas that are equally beautiful in the their own way. One thing I will never do again is beg and borrow for donations like I had to do for the Team In Training Tahoe ride. Although it was super planned and they flew us to the destination and shipped our bikes.... we were required to obtain a minimum of $5000 in donations or pay the balance not collected out of our own pockets. So please don't ask people for lots of door to door fundraising. I loved the rides that had good vendors at the start/finish selling cool cycling gear like jerseys and bike stuff that was not too expensive but still cool. On another ride I did for MS, it was a 150 miler and we spent the night in a high school gymnasium which was a fun stop over as there were vendors there and massage therapists that gave out free massages to riders. Those epic rides were the most memorable, but other short rides are good too. Make sure you combine a few different mileage variants for different abilities. This allows those that can't ride as far to complete the ride!!! I have also done shorter metric centuries that started and stopped in a park in Baltimore which had bands playing all day and They call it Bike Jam. Tons of vendors, a Criterion bike race in the afternoon for the local racing clubs and everyone finishes the bike rides and come back for food and music!!

I have also volunteered for two rides in the past and that can be almost as fun as riding and the benefit is that you get to ride for free. One of the rides, I worked as the parking lot attendant and helped people navigate into the parking area and figure out where they had to go for registration. It was a fun post where I got to meet people as they drove in. It was fund to see the excitement on their faces early in the morning getting close to the beginning of the ride.

Sorry for the ramble but wanted to get those thoughts down for you!! It should be great fun planning it!

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DDOORN's Photo DDOORN Posts: 24,004
11/26/13 11:37 A

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I have become a real cheapo regarding paying for an organized ride PLUS I've decided against any fund-raising rides as it just doesn't feel right asking for hand-outs so I can do this really cool ride. I did the MS City-to-Shore ride in NJ a few years back...have to admit it was an awesome ride though, VERY well organized.

I did two New York City rides...very different rides: 1) The massive 5 Borough Ride which was cool to see bikes take over Manhattan wall-to-wall bikes. But there were glitches in that we were held up baking on the Brooklyn - Queens expressway for hours while they were shutting down the next leg of the ride. 2) The New York City Century: much smaller and less structured. It was cool to be right out there in the thick of traffic, etc. and I saw cool nooks & crannies of the Big Apple I will probably never see again. A HUGE detraction, however, was that I was depending on following folks who knew where we were going and THEY were blowing through stop signs and traffic lights with harrowing close calls.

This past year I did my annual Great Finger Lakes Bike Tour which was cool and laid back with beautiful scenery and rides all three days. This runs every June.

A local member of our bike club headed a self-supported tour of Cape Cod this year and it was my first camping, self-supported experience...what a wonderful week that was! :-)

Don

Co-Team Leader for All Health Pros, Binghamton Area Losers & Laid Off But Staying Strong SparkTeams

Don't die with your music still in you. -- Dr. Wayne Dyer

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same." --- Carlos Castaneda

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." --- Buddha

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BILL60's Photo BILL60 Posts: 369,003
11/24/13 9:33 A

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I try to ride 10-12 organized rides per year. My favorites are those that have very clearly marked courses and well stocked rest areas. Since I'm kind of a loner, I don't much look for family-type rides. I frankly stay away from rides that require more than a reasonable fee. I used to do the MS Rides, but stop doing them because of the $50 sign up fee and the $150 required donation. Since I don't like to hassle folks for $$, I used to put up the required fees. I just don't do that any more. My favorite rides are: RAGBRAI, Hotter than Hell 100, and Rosedale (my very first organized ride).

"Excellence is but for the few."


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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,604)
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11/19/13 11:39 P

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Thanks everyone! Keep those suggestion coming.

Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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GHK1962's Photo GHK1962 Posts: 3,898
11/19/13 11:28 P

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Hehe ... you have clipless pedals now Amy ... you will ride like the wind!

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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I_CAN_AMY's Photo I_CAN_AMY SparkPoints: (23,579)
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11/19/13 10:37 P

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I have done one event ride :-) So....take my comments for what they are worth :-)

I agree with GHK1962, support is really important. One rider at my event had to carry her bike 2 miles barefoot (she took her clipless shoes off) because her derailer broke. That was a really bad experience for her.

Mark the route very, very, very visibly! Balloons and colored posters are good to mark the trail.

Booths are fun! Free stuff is always fun! At the end of the ride, it is nice to have a healthy snack available and a cold bottle of water.

Photo opportunities! A photographer is a great idea and a backdrop to have photos taken on is nice too.

Jr. high cheerleaders. I'm not kidding. They were at the beginning and end of the ride cheering us on. It was really cute!

Waves. I again agree with the other two posts. My ride had 5-6 different waves with faster more experienced riders in the first waves and slower less experienced riders in the back. It was nice because I didn't feel squished or pressured to take off real fast because GHK1962 is behind me wanting to take off like a speeding bullet! (kidding, hee, hee!)

Good luck on your event! I wish I could help! I love organizing stuff! I look forward to hearing how it goes!

Best,

Amy

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GHK1962's Photo GHK1962 Posts: 3,898
11/19/13 9:08 P

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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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HILLSLUG98239's Photo HILLSLUG98239 SparkPoints: (35,767)
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11/19/13 7:21 P

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Hands down, the best organized rides I've ever participated in have been Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Cycle for Life Rides. (One caveat: I've only done about a half-dozen organized rides.) I've done CFF rides here in the Tri-Cities, WA, and in Connell, WA. What makes the CFF rides special is the involvement of the CF families and the local CF community. I ride in support of Nathan, the son of a colleague. His family staffs one of the rest stops. Talk about enthusiasm!

Our ride here in the Tri-Cities owes its success to its organizer. She's indefatiguable when it comes to promoting the CFF's mission - even while she was battling breast cancer.

I once rode in an organized ride that had nothing going on at the end up the ride, but had a group doling out hot dogs and hamburgers at a rest stop ten miles from the end. No way I'm going to eat either one of those and then hop back onto a bike. I made me think the organizers were not cyclists.

I love the atmosphere of booths & stuff at the staging/end of the ride. It makes it like a carnival, and gives the non-riding support folks something to participate in.

Not sure what the top $$$ I'd pay is.

Love God. Love your neighbor. Change the world. It really is that simple.



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KJEANNE's Photo KJEANNE SparkPoints: (39,604)
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11/19/13 3:43 P

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I am putting together a plan for our city for a fun organized bike ride and would like to hear about the rides you enjoyed and what you liked about that ride.

Also let me know what you you don't like about organized rise you have ridden in.
How much will you pay for a 1-day ride?
Does it matter that it's for a charity?
Does it matter if there are booths at the start of the ride?

I was doing research and found out about a Tour de Donut! Your overall time is base on riding time and how many donuts you ate along the route. What a concept!! Sounds like fun.

Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
African proverb


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