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  1. #1
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    First Time Touring - What to expect, and Sponsers

    I'm interested in doing a ride this summer from Portland, Oregon to somewhere in California; at least to San Francisco. I can get some time off of work, and school's just finishing up for me so I've got the time to train, but I've never really toured before. I was hoping for a good introduction to it that'll tell me all the basics I'd need to know. I was also looking for information on getting sponsors for it. I'm in the brewing industry, and I know at least a few breweries sponsor cycling teams, but was wondering how one would go about approaching someone looking for a sponsorship. Anyways, any info for a first timer would be greatly appreciated.

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    Have you checked out this sticky yet?


    The Newbie's Guide To Touring Bikes

    That thread should have pretty much all the good links...

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    My strictly personal opinions: Given that bicycling is potentially one of the most enjoyable experiences of you life (e.g. maximum limit beauty, freedom, satisfaction): (1) Pace yourself over the long haul so each day is enjoyable. (2) Skip the sponsorship business. Don't mix bicycling with money-grubbing.
    If I cannot be perfectly orthodox, let me at least be mundane.

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Good luck with the sponsors thing .... most cycletourists are not sponsored, we just ride. After all a tour isn't anything special ... it's not like a race. Yes, it is special to us for the experience and all that, but since most cycletourists are off in the middle of nowhere by themselves, it isn't exactly a lucrative proposition for a business to hang their name on us ... and there are tons of cycletourists out there, so it isn't anything unique. You might have better luck if you were doing an Alaska to Argentina tour or something like that. But if you want to try, go for it.

  5. #5
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    A sponsor usually wants something in return for their investment. I had a chance for a sponsor on my 2005 trip when my story hit the Columbia SC newspapers. I declined because it would require me to turn over control of the ride.

    At least you aren't doing a so-called charity ride to support yourself. I've seen and heard way too many stories of people riding for charity but using the charity money for their expenses, then donating what's left over to charity. Perfectly legal by the way.

  6. #6
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Mike: One possible way to get "sponsored" is something like the AIDS LifeCycle ride (http://www.aidslifecycle.org/), which runs from SF to LA. I believe you need to raise at least $2500 and will get some fund-raising support from the tour managers.

    Otherwise I think that learning how to travel inexpensively (e.g. camping) will be your best bet if you're really on a budget.


    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake
    At least you aren't doing a so-called charity ride to support yourself. I've seen and heard way too many stories of people riding for charity but using the charity money for their expenses, then donating what's left over to charity. Perfectly legal by the way.
    Keeping in mind that I'd say group events like MS Rides are more efficient, and most people could not pull off a solo charity ride, and that this is a blatant thread derailing:

    What's wrong with a solo charity ride, as long as your intention and actual effect is to a) raise money for the charity and b) raise awareness? It's operating on the same principles as any charity, which raises money to cover their overhead, administration and so forth.

    Or do you really think that Jane Tomlinson is a genuinely bad person because she did a solo Transcontinental charity ride....?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake
    A sponsor usually wants something in return for their investment. I had a chance for a sponsor on my 2005 trip when my story hit the Columbia SC newspapers. I declined because it would require me to turn over control of the ride.
    I could definitely understand that aspect of it. I'm pretty spontaneous and would really like to explore more and not have any requirements hanging over my head. It probably would be more hassle than it's worth to really enjoy the ride.

  8. #8
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Mike,
    Here is a link to a family that toured by tandem. They paid their own way but used the trip to raise donations for a charity of their choice. I have toured quite a bit over the years and never had or wanted sponsorship. I have enough people telling where to go and what to do as it is To me a tour is about where I want to go, what I want to see, and when. I have a tendency to ramble on my tours. If something catches my fancy I will stop or take a side road in an instant.

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    Junior Member daviddd's Avatar
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    Good reply - the charity will benefit, and if the collector is using some of the cash collected for expenses the giver should be told. This principle is enshrined in most charities guidelines. Either "All Proceeds" or "Net Proceeds" go to the charity.

  10. #10
    Junior Member daviddd's Avatar
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    Meant to say also that the easiest way to collect is to ask people to donate to a justgiving.com account, as I have (see 2nd link in sig)

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    Senior Member brianmcg123's Avatar
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    I read a book about a guy who did a round-the-world tour. He was sponsored by some save the planet, stop clubbing seals or whatever group.

    He had to make media stops every so often and phone in ever few days. He was always on a deadline the whole trip to get somewhere for a phone interview or T.V. appearance.

    Talk about a lot of expense for him for a bike and supplies. It was stressing me out just reading about it. Definitely not how I would like to tour.
    Everyone's a roadie, they just might not know it yet.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeIsOrganic
    I'm interested in doing a ride this summer from Portland, Oregon to somewhere in California; at least to San Francisco. I can get some time off of work, and school's just finishing up for me so I've got the time to train, but I've never really toured before. I was hoping for a good introduction to it that'll tell me all the basics I'd need to know. I was also looking for information on getting sponsors for it. I'm in the brewing industry, and I know at least a few breweries sponsor cycling teams, but was wondering how one would go about approaching someone looking for a sponsorship. Anyways, any info for a first timer would be greatly appreciated.
    After my first very long tour, I did the following to make the next long tour that I took much more enjoyable:

    * Attached fenders
    * Went to clipless pedals
    * Purchased shoe covers and waterproof socks (love those things)
    * Added small, front, waterproof panniers (Ortliebs)
    * Learned to take each touring day as it comes--and experience everything I saw and experienced to its fullest. Cared less about mileage.
    * Went to a lighter, foldable sleeping pad
    * Learned to pace myself better.
    * Learned to take the time to talk to people along the way. In fact, my last long tour kind of renewed my faith in the human species.

    I'd recommend any and all of the above to newbie touring cyclists.

    Have a great tour!

    David in FL

  13. #13
    Senior Member Gotte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpsblake
    At least you aren't doing a so-called charity ride to support yourself. I've seen and heard way too many stories of people riding for charity but using the charity money for their expenses, then donating what's left over to charity. Perfectly legal by the way.
    I'm doing a ride for charity in a month or so - 250 miles round the Black Forest. It's not far, I know, but I'm only getting donations from friends, aquaintances, any one I know or who cares to donate. I may only raise 100 or so, but I'm paying for everything else myself, so that's kind of my contribution. THe charity will get whatever I raise, so at least they'll make something.

    I know what you mean, though. It really irks me when I read about the London to Paris bike ride for the Autistic Society (the charity I'm raising money for). The cyclist must raise 1000, and if he doesn;t must make up the difference himself if he is to take part, and then, they proudly trumpet, a whole 60% of that 1000 goes to the charity. I know it cost a lot to organise these events, and that there's accomadation etc to take into account, and I know the arguement that these big events raise more, even after the deductions, but I still think 40% is a big chunk for the organisers to take. I bet those organisers all have new laptops and really flashy office furniture...

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