Instructions For Having A Bicycle Ride
Having a bike ride?
Let's get started:
ride and all others should be a permanent thing. By all means set this up to be
perpetuated. You can raise funds for the emergency services of your area, for
scholarships, or just extra equipment. If it's a worthwhile cause you will never run out of people to help. You may have to seek and then ye shall find-though.
The Event-Ride Name
Name the ride something funny or unique relating to the area, season.
Don't conflict with other rides. Check with your state bicycle event calendar. North Carolina has bicycle events posted on the NCDOT bicycle calendar. If your state doesn't have a bicycle event calendar then start one. It's an archaic state that needs updating!
A Trick T-Shirt
You'll need a "trick" T-shirt. I don't like T-shirts with a lot of Ads on them. However, these ads could be your largest contributions.
If you choose ads for the shirt try to use great artwork such as a crude funny drawing of the donors business on a map or try to entertain with the ads. I really hate a shirt with just ads and I don't go back for most rides if I don't like the shirt.
You will get advice to use socks instead of shirts. I don't know where one of some of my socks is. A shirt is advertising.
Sometimes cheap socks are given by manufacturers. Some of the cycling socks people are right here in NC where I live.
If this is to be an annual event- perhaps have a patch. A company such as the Carolina Emblem that I use is in Campobello, SC.
You may want to have a cookout afterward. If it's just hot-dogs or burgers please have veggie burgers and dogs with the others.
Number one is the course.
You want to have the ride start close enough to motels & restaurants.
The course is the gold. Have a low traffic, beautiful course, with historical stops along the way.
You need rest stops after or at about 20 miles at first, then every 16-18 miles for casual riders. Of course a few riders won't stop at all.
Mark the course well!
the roads with painted arrows. Paint at least 2 arrows ahead of the turn, 1 right at
the corner, and a confirmation arrow immediately after the turn. Make the
arrows about a foot and a half long or so, very visible in yellow or white.
Paint them days before the ride so that they are sharp. Yellow and white paint last longer than other colors. The hundred miler
should be white or yellow followed by the next longest ride in the next most
visible color. You can use other colors for the other rides. Other colors fade
really bad and they are not as visible as the yellow and white. The longer the
ride, the more visible the color. Even with arrows people can miss a turn. If
the turn is right around a curve, paint the arrows ahead of time, especially if
the speed of the cyclist is fast because of a downhill or something. It's good to paint the roads close to the time of the event. They will look fresh and will be less confused with older arrows for other courses.
More fun=more money.
there is a sharp curve (or other hazard- grates?), please draw skull and cross
bones in the road and write caution in large letters. Some rides have flashing warning signs with lights for extreme hazards. Some rides have Satan or
another costumed character bringing attention to the danger.
If there might be confusion put a traffic monitor out there to point.
For the Roan Moan bike ride the mile marker signs would mysteriously disappear right before a race called the Roan Groan would take place. So to help riders out on "our" Roan Moan and for the other riders for every day of the year I started putting faces and numbers down where the mile markers should have been. This turned into "pac" men in different colors representing the different colored jerseys that are seen in the "Tour de France". There is the yellow Pac" man representing the leader of the TDF and also the climbers polka dotted jersey is represented by a polka dotted "pac" man.
Let me add that I do not agree with defacing the roads. I try to have appealing art uniformly placed to help bicycle riders.
I avoid painting in towns or cities but for the arrows. Arrows themselves and any "artwork should be small and uniform.
In Charleston, SC I did place "skull & crossbones" before dangerous railroad tracks where people would crash terribly very often. There are tracks in Asheville that need these with maybe signs showing how to cross tracks perpendicularly when the tracks are at bad angles. Near Wilmington, NC on River Road there has been a wide area paved to help cyclists navigate dangerous tracks that have injured many people in the past.
For Safety's Sake!
Use right turns mostly and when possible.
You want right hand turns as much as possible, otherwise you will require more traffic help.
With the fire depts. involved, it should not be a problem. Right turns are safer, especially on the busier roads and with a lot of people. Prepare for a lot.
You'll need a SAG wagon. Nobody knows what SAG means except that it picks riders up that can't finish. Spare tubes and pumps are a must. Most bikes have presta valves. Make sure you have a presta valve pump as well as the regular American valve. Most pumps from bike stores have both now. You might have spare inner tubes and a pump at some rest stops (SAG stops).
You may need several trucks to SAG. One truck should always be behind the last rider or at least count the riders. The best way is to follow.
If there is a massive mass start have the police escort you the first few miles until you're out of traffic. The riders will string out after a short while and particularly if there is a hill. After a hill there is a downhill. Caution the riders. If this is a great course, and it should be, riders near your area would like to see caution painted where there is danger. Motorcyclists would appreciate it as well.
Bring this and other points up to your head of tourism. A community involved could reap untold benefits.
Make a cue sheet. Type out a form that has the turns and landmarks. Add the locations of points of interest, such as coffee shops, restaurants, grist mills, etc. Make this detailed but short enough. Give it to the "Chamber". Promote cycling, discourage oil. The more a community is involved, the more benefits you will reap.
Water, Energy Drinks, Food
Have a table with someone at the end of the ride writing the names/numbers and times of the riders finishing. Some people will just disappear. It shows you care.
You need bananas, an energy drink, cookies, pbj sandwiches (made & sliced in half), and lots of water.
bathrooms before, during (port-a-johns, churches, stores, parks), and after the
rides. Have showers after. Some folks will drive a long way .home
To make this endearing to many people start having homemade cookies, cakes, etc.
Add your own taste for the time of year. If you grow fruit, if it's in season and a lot of it, have it there.
Many things can be solicited for donation. Many companies might donate food, energy bars, drinks, etc. to promote their products or business. Start very early for donations, especially for energy bars and drinks.
Make it unique!
Virginia has the Great Peanut Ride.
Wineries? Commemorative bottle? Make it unique.
Take photos. I’ve always wanted to give cameras to a lot of people and tell them to shoot.
Put the pics on a webpage if poss. Perhaps contact Birds Eye View and have them take pics to sell.
Maybe you can add the pics to one of your enterprises or someone in the community with the know-how.
Take Care Of The Volunteers
Have enthusiastic volunteers, even if they’re just good actors. Cheering is okay. It endears the riders whether they acknowledge the cheering or not. The riders will be expending a lot of energy and money.
Stay the course!
A bike ride is too involved to have only once. Make it big and stay the course. The first year may be a flop.
The best advertising is free- word of mouth. North Carolina has the NCDOT bike events. Don’t spend a lot of money on brochures. Make them simple, black & white, easy to copy. Some people have very elaborate, colorful brochures. It doesn’t impress most of us and it turns some of us off. Think eco-friendly.
Applaud every finisher!
Try to be patient with slower riders.
Prepare yourselves for some complainers with complaints. Brush it off. Ignore some crazy people and try to better the ride. Be diplomatic.
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