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Cycling Event$

Old 06-11-24, 08:04 AM
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Cycling Event$

I do like the group energy of organized events, and the convenience of well stocked, well placed feed stations. But I find I am becoming more selective in what I sign up for because of the increasing price of these events. I understand that organizers have.a lot to deal with. Permits, insurance, seeking donations, organizing volunteers and other event logistics take time and money. Doing 2 or 3 events a year and paying $100 to $150 for them is still manageable for me. But I looked at the cost to register for the Lost and Found ride this year and it's up to $225. The Death Ride is $209. Wondering where the money goes, what % goes to the stated charity, how much profit do the organizers look for? More important what is the personal line you are drawing between affordable and over priced?
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Old 06-11-24, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by vlicon
Wondering where the money goes, what % goes to the stated charity, how much profit do the organizers look for?
I think that's a question for the organizers.
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Old 06-11-24, 08:18 AM
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A ways back in the 70's and 80's our shop did two rides a year. They were metric centuries each and the cost of entry was 10 bucks. Enough to cover the cost of insurance. The shop paid for the food and drinks which were well supplied and frequent. After 10 years we decided to drop these rides due to the cost of insurance skyrocketing in 1987 and1988. The companies no longer wanted to provide insurance for these rides and made it known in the premium increase. In 87 we bumped the entrance fee to 20 dollars and in 88 when the premium went up in a big way again, we bumped the fee to 25 and announced it was the last ride.
FWIW, these rides were very well attended averaging 150 entrants each ride. The biggest was 250 entrants in 1986.
A group of us employees gathered in 89 and retraced one of the routes with our favored customers in tow. You can always do these rides on your own with a small group for a fraction of the cost the big rides can do it for.
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Old 06-11-24, 08:55 AM
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Join a bike club? Many clubs use Facebook for communication - I resisted Facebook for years, but it is a good way to get messages out to a large group.
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Old 06-11-24, 09:29 AM
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These large organized rides do take quite a bit to set up. There is a lot of volunteering but a lot of stuff that cannot be done through volunteering and has to be paid for. It is a bit more expensive as times goes on as everything is but you don't have to ride in this big rides you can always get friends or local focals together and ride or maybe your local shop has rides or their is a riding club somewhere.

Unfortunately yes charity has become quite a bit of a big money deal but we do have ways to learn if a charity is more likely on the up and up and can get ratings and such for them so we know a bit more how they are structured but the organizers could tell you more rather than people unlikely to be in the know.
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Old 06-11-24, 10:54 AM
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Having worked a few orgainized rides, I can tell you this, nobody is making bank off them. Or at least none that I know of.

The following things are expensive:
Event insurance
Cops for traffic control
Food
Tents & other rental equipment for water etc
T shirts and other swag ain't cheap anymore either
Real mechanical sag service

It goes on and on, even if darn near everyone volunteers their time. After all that, you gotta listen to someone whine about missing one turn arrow (out of 300 of them) and rode 103 miles as opposed to the advertised 100 miles. Rain/bad weather? All you got is pre-registered and they want to "transfer" it to "next year". And then there's the guy who wants to know how come it's so expensive. IMO, running an organized bike ride is the best way to work for about 3 dollars an hour and pull the last remaining hairs out of your head.
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Old 06-11-24, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by vlicon
More important what is the personal line you are drawing between affordable and over priced?
I'm usually riding a $9,000 bicycle. I don't even pay attention to the registration fees.
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Old 06-11-24, 11:18 AM
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Maybe you should look for less expensive events. Sounds like you are only looking at events that draw a large number of cyclist from all over the USA and even the world.

Some cities, cycling clubs and bike shops around here put on events that draw 500 to 1000 people and only cost 35 - $55 USD. I'm sure there are probably some there too. However like here, they are poorly advertised and you have to know where to look for them.

RunSignUPis one place I've been able to find events at. Select their advanced search and filter on then type of cycling event or other event you wish to see. Not all will be here either. Some ride and race organizers use other sites to administer and register their event through.

USA Cycling is another place you should look for events. Many of these will be races. But they do have some that are rides only.
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Old 06-11-24, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
I'm usually riding a $9,000 bicycle. I don't even pay attention to the registration fees.
Over $10,000 will get you a free entry into most events, as long as you wear an expensive jersey, are a member of the ADA, and know the secret handshake.
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Old 06-11-24, 12:04 PM
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Having helped pull off a large “disease ride” for many years, I can say that donations of food and drinks became harder as those types of rides grew in number. There were basically two in my area: The cancer ride and the MS ride, as they were referred to. Now, there are many more. Also, the number of participants greatly increased. Our MS 150 ride swelled from around 1,200 to over 7,000 during my involvement. It’s difficult to get a company to donate enough stuff for that many people.
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Old 06-11-24, 12:31 PM
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It might be a question left unanswered if positive thoughts are to remain as such...
I'd be interested in a non charity ride event where the cause is to promote social activity & exerting energy while spurring local economy..
but I can see how the rates would not be as low if it were promoted as "charity".
give the local public services that cut of cash instead of a phantom charity & reap those benefits!
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Old 06-11-24, 12:51 PM
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Most UK Sportives are still pretty cheap (£30-£50 range). Big closed road events like the Tour of Cambridge were around £100 last year and well worth it. Haven't noticed any significant price increases this year. I know it's tricky to compare £ vs $ but looks like your events are a fair bit more expensive.
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Old 06-11-24, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by vlicon
More important what is the personal line you are drawing between affordable and over priced?
For the events that I'm currently doing (gravel races) the entry fee is just part of the equation. It's pretty likely that I will also have 1-2 nights in a hotel or Airbnb near the venue, which makes the cost of participating in the event somewhere around 2-3x the entry fee. A difference of $100 in the entry fee is not a make-or-break factor for me.

EDIT: A big factor for me is getting to experience places I can't (private lands) or wouldn't ride any other time, and share that experience with like-minded folks and friends.
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Old 06-11-24, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
Most UK Sportives are still pretty cheap (£30-£50 range). Big closed road events like the Tour of Cambridge were around £100 last year and well worth it. Haven't noticed any significant price increases this year. I know it's tricky to compare £ vs $ but looks like your events are a fair bit more expensive.
A closed course would be worth the money.

Many of our local club sponsored rides are $30-40 - not a bad price all things considered - but the roads are opened.

A local state sponsored fondo was $65 - some of the roads had police presence, but most of it was open roads thru some busy Sunday spots.

That is my main issue - I'm paying to ride on roads that I don't want to ride on, at times that I don't want to be riding on them. I don't eat very much on rides, so the food thing isn't a big deal/not really needed... the rides just aren't worth it to me.
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Old 06-11-24, 01:38 PM
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Well heck, if the ride is too expensive, just poach it. You've paid taxes for the roads, right?
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Old 06-11-24, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
Well heck, if the ride is too expensive, just poach it. You've paid taxes for the roads, right?
Eight pages, at least
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Old 06-11-24, 02:43 PM
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I cannot speak for those rides but I've ridden and followed Cycle Oregon the past 15 years. Two recent phenomena have had deep and lasting repercussions on ride cost and profitability. The smoke canceled one ride and seriously affected another. COVID. The world is different now. What was taken for granted and was a huge part of the effectiveness of CO is now almost entirely gone. The free labor of hundreds of volunteers who had been doing CO for years. People who had been doing it so long they knew the big picture of running the event. Leaving the half dozen paid staff to focus on a manageable burden. Also, many companies sponsored CO. Both for good will and advertising and behind the scenes. Making the cost of a 2000 rider week with another thousand volunteers and paid contractors quite low.

COVID canceled the ride for two years. Many of the volunteers were older and at higher risk and choose not to come back, costing CO much knowledge and experience. Many of the replacements are now paid.

I expect many rides have suffered similar consequences.
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Old 06-11-24, 02:50 PM
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There are still some group rides around here that don't cost a lot of money, or anything at all. Most of the rest are out of my budget though. There are a lot of requirements to hold an event in the local forest. I think that only a pro promoter would be able to meet those requirements.
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Old 06-11-24, 03:22 PM
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One of the problems I have with big organized events is riding with people who don't necessarily have any experience riding in a group and no idea how to not make things difficult for the rest of the group you are in. That's fine in a race, where you want to finish ahead of everyone, but in a more recreational situation, it can make things unpleasant. Cyclosportives and Gran Fondos have a competitive side, but attract inexperienced riders. They can be dangerous, even more dangerous than actual road races. When I was road racing, I rode as a master against guys who had years of racing experience, guys who had won national, titles, even guys who had raced as pros at the highest levels. I belong to a bike club. Our club offers up to 7 different rides per week, all for the price of membership. Of course, ride are different than big organized rides. Group sizes are small, Quebec road laws do not permit groups of more than 15 riders together on open roads. Our club suggests no more than 12 and we find that 8-10 is even better allowing for groups who all know each other and a more uniform ability level. This thing about having numerous rest stops isn't needed for experienced groups and can cut costs down to nothing
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Old 06-11-24, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil
This thing about having numerous rest stops isn't needed for experienced groups and can cut costs down to nothing
When I've done organized rides I stop at all of the rest stops and gorge myself on the food. It's part of the fun and if I want to hammer out a bunch of miles without stopping I wouldn't pay for a ride with several food stops.

I agree about the danger of big rides with inexperienced riders. I haven't done one in years.
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Old 06-11-24, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by vlicon
I do like the group energy of organized events, and the convenience of well stocked, well placed feed stations. But I find I am becoming more selective in what I sign up for because of the increasing price of these events. I understand that organizers have.a lot to deal with. Permits, insurance, seeking donations, organizing volunteers and other event logistics take time and money. Doing 2 or 3 events a year and paying $100 to $150 for them is still manageable for me. But I looked at the cost to register for the Lost and Found ride this year and it's up to $225. The Death Ride is $209. Wondering where the money goes, what % goes to the stated charity, how much profit do the organizers look for? More important what is the personal line you are drawing between affordable and over priced?
Some organized rides are put on as a for profit thing. There are several in Southern California. They tend to be expensive and have poor support.

The best ones I have done are put on by clubs and all the money collected goes to the club. Even some of the bigger rides which are run by clubs are better than most of the charity rides.
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Old 06-11-24, 05:31 PM
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Ride the Rockies was canceled this year. If that doesn’t say it all, what does?
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Old 06-11-24, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
Well heck, if the ride is too expensive, just poach it. You've paid taxes for the roads, right?
Poaching is such a pejorative term. I prefer pirating -- it sounds happy and fun.
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Old 06-11-24, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
Poaching is such a pejorative term. I prefer pirating -- it sounds happy and fun.
"Ride bandit" is what we call it here in Ohio.
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Old 06-12-24, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by alcjphil
One of the problems I have with big organized events is riding with people who don't necessarily have any experience riding in a group and no idea how to not make things difficult for the rest of the group you are in. That's fine in a race, where you want to finish ahead of everyone, but in a more recreational situation, it can make things unpleasant. Cyclosportives and Gran Fondos have a competitive side, but attract inexperienced riders. They can be dangerous, even more dangerous than actual road races. When I was road racing, I rode as a master against guys who had years of racing experience, guys who had won national, titles, even guys who had raced as pros at the highest levels. I belong to a bike club. Our club offers up to 7 different rides per week, all for the price of membership. Of course, ride are different than big organized rides. Group sizes are small, Quebec road laws do not permit groups of more than 15 riders together on open roads. Our club suggests no more than 12 and we find that 8-10 is even better allowing for groups who all know each other and a more uniform ability level. This thing about having numerous rest stops isn't needed for experienced groups and can cut costs down to nothing
This is the only kind of “organized “ ride I care to do. I have participated in only 2 large charity events. While I did not hate them, I can’t say I enjoyed them.
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