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  1. #1
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    Need Help putting on fund raiser.

    Good Morning! I am a board member for the rural fire dept, and at our meeting last night I suggested that we do a bike ride fund raiser. It went over very well, the other members were quite enthusiastic! So now it is up to me to research enough for us to do it well. First thing I think is limit it to 200, not quite sure how to do that, if we don't make them sign up early. We just think that would be a reasonable amount of riders for us to understand better what we are doing. We have beautiful riding roads around, and would do one ride that is 42 miles with some climbing and one that is 20 miles with small rollers. Volunteer firefighters would be the support vehicles, what to feed at the end is a big question, the ride would start and end at the firestation, which has no kitchen facilities. I have been on one week long supported ride, so have some idea of what I liked. Does everyone have to have a number, what about the waiver? Any ideas, things you like, things you don't like, from the very basics would be very helpful.

  2. #2
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    My club is planning our second ride. It is a lot of work and a lot of fun. My first suggestion is to go participate in some rides similar to the one you want to do. Talk to the organizers and get some tips.
    Numbers aren't needed. Waivers are an absolute must. If you don't want to cook, see if a local pizza place (for example) will donate or help with food.
    Give yourself plenty of time to organize this thing. There's a lot to it. Routes, marking, rest stops, promotion, sponsors, t-shirts, food, rest rooms, police, ambulance, maps, finance, legal, rider support, registration...the list goes on. Good luck!
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  3. #3
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    Thanks BluesDawg, your link was very helpful. Pizza, was a possible "very good idea". If the ride is over 20 miles do you think a rest stop is a requirement? I stop more often than that, but I pack goodies for myself, what are the expectations of most riders?

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LynnH
    Good Morning! I am a board member for the rural fire dept, and at our meeting last night I suggested that we do a bike ride fund raiser. It went over very well, the other members were quite enthusiastic! So now it is up to me to research enough for us to do it well. First thing I think is limit it to 200, not quite sure how to do that, if we don't make them sign up early. We just think that would be a reasonable amount of riders for us to understand better what we are doing. We have beautiful riding roads around, and would do one ride that is 42 miles with some climbing and one that is 20 miles with small rollers. Volunteer firefighters would be the support vehicles, what to feed at the end is a big question, the ride would start and end at the firestation, which has no kitchen facilities. I have been on one week long supported ride, so have some idea of what I liked. Does everyone have to have a number, what about the waiver? Any ideas, things you like, things you don't like, from the very basics would be very helpful.
    Firemans ride takes me back a bit. In Sussex- The county where I live-We used to have Sussex Firemans ride. a Metric century that started At Newhaven Firestation, Right at Sea level on the Coast- and it went to Crowborough Fire Station- The highest point in Sussex- before returning to Newhaven. Lunch was arranged at Crowborough and the spread that was put on was superb with sandwiches-Tea and coffee and Cake.

    For your first ride 200 sounds a good number by the way. Get round the serious bike clubs and ask them for entries- Get out to the bike shops and get posters up and Get round the Fire Dept. and tell them that they are expected to ride. Then you will get an idea of how entries are going. Route signing is a problem and They solved the problem with the help of a Motor bike club. There was a motor bike at each junction directing the riders. Not the traffic as that is not allowed and they were not allowed to stop the traffic or usher riders out. They stood there and pointed the direction and if a car was coming they yelled out for the riders to stop. Still had a couple of nasty accidents though at Junctions with mad brain riders taking a chance with the traffic so INSURANCE. Either get it or make everyone sign a disclaimer that they are not covered- or whatever you have to do to be legal over there.

    As to food- A Fire dept has wives. That is what Sussex did. Home made cakes from those not coming and a good crew of sandwich makers in the Morning and to distribuet at the feeding station. You will have to buy some food, but if you allow for this in the Ride fee- You know how much to cater for. OR- another ride I do is a 40 miler starting and finishing at Hastings- Plenty of local cafes at the finish but they also arrange for an ice cream van and a Burger van to attend. They get a good donation from the Vendors at the end.

    After any ride you will need a momento for the ride aswell. At the firemans ride -A medal was available for purchase and at the Hastings ride- you recieve a free medal.

    The Sussex firemans ride is no longer run but it used to have about 600 entries. 50 of them from France as the Ferry Newhaven to Dieppe used to arrive at about the right time. The route meant that it was for serious cyclists but a sag wagon was employed to pick up the unfortunates. The Hastings ride for the 25 mile route is flat so you finish up with everything on it- Big joy to me is to see the 12 to 15 year old riders on their BMX's doing it. That must be hard for a youngster but they do it. The 40 miler takes in a few hills so that is where you get the Club cyclists out. 40 miles on a flat twisty route and taking in a few hills and they go for it. The way they regulate the riders is to have about 5 checkpoints that you have to stop at and get a card stamped. This is how several other rides I do is run aswell.

    Hope the ride gets under way- and I do not envy your job of trying to get volunteers to Help.
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  5. #5
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Most rides I've done have rest stops between 12 and 15 miles apart as a rule. I would think that riders doing a 20 mile pay ride would expect a rest stop around 10 miles. The shorter the ride, the more riders who will need more stops. Riders doing a 50 mile ride would be more likely to accept a 20 mile stretch.
    Our 34 mile ride will have stops at 9 miles and at 21 miles (13 miles to the finish).
    On the 62 mile ride, at 9 miles, 22 miles and 39 miles. The riders will be aware of stores about midway between the 22 mile and 39 mile stops.
    If you want them to come back next year, you need to offer at least as much as the other rides do.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  6. #6
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    Stapfam, why the stops to regulate the riders, what would that do for us? We are hoping that we will turn this into an annual event, and would be so happy if eventually people look back on the ride fondly, as you do yours. So, that also answers that we want this ride to be at least as good as anything within 500 miles. That sounds ambitious enough. We are very rural, the short ride will not pass anything but farm houses, there is a small store by the fire station. The long ride will actually go through Maupin, pop 460, at 12 miles, there are a couple places to stop, and then we could do a rest stop at approx 30 miles. Momentos would be great, I'm picturing a flaming bike! Not for real, like on a T-shirt.

  7. #7
    Lanky Lass East Hill's Avatar
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    Maupin is a beautiful town! The ride sounds as if it would be a wonderful idea. If you haven't done so already, you might want to put a notice of this in the Pacific Northwest regional forum as well. Many of the Portland/Eugene riders may want to come down for something like that.

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  8. #8
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    LynnH, The first thing to do is to secure a permit from your county Public Work Dept to use the roads, if you can't get permits everything else you do will be waste. You'll need to meet with the permit office, and take details of the date, routes you want, location of congested spots like rest areas, and start-finish facilities and parking for 250 cars (participants and volunteers).

    After permits are in hand, you can print up mailers, contact bike clubs in the state (they all will include you on the list of regional events in newsletters and websites). If you can, have someone make up a simple website with a printable registration form, send this website to bike clubs so that they can link to your website for their members. Also make up fliers to put in bike shops.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  9. #9
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    Local bicycle clubs would probably be a good resource for gathering info. They can tell you not only what to do to make it a successful event, but also when to hold the event to avoid conflicts with the local biking calander. They may even agree to co sponsor or add logistical support.
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

  10. #10
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I've done many, many organized rides.

    Make sure the road is well marked with arrows and there is a good que sheet. I'd recommend one stop on your shorter ride. Maybe a couple more on the 40 mile ride. Have fluids, bananas and peanut butter crackers available before the ride. Bathrooms at the start are a must!!!!

    If you wanted to do food after the ride you might think about sub sandwiches....or some folks do a couple flavors of soup..chicken noodle and possibly something spicey. Soup should be pretty easy and inexpensive to do and you could PB&J sandwiches to augment the food. Oranges are okay as well but need slicing.

    Waivers are a must but numbers should not be required. If you think a lot of people will attempt to ride and not pay you could use an armband or something like that to indicate those that have paid.

    Rides usually don't have a great turnout the first year for whatever reason....unless the route is really unique or the ride offers something really unique. However, they can grow over time. It's good to have a strong "theme" or charity the ride is supporting that people can relate to and might even participate because of the cause.

    Advertise with flyers at other nearby rides or events and get the word out on the web with cycle shops and bike clubs.

  11. #11
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    There was an article in Bicycling Mag. last summer about this subject. Maybe someone will know the month. Try your library. Lots of work and depending on the turnout lots of people needed.

    One charity ride we hoped to have was cancelled due to lack of a main sponsor - $2500 needed to pull it off so that my give you some idea of the up front money required. Mostly for feeding the riders post ride and lunch station & porta john, etc. the list can get long. Good luck.

  12. #12
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    Thank you everyone, I REALLY appreciate all the thoughts and ideas, and downright facts. I am going to my LBS in The Dalles this afternoon, they should be good help. I'll keep checking, if anyone has more. I'll also post the ride info, if and when it happens, maybe we can even do a BF50+ discount, at least enough to be able to buy your own pie. Looks like biking weather this weekend, so I'll ponder some more while I'm out there.

  13. #13
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    I'd consider having at least a metric route. Many event riders might not be very interested in coming out for just a 40 miler.

    Two things that bring people back, in my opinion, are memorable rest stops and a really cool t-shirt. Most riders get a bunch of t-shirts every year, and one with just some clip-art isn't going to be very outstanding. If you can get a local artist to contribute some original art showing the theme of your ride for the t-shirt, that would be great. At least one of your rest stops (probably the one that the most people stop at) should be killer. Anybody can do pb&j or orange slices, but some great local fruit or some home made goodies really impress riders, and get them talking about your ride.

    You don't need much food at the end of a forty miler, but hot dogs on a grill is easy and suits most people.

    Good luck with your ride, I hope it becomes a tradition.
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