All Bikes All The Time
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Boise, ID
Bikes: Giant TCR 0, Lemond Zurich, Giant NRS 1, Jamis Explorer Beater/Commuter, Peugeot converted single speed
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I still like to do some charity rides but most of my long rides are exactly what you are describing. We have done 4 unsupported centuries so far this season and hope to get 3 more in. I love the big groups of the charity rides but riding with 6-10 of your buddies is just as much fun and way cheaper. We usually just roll out from a predetermined location at about 6:30 am and hit a gas station every 30 miles or so for a snickers bar and a gatorade.
Frankly, with the cost of admission to charity rides rising every year to crazy high levels, I really have to be pretty selective about participating. If they were usually around $30, I would do a bunch of them like I used to. But now that so many are $50 or more, I have to chose only 1-3 for a season. IMO, the charities can slit their own throats by demanding more and more money to participate every year; thereby driving down total enrollment. I would personally much rather have bare bones support and a low entry fee so I can ride a lot of them. But I recognize that most charity riders don't see things the same way.
I participated in the MS 150 last year and struggled with the $200 committment. This year it is $250. Holy Crap! I understand that we really want to help out with MS but what justifies a required 25% increase from one year to another???? Another of my favorites went from $35 to over $50 this year. I am just feeling a little abused and burnt out on paying out the ying-yang to do the rides. I think what happens is that individual charity ride organizers lose track of the fact that many of the riders are doing multiple rides each year and that their particular charity is not necessarily first and foremost in the minds or budgets of those riders. Plus, I suspect that their performance is measured in revenue growth, not necessarily total revenue. So for a charity to not pull in more and more every year results in turnover of the directors (again, only my suspicion).
So I just started organizing my own group rides. On a personal level, I tithe for my church and I give to the poor through a variety of venues so I don't feel bad riding my bike without giving anyone money. As much as I like the idea of supporting charities, it is not synonomous with riding my bike, imo.
Last edited by Sawtooth; 08-12-09 at 03:27 PM.