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  1. #1
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    "Cause" Rides and time to Ride

    Think I am beginning to understand the many charity rides around. Ever since I retired I have been involved in one issue after another where my graphic skills were required on a volunteer basis. If I, as a retiree, can't ride whenever I want I can only sympathize with those of you with jobs and small children.

    Waiting for one more meeting to take place today. Supposed to rain tomorrow.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    There are more causes than time to do them, at least for most of us. Sheldon Brown had his own thoughts on '-athon' rides, which I'm sure you can look up if you want. I definitely see his point. I can ride whenever I want, even without the "cause" rides that seem to happen every weekend. To get my attention, they have to provide me with something that normal club rides dont, AND they have to be worth the price they ask, independent of how good a cause they are. Otherwise, I could just donate to the cause.

  3. #3
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    In my area there are a few cause rides but not every weekend. I don't mind those which are sponsored by well known causes that don't ask for much money to be raised and don't charge a huge entry fee. For example - our area tour de cure has a $150 donation and a $25 entry fee, that's not too steep - I raised the money in less than 24 hours and more is still rolling in. I was making up my ride calendar last night and have an option for a century or metric century almost every weekend through the middle of Sept. Most are free or have a registration fee of $35 or less. There are also club rides going on at the same time so I have lots of options. However with that said I have really grown to like organized rides for their social aspects as well as the fact that I tend to ride harder in a group than on my own so I actually get more benefit. The real issue is finding the time to balance long rides with the honey-do list.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  4. #4
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Just finished reading Sheldon Brown's "Thons" article. He makes a good point, but I don't think people do bike-thons as a form of suffering; I think we've moved beyond that. But having said that, I personally don't like "thons" because I don't like hitting people up for money, regardless of what cause it is for. I guess some people are just natural salespeople. Me, I've never been good at sales. There's a certain amount of dishonesty associated with selling stuff to people, and Sheldon hits upon one aspect of this dishonesty ("I will be on the bike suffering in return for your dollars in order to beneft x") in his article. The way I see it: why should others pay so I can have a good time? It's like paying to watch professional sports - why would I want to spend my money just to watch a bunch of millionaires having fun playing?

    Right now, I am being spammed by a girl I used to know who is trying to raise money for a cause so she can participate in its multi-day bike tour. I find I am resenting being hit upon in this way. I really don't see this as a "win-win" at all. I feel like I'm being scammed. Too many orgs with their hands outstretched for cash. Kinda depressing...

    L.

  5. #5
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    I cant hit people up for money either. I wanted to go on the MS 150 a few years ago and by the time I paid for everything it would have been over $500, $150 to join a club so you can get a shower and a place to sleep. I'm retired and I'm more worried about what I'm going to do for health care. The doctors in my area aren't going to take Medicare people anymore. 85% of them anyhow.
    George

  6. #6
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    I agree - some rides are outrageous. The Pan Mass challenge is one I look at and just shake my head - you gotta be kidding, $170 entry fee and $4,200 minimum fund raising minimum
    I ride for the Kennedy's I guess.

    So when I do these - and I don't do more than 1/year, I look for ones I feel comfortable if I had to give the full donation myself. If I am prepared to do that than I don't feel bad sending out a no-pressure email to friends/family and a few co-workers just to see what else I can raise. It's low effort and since I usually am close or at my fund raising minimum when I ask the is really no pressure on me or anyone else. Now I must admit - I am lucky because my company matches so I only need to be able to contribute 1/2 the minimum.

    So in the case of the ride I am doing in June - I paid $25 entry fee, plus $75 max donation which gets match by my company to make the $150 minimum. However in this case I only needed to put in $50 as my brother but in $50. I then sent out the no-pressure email to friends and co-workers and much to my surprise I had a few more hundred in most of which will be matched.

    Pick you battles and your causes - but don't turn your nose up in support of a good one, particularly if the cause is not greedy.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  7. #7
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Here's a ride for a cause that takes little time or effort and won't cost you a dime. Find one near you today.
    http://www.rideofsilence.org/main.php
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  8. #8
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    I agree - some rides are outrageous. The Pan Mass challenge is one I look at and just shake my head - you gotta be kidding, $170 entry fee and $4,200 minimum fund raising minimum
    I ride for the Kennedy's I guess.

    So when I do these - and I don't do more than 1/year, I look for ones I feel comfortable if I had to give the full donation myself. If I am prepared to do that than I don't feel bad sending out a no-pressure email to friends/family and a few co-workers just to see what else I can raise. It's low effort and since I usually am close or at my fund raising minimum when I ask the is really no pressure on me or anyone else. Now I must admit - I am lucky because my company matches so I only need to be able to contribute 1/2 the minimum.

    So in the case of the ride I am doing in June - I paid $25 entry fee, plus $75 max donation which gets match by my company to make the $150 minimum. However in this case I only needed to put in $50 as my brother but in $50. I then sent out the no-pressure email to friends and co-workers and much to my surprise I had a few more hundred in most of which will be matched.

    Pick you battles and your causes - but don't turn your nose up in support of a good one, particularly if the cause is not greedy.
    There are lots of rides whose proceeds go to a good local cause. Usually they don't cost a lot and offer the basic services of an event ride. I object to those rides that dictate large minimum donations. One ride I know of has a $5000 minimum but then puts the riders up in a very expensive hotel and throws a pre ride gala in their honor. The cost of all that comes out of the donations people made that they thought would go to the cause and not to wining and dining the participants. It's wrong IMO. When I asked if I could pay say $200 to do the ride and skip the hotel and banquet they said no. What kind of charity turns down $200? I don't care how good their cause might be, their methods are wrong.

  9. #9
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    Everywhere I turn people want money from me. I get tired of it, so I never engage in any fundraising of any kind. One of the reasons I like cycling is that I can leave the world of commercial activity behind and simply enjoy riding.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    I understand the OP's position, whenever I talked to someone who has retired, a lot of them say that they worked harder, longer, and for free in the beginning, but most now have gotten better at saying "no" to many functions, and spend more time doing what they want to do.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Loose Chain's Avatar
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    Could there be rides for no cause other than to ride a bike? I am kinda worn out with the PC-a-thon crap also. Every tri, 10K, walk, run, bike, crawl, swim-a-thon is for some woe is me I am so bad off cure for a miracle and it is worn out.

  12. #12
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Support the causes you wish to support and do it in ways that suit you. If none interest you or meet your preferences, then don't participate. No need for drama.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  13. #13
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Support the causes you wish to support and do it in ways that suit you. If none interest you or meet your preferences, then don't participate. No need for drama.
    +1 brother - this is taking the tone of a Campy vs Shimano flame off
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Support the causes you wish to support and do it in ways that suit you. If none interest you or meet your preferences, then don't participate. No need for drama.
    +1

    Really good advice.

    My wife and I have an annual budget of the amount of money we want to give away. She has her causes, I have mine, we have some we do together. Out of *my* budget, I'll occasionally do a "thon" ride, but I pay the entire entrance fee myself. Also out of my budget, I'll occasionally donate to friends who are doing rides.

    Unfortunately, there is a lot of need in the world, and people don't always give unless asked. Or unless they see a disaster on TV. Some people have been donating for relief in Haiti for years -- some people wait until an earthquake. Some people write a check to cure a disease every year; some people wait until a loved one dies. Some people make donations to bike advocacy -- other folks tack an extra $10 onto a registration fee at a bike ride.

    Whatever motivates people to give is a good thing.

  15. #15
    Recreational/Utility bjjoondo's Avatar
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    My only problem is the "EXPENSE" of bicycle related charity events!!!! We motorcycled for 30 years, did TONS of events for charity, thousands of Poker Runs, etc. and most of the time it was $10 to $15 per person, that's not a budget breaker but everything I've seen locally for "bicycling" is $40+ per person and most want to get a "minimum" of donations on top of that!!! I guess we are the only "working poor" bicyclist's in Colorado Springs, CO.!!
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
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  16. #16
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    I too have a list of charities that I give to regularly. The Good Wife also lets me enter pay-to-bike events, in which case I am buying services such as SAG and rest stop food, among other things. If a charity is trying to raise money by selling a bike ride, and decides to get greedy and expects a large inflow of cash for a small outlay of effort, I'll probably go elsewhere; because the ride they're offering is competing directly against other cheaper, or free, rides. Likewise, if Girl Scout Cookies were $500 per box, I probably wouldn't buy any. That would not preclude me from donating $10 to them, but they'd be taking a chance that they might not show up on my list.

    But BluesDawg is right, there's no drama. I just go to the events I choose and if the benefit ride is too expensive they simply won't see me there. It's not as if they're expecting me. If they make their goal, they'll continue to do what they're doing; if not, they'll either stop offering the ride or reform their tactics.

  17. #17
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    There are plenty of "Charity" events over here and I choose the ones that I want to do. There are also some good rides that I will not do. For several years I did the "Big H" Hampton Court to Hove and around 60 miles. I used to pay my 25 entry fee and donate 25 aswell. Then they started asking for 250 minimum sponsorship and they no longer get my 50 entry and donation. A few that I don't do like the London to Brighton as I got fed up riding with 33,000 other riders trying to knock me off the bike. But One I would like to get fit enough to do again is the South Downs Way in one day. 100 miles and 10,000ft of climbing with only daylight to do it in.Entry fee was not that high and sponsorship for the "British Heart Foundation" is what you can get but only 400 entries allowed. Difficult ride to get an entry for but I have attempted it 11 times since 94 and only failed twice. Last time was in 2006 in the foullest weather and conditions I have ever met and we pulled out at the 65 mile mark. Haven't had the courage to attempt it since.

    riding..JPG

    But a couple planned this year and the first is shortly. Only a flat 40 miler and this is normally my first longer ride of the year- except I did a metric last week but found out I still need the training. Only 10 entry but they get my 25 donation aswell.

    The other is that I have an entry to the London ride on the "Tour of Britain" on International "Pie Ride Day"--18th September. Not a hard ride but the day is fantastic. Looks like Bananaman has been sponsored to do this ride again so watch this space. And the charity is something I have a link with as it is for Prostate Cancer.

    bananaman..jpg

    These charity rides are fun but they have to be chosen carefully so that they suit what you want to do. . But some of these rides expect too much from you on the money side. I do try to get sponsorhip but I only do it for one ride a year. But if I can make that worthwhile- then I and the charity are happy.
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  18. #18
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    Perfect timing on this thread. I write a montly, 150-word blurb for my local bike club and have already roughed out article. I have some new ideas from this thread.

    This year, for the 6th year, I will ride AIDS/LIfeCycle, 7 days, 550 miles from SF to LA. My registration is $75. ALC transports our duffle, feeds us well, make us very safe, but we camp, no alcohol and generally "rough it". The big incentive is a bike jersey if one raises $5000. Each rider must raise $3000. Last year the event raised $10.5 MILLION. I like being part of something that raises enough money to make a difference. As I type this, I have raised $5595 using my Christmas Card list and e-mailing my friends. I get donations from $20 to $1000. Most of my donors have been with me for 6 years. The ride is a blast, but a challenge. It may cost me $500 to do the ride with Pre and post motels, my wife driving to LA to pick me up, etc.

    I also ride 3-4 charity centuries during the year. For the local volunteer center, some special program at the high school, that kind of stuff. My registration fee is all it costs me. There is one century I have done for the last 8 years.

    An observation I have is that often, riders don't even know who will benefit from the ride UNLESS it is a disease (AIDS, MS, Cancer). I think many riders complete their first century on a supported ride. Many would never ride 60-100 miles without the incentive. Some like riding a route they have never seen.

    An aside: My taxman writes off some of my "training" expenses for these rides.
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  19. #19
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    Less than a month after my 44th birthday, I had a heart attack. It was a major wake-up call for me. Shortly before the cardiac event, and old college buddy called to ask if I could help in a charity ride that was going to go from Montreal to Portland Maine - they were looking for time and support, I wrote a check. When I was in the hospital, I resolved to do the charity ride the next year. I rode that charity ride for 7 years - it is 450 miles, over 4 1/2 days, almost all of it uphill (I am convinced that all of VT and NH are uphill). In the year between my cardiac event and my riding in the charity ride, I lost 40 lbs and am today much healthier than I was 10 years ago. I am not doing the charity ride this year - I have other charity events that consume the little free time that I have, but I commend them to anybody - especially multi-day events like LifeCycle where you really get a chance to meet other folks who are trying to do something good, for a cause bigger than themselves.

  20. #20
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    Its simple. Support what you want to support and give what you can afford to give. But please remember, they are charities and they rely on donations. MS gets 65% from the bike rides 30% from personal donations and 5% is other. If we didn't give, then support systems would not be in place when we need them. If you elect not to donate, that is an option too. As BD said not big deal.

  21. #21
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo Slim View Post
    An aside: My taxman writes off some of my "training" expenses for these rides.
    An interesting idea - I wonder if you bought a new custom bike you only used for such events (including "training" for them) if that in itself would not be deductible, never thought about that and how about the T&L expenses?
    This is worth exploring further with one's accountant.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

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