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Old 01-11-09, 07:22 PM   #1
b_young
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Planning a ride event

I was discussing the possibilities of my son's local JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) chapter helping me raise the $4000 needed to do a JDRF ride. They only have 5 across the nation per year. I was turned down because others would want them to help as well. But the Chapter pres asked if they had a ride at their annual walk if I would be interested. Once I said I would her next question was would you HELP organize it. Again I said I would and now I am the comittee chairman.

I am actually excited about this but scared too. Have any of ya'll had any experience with this?
She was asking if 13 miles would be a good ride. I have a route for a 13, 30, 50 and 75 so far and I think having the extra distances will pull more riders. I am not familar with Little Rock,AR traffic other than the rides I have participated in. I would really like a 100 mile ride with it but I think 75 would be my limit keeping the traffic at a min.

Anyway, advice, suggestions... would be appreciated.
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Old 01-11-09, 07:28 PM   #2
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Think details. I served on the Tour de Cure Indy Planning Committee last year, and it wasw a tremendous job, I can tell you. I'm not on the Committee this year, simply because I don't have the time.
Communications Issues: Contact your local Amateur Radio Club about helping with Communications and SAG support.

Have your SAG stops in place and well stocked. Contact local groceries f0r donations of food, etc.

Have your route well marked and regularily patrolled for folk that need to abort due to breakdown, or health reasons.

Have your local EMT's at the SAG stops, as well,, and coordinate with the local PD's, etc.

You are in for a huge job, my friend, but if you pull it off smoothly, it will feel great!

Oh yeah, enlist help from your local bike club. They will have mailing lists, etc, and can really help you get the riders out.

Don't forget the LBS, either.....service and repair services on the ride help a lot, and provide them with good will and advertising, so they usually will do this for free.
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Old 01-11-09, 07:35 PM   #3
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I have no organizing experience to offer, so no help there I'm afraid. I do agree with having varying distances though. You'll cover a more broad spectrum of riders, which I agree would draw more attention to the event. If you can hold the shorter rides to a trail, it would probably draw in family riders. In my experience, families with youngsters like to be in a controlable atmosphere where it's easier to keep an eye on them.

Just my thoughts,

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Old 01-11-09, 07:37 PM   #4
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I've been on organized rides with poor or confusing route markings. Getting riders lost will really aggravate them.

For each turn, you need spraypainted route markings 50 yards before, again at the turn, and 20 yards past. Every other non-dead-end intersection needs one marker showing the route is going straight ahead. If the road is more than 3 or 4 miles without an intersection, add another marker, too. Around here, the marker before crossing a busy or dangerous road has XXX under it.

Check it again a week before the ride to see if road construction has wiped out any markers.

If the different length routes intersect, those spots need really clear markings. I think sometimes the route planners are so familiar with the area that they don't realize how confusing it can be to new riders.

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Old 01-11-09, 09:53 PM   #5
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My club who I happen to be a director and tour comittee member is going thro th esame thing as in organizing a new ride. One thing I can't stress enough is make sure you have tons of volunters. Other things to consider. Setting up on line registry as most sites will also have a free page were friends could donate under riders name, make sure you have a sweep vehicle, lots of signage, quality food at SAGS include fruit and carbs of some kind lots of water, good maps and directions. Consider a goodie bag at the end, we usally get bars of some kind plus other small donated swag. Not sure what it is like in th eStates but in Canada we have to contact all communities the ride goes thru to obtain permission and deal with any insurance issues. Make sure you get this covered, as a chairman if anyone gets hurt and you do not have proper agreements with towns or cities any financial loss issues may rest on you. I hope everything works out well for you, and have fun, it's a lot of work but worth it.
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Old 01-11-09, 10:16 PM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions so far.

I haven't thought about communications yet. Thanks Tom. I have thought of SAG support though.
I may have to see if I can get a golf cart or something for the MUP. There are a couple of LBS that have been great on other rides, I am just not sure if they are at their limits as far as charity goes.

The ride will be a the same time as the annual walk. Last year there were over 3000 walking. They will be walking the first 1.5 miles of the route then turning around and back the same direction. I am wanting to have the ride start a couple of hours earlier. But, that said, we will have the ambulance service and some other EMT types already there.

The first thirteen mile loop is mostly a MUP with one section that will have traffic. In other rides the police have handled the traffic in that section and I am counting on it for the family route.

The other routes, tentatively, are concentric loops. I have them planned that way for food stations 10 - 15 miles apart and using the same food stops.

There is one set of RR tracks that is my biggest concern. I have seen a couple of people crash on them on other rides. There is no way around them. They are at a 45 to the road, I am thinking about posting someone there with some plywood or something to lay across the tracks and moving it if a train comes. Suggestions??

The MS150 was the best ride as far as organization that I have been on. They even had a group of masseuse’s donate their time after the ride. They worked for tips and looked like they were doing very well at it. I am hoping to get them.
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Old 01-12-09, 07:12 AM   #7
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Thank you for taking this on. It is such a worthy cause.

Just some additional thoughts: On the Tour de Cure here, the local motorcycle clubs volunteered for route patrolling and escort duties on the few narrow, high traffic segments of the route. Also, a local construction company donated use of portable, electronic message signs to warn motorists that there was a cycling event in progress. From a rider's perspective, that was a very nice detail. I also saw some vehicles from the Amateur Radio club at the rest stops. I'm assuming they were tracking rider #'s to ensure no one was left on the route. That may be another resource.

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Old 01-12-09, 07:31 AM   #8
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The more routes you have, the more volunteers you will need, the more confusing for you (read: stress), and the busier on event day you will be. Be cautious about doing too much too soon. Put on a small, quality event first, and you'll get bigger year-by-year. Put on a lousy big event, and people will not return. As I help organize our club's first century event, this is one of the tenets we have adopted.

Don't use spray-paint on the ground: city workers get upset and if you modify the route next year, you have issues. Instead, there are (somewhere--our route director has the info) degradeable arrows that disappear after a few rains and are not seen again (also fine with the environment).

Get as much sponsorship as possible to alleviate costs. All rider registration should go toward your charity.

The charity should come through with plenty of volunteers to help. Unfortunately, they won't know anything about cycling (generally). Be prepared to quickly educate them.

I could go on and on. Instead, here's a link to a site where I asked the same question from a rider's standpoint.
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Old 01-12-09, 07:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b_young View Post
...In other rides the police have handled the traffic in that section and I am counting on it for the family route...

...There is one set of RR tracks that is my biggest concern. I have seen a couple of people crash on them on other rides. There is no way around them. They are at a 45 to the road, I am thinking about posting someone there with some plywood or something to lay across the tracks and moving it if a train comes. Suggestions??
You have to contact the police. Better start now. It is a long process for our club to get Sheriff support for one of our races. Really a pain in the a--. If you don't get them to volunteer (if they do at all) you can count on thousands of dollars in overtime pay for the police.

Plywood? probably not a good idea. Potentially unsafe and the cops and RR people might not go for it. Just get some signage and (preferably) volunteers to slow/caution everybody down as they approach the RR.
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Old 01-12-09, 09:39 AM   #10
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I've only been on one organized ride, a 25 mile Ride for Cancer Care. The ride was great, and the organizers did a great job running it.

There's one thing I wished they'd have done differently. The route started out with a marker every mile, but the markers stopped after the first 15 miles or so. Overall that was fine, but there were two or three really long downhill stretches where it wasn't clear until the bottom that they were still on the route. On each of them, I'd get part way down the hill and start freaking out, wondering if I'd made a wrong turn somewhere and would have to ride back up.

Having a marker or two on these downhill sections, just a friendly "yup, you're going the right way!", would have made those portions of the ride a bit more enjoyable.


This is a pretty minor nitpick, but it's something you may want to keep in mind.
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Old 01-12-09, 11:14 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by b_young View Post
I was discussing the possibilities of my son's local JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) chapter helping me raise the $4000 needed to do a JDRF ride. They only have 5 across the nation per year. I was turned down because others would want them to help as well. But the Chapter pres asked if they had a ride at their annual walk if I would be interested. Once I said I would her next question was would you HELP organize it. Again I said I would and now I am the comittee chairman.

I am actually excited about this but scared too. Have any of ya'll had any experience with this?
She was asking if 13 miles would be a good ride. I have a route for a 13, 30, 50 and 75 so far and I think having the extra distances will pull more riders. I am not familar with Little Rock,AR traffic other than the rides I have participated in. I would really like a 100 mile ride with it but I think 75 would be my limit keeping the traffic at a min.

Anyway, advice, suggestions... would be appreciated.

Check with the local bike clubs who have done rides in your area and see what they needed. You may need permits, insurance, etc, but some of that can be covered by the walking group too. I agree with just doing a short ride to start with. I did a 21 mile ride last year and it was aimed at the family trying to get everyone out riding. There were all types of groups families, cyclists, and even the racing crowd. I'm sure some of the racers went on to do more miles, but they wanted to be apart of the event.

Becareful of trying to do a longer ride and having it be a bunch of loops, some people find these boring.

Admittedly, I haven't organized a bike ride, but I have done several hockey tournaments. Seeing that you are Committee Chairman, that leads me to believe there is a committee. Don't do everything yourself, break it down into groups like route, which would include signage, route markers, etc. Come race day things will be hectic and you will need others to be resposible.

And probably don't plan on riding the even yourself
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Old 01-12-09, 11:34 AM   #12
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Here are two thoughta I had for the tracks.

1. In any pamphlets, registration form, or map make sure somewhere on there you note to use caution at MP XX where there are tracks. Note if rule #2 applies

2. You might also require that all riders walk their bikes across the tracks. You may have some at the front of the group who are more experienced ride across them. But, consider the proper way to cross them is to swerve and cross them at 90 degrees. I can do that if I am alone. But, if I have 1,000 of my closests friends and we are six wide it becomes more difficult and people are going further out into the road. By requiring everyone to walk across, they can anticipate they everyone is going to be slowing/stopping to cross. I am not a lawyer, but I think it would limit the liability if someone rides across the tracks and falls and gets hurt.

I know on the one large group ride I did we filled one lane, there was no keeping to two abreast and this is why there was police to close the street for a few minutes while the crowd went by.
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