Has anyone ever organized a bike event?
I have recently been thrust toward the front of a local bike advocacy group in my city (pop. around 35,000). We have been active in pushing for bike lanes and bike awareness with the city and have succeeded in getting a bike map of our city printed and distributed.
This year we hope to tackle the issue of bike racks in our city (lack thereof) by organizing a race/ ride of sorts and raising money. We hope to be able to put in about 10 racks throughout the city with the donations.
The plan for this is still very much on the ground, but I wanted to see if anyone had any tips or stories of organizing or executing a ride/race like this in their area? I am sure we could get the support of the city, some local bike shops and businesses to get things going but we are still planning and want to have all of this down on paper before we start approaching anyone.
I've done an Alleycat. Get prizes, pick about 6 stops throughout the city. Try to make the race at least an hour. $10 entry fee. Make some sweet spoke cards. Give people punch cards and a map, let them pick their route. Buy some number punches or something to be placed at each stop. Make sure they're secure. It's pretty easy to do, but really stressful the day of the race. Have a set cutoff time so people don't have to hang around all day. Make most of the prizes random with 1st, 1st place girl, 2nd, 3rd with dibs. Get some post-race food.
See if you can get local bike shops (and other businesses, for that matter) to participate by donating prizes for a drawing. A local shop here recently hosted a breast cancer awareness ride. They put up a bunch of prizes and at the end of the ride announced they'd decided to give all participants 20% off all accessories. They sold a lot of stuff that day. The event itself was sponsored by Trek and they had lots of free stuff for participants like socks, water bottles and such. It was a great event and was a lot of fun.
Something I thought was a good idea was having 2 different routes. One was 10 miles and the other was 25 miles. The bad part of this was that one group arrived back at the shop earlier than the other but it made the ride appealing to a larger population.
Oh yeah...they had pulled a local pizza place into the deal and had free pizza at the end of the ride.
Having a shop handle the money end of it might be a good idea because they could take credit cards, etc.
Live Free Or Die!
See if one of the local or the State bike groups has 501 (c) 3 status and have them take care of the money end, if they are available.
Having two or more different routes/distances is a great idea and it opens it up for more folks to participate. However, that will make for more work on the logistics end too.
If you do the research and planning for it ahead of time, and then get the publicity and promotion end taken care of, it will be worth the effort.
Once you go through it once and get it all set-up, it makes it easier to make it an annual event that can be grown bigger as more ways to promote it are used.