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Troul 07-12-19 07:29 PM

Cycling event - what makes or breaks your participation?
Throughout the year there are many sanctioned/organized rides that take place. They all typically have a $ fee to attend, & some put in their rules/requirements that may differ from others.

Of those events that you scroll through, hear about or just come across; what particularly in those rules or requirements is it that would make you shy away from pulling the trigger in attending the event?

Some examples could be: Age limit, passport required, type of bicycle required, sponsorship the event uses, safety, tobacco use, etc etc..

Slightspeed 07-12-19 08:00 PM

Tobacco use? Is that a requirement or a ban? Never heard that one on a ride choice.

None of the requirements you listed mean anything to me. The requirement for old school toe clips always gives me pause on Eroica, but I dig them out of the bin, and ride anyway. Otherwise, pretty much anything goes. I like to keep strings going year after year on rides I like. I had a 20 year string going on the Solvang charity rides, twice a year. Then a few years ago the ride was cut to once a year. I've missed only three rides there in 20 years in spite of the terrible, poorly maintained road condition, and rising entry fees, $130 now, up from $50 when I started, or was it $35?

big chainring 07-12-19 08:06 PM

I dont ride any organized events because the price is too darn high. Whats an average cost to participate these days? $70...$80.

Machka 07-12-19 08:23 PM

Lack of insurance.
Having to raise money in order to attend.
Concerns about safety.
Size of event - generally avoid the really big ones with a massive number of participants.

CAT7RDR 07-12-19 08:24 PM

Gran Fondo type rides once intrigued me. Now I ride the routes on my own time and enjoy the solitude and near empty roads on weekdays. I looked into a gran fondo recently and the fee was $130. I can map a better route, stop for a nice lunch instead of a pit stop and come out $100 ahead.

rm -rf 07-12-19 08:38 PM

I like events that are on a course that would be harder to do solo. With event rest stops where there are few stores or sources of water.

And the route needs to be interesting. I don't want to pay to ride a boring route.

I can see why some charity events require a sizeable fund raising. One of the local $50 mass start rides changed to a multiple hundreds of dollars requirement. Their rider count dropped dramatically, but they raised more money.

Avoiding an event:

I won't do ones that don't post a GPS route link. They tend to have "best kept secret route" or other over the top vague descriptions of the ride. I need more details. Hiding the route doesn't work after the first year, anyway. People post their GPS recordings by name.

sdmc530 07-12-19 08:39 PM

If its well supported I would pay say $100 but that is probably my max to ride an event. Most I ride are $25ish and do a good job. I won't raise money anymore and I don't do rides with more than 5,000 people. Just no way to make that fun for me.

Lastly the it a good route and is it a safe route. Many times this is actually a deal breaker for me. They can hold a great event but can't plan a route for nothing!

jadocs 07-12-19 09:07 PM

I made a post about this in the charity ride forum. The thing that keeps me away is their business plan where in addition to an entry fee you have to raise a minimum amount which can be anywhere from 200-500 on average. They can go pound sand. No I’m not looking to ride for free and no it is not a case where I don’t want to fundraise. It’s the notion that you are giving them money and they are dictating how much they want. Their business plan needs to incorporate whatever their projected costs are going to be in the entry fee and allow people to fundraise within their means.

Hondo Gravel 07-12-19 09:26 PM

Elitist attitudes that ruin my riding buzz. Crazy little league baseball dad yelling at his kid for riding too slow and then Mr. Michelob Ultra Light drinker with his giant teeth thinking he is in a commercial :lol: The suburban vehicles with too many stickers about what event you did over and over. The I can’t forget about politics for one day crowd. Etc, Etc. I guess I have ridden solo for so long I’m bitter but not really I can escape my non riding family members and get some peace.

Kedosto 07-12-19 09:28 PM

I rarely do event rides anymore. The reasons...

Having to raise money. I’d rather just pay more up front than hit up friends and family for the umpteenth time.
Pedestrian route. If I can easily ride it alone, I don’t need the event.
Death March route. I wanna enjoy myself, not struggle to survive a sufferfest.
Too many riders. Sometimes it just gets ridiculous.
Poorly supported. Why would I want to sign up when last years event was a clusterfest?

*have all the t-shirts, tote bags, and water bottles I need*

DropBarFan 07-12-19 10:15 PM

I don't do mass rides, cost & schedule would be a problem but I like riding alone anyway. I never really got the concept of charity rides/walks. If folks want to give, just give & save the expense of organization/logistics.

Jim from Boston 07-12-19 10:43 PM

Originally Posted by Troul (Post 21024300)
Throughout the year there are many sanctioned/organized rides that take place. They all typically have a $ fee to attend, & some put in their rules/requirements that may differ from others.

Of those events that you scroll through, hear about or just come across; what particularly in those rules or requirements is it that would make you shy away from pulling the trigger in attending the event?

Some examples could be: Age limit, passport required, type of bicycle required, sponsorship the event uses, safety, tobacco use, etc etc..

Distance from home is a limiting factor for me. Anything greater than over about 100 miles takes too much time, and may have to be a weekend rather than one-day event.

Many organized tours of a few to several days duration offer camping facilities, and I am just not into that on a precious vacation time, and organizing my own accomodations is too much hassle and uncertainty. For example the Great Ohio Bicycle Tour (GOBA) used to offer a motel package, but now they just provide lists of area facilities by day for you to contact.

However, I have been an enthusiastic participant in organized rides as part of previously held, informally arranged “Annual Fifty-Plus Forum Rides” (link)

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston (Post 20913791)
The concept of a Fifty-Plus Annual Ride began with the first in 2009 prompted by @DnvrFox and a gathering of 50+ cyclists in Colorado to ride various routes. @tsl suggested Watkins Glen for a second one. IMO that boosted the idea for subsequent Rides. Watkins Glen was an organized weekend event held at a campground, so we were all together to socialize and ride supported routes.

Subsequently, a Fifty-Plus subscriber would start a thread, and various others would make their suggestions for geographically varied events. Usually one site emerged as the One. Many more subscribers expressed interest than eventually showed up.

Furthermore, we all stayed at different locations by our own arrangements, but tried to meet up socially before or after the Ride, all as described in Chronicles of the Annual 50+ Rides (link). …

For myself, I have traveled hundreds of miles to a few of the Annual Rides…

My own personal rewards:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston (Post 20976419)
Drive bike to riding location”

For those Rides, the draw besides the new scenery was meeting other BF subscribers. :D

BTW, those organized rides we "glommed onto" were not charity rides, so registration was pretty inexpensive.

dedhed 07-12-19 11:22 PM


Troul 07-13-19 03:47 AM

Some require a light on the bike to participate in, haven't known of that to be a common requirement, but times are changing...

smarkinson 07-13-19 04:39 AM

There used to be a ride local to me but then one year they changed the route to a point to point route which means you would have had to buy an overpriced ticket on a charter bus or organise your own transport to the start/be picked up at the finish. I should point out that there were various starts depending on the distance you wanted to ride. The ride folded the following year due to a lack of numbers and I can't help but suspect that the logistics of a point to point ride turned many people off.

Machka 07-13-19 04:43 AM

Originally Posted by Troul (Post 21024597)
Some require a light on the bike to participate in, haven't known of that to be a common requirement, but times are changing...

Does that bother you?

Kapusta 07-13-19 06:31 AM

I prefer low key and free. Not super large events. Not interested in support. Never saw the point.

More interested in organized MTB rides than road rides.

Beet available at the end of the ride is a plus.

canklecat 07-13-19 08:13 AM

Same as other folks have already mentioned.

I participate in many small to medium size group rides, but these are all no-cost and mostly informally organized. Even our local version of the monthly last-Friday Critical Mass is more of a casual social group ride. We seldom draw more than 50 riders in the best weather, and some of our wet winter rides have had as few as 3-5 of us.

And there are several fast club rides a week, from road to gravel. Groups are usually manageable, from as few as three of us up to a couple of dozen. No cost, nothing official, just a regular show up and ride thing.

Cost. I can't justify spending money for most one-day event rides. The last such ride I did was probably the old Tijuana-Ensenada (before it was the Rosarito-Ensenada). Fun, huge crowd. I'd do that again.

One of my pet peeves is the so-called "charity" or fundraiser ride/run/whatever. It's vanity. Especially the illness-specific events that are promoted way out of proportion to the mortality rate and incidence of the disease. It's like the old Jerry Lewis telethon for muscular dystrophy. That's one of the rarest of diseases. The telethon mostly served as an ego vehicle for an aging former star who became insufferably maudlin. Most such charity/medical issue sports events profit the organizers. Self-congratulating participants get t-shirts. The supposed victims get a pat on the head.

Wanna really help your favorite charity? Give them the money directly. Or ask what material donations they actually need today. Food drives are often well meaning but misguided. An efficient charity can make better use of cash, going through purchasing agents, getting discounts for bulk purchases, etc. I give food directly to people whom I know can use it -- neighbors, or homeless folks I meet along bike rides. I'll buy them something to eat, maybe offer a little cash. But charities, homeless shelters, etc., often need money more than physical goods.

On the other hand, some children's hospitals readily welcome new clothes, toys, games, even stuff for moms and dads who may be going broke from hotel stays in areas where there's no free or affordable housing while their child is in hospital.

Wannabe racers messing up a charity ride for other folks. That's my current peeve. If there's no sanctioned race, no primes or prizes, no emergency medical crew intended to handle race-type crashes, it's damned inconsiderate. There are plenty of venues for racing or just fast club rides. A charity/event ride is not the place. I know of a couple of local casual cyclists who decided not to participate in a popular upcoming event ride because of racers. Can't say I blame them. If they want to start early to beat the heat, they risk being overrun by wannabes blasting by in a 30 mph paceline. If they start at the back of the pack, they risk missing the cutoff time. Heck, I like riding fast, but charity/event rides ain't the place for it. Unless the ride organizers specifically permit racers and organize the route to protect others, and have appropriate first aid available, it should be a no-no.

TakingMyTime 07-13-19 08:29 AM

Cost and location.

Many times these rides involve getting to a location the night before and paying for a room. After that, and meals, it can really start to add up (Yes, I'm cheap). But, whenever possible I try to incorporate a weekend vacation into the ride and spend the next day visiting and exploring the area we're at.

I understand there are many costs in putting a ride together. Paying the police, insurance, permits etc. But I still cringe when I'm asked to pay $75+ to participate.
@canklecat , I agree with you assessment of "charity" rides. People would be better off just donating their money. I've always considered them nothing but a feel good fix for the enthusiastic participant fighting for that cause.

delbiker1 07-13-19 08:32 AM

I rode one organized charity event in 1992. I have not, and will not, do another one. Too many people and bikes, too many rules and regulations and too much money involved. I ride solo approximately 99 percent of my miles. This summer I have one gentleman I ride with occasionally, he is a strong rider and new to the area. He likes that I know all the options for changing up and I like that he is highly experienced, good mechanically and just a nice guy. He has tried to get me to join him in a few rides, but has left that alone recently.

Garfield Cat 07-13-19 08:43 AM

Early start times and not quite ready if bowel movement goes off schedule.

CliffordK 07-13-19 09:21 AM

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 21024357)
Lack of insurance.
Having to raise money in order to attend.

That is a big one for me.

I'm just not at all interested in an event that would require me to go around soliciting sponsorship.

A bike-a-thon may be fine for a kid, but doesn't seem appropriate for the over 50 crowd. :50:

Location is also important.

I do a lot of doorstep riding. It hardly makes sense to ride 100 miles to do a century.,

There is one annual century+ ride. It used to have start places in 4 cities. Portland, Oregon, Salem, Oregon, and Monroe, Oregon, and met up in the middle at Amity, Oregon. They've since dropped all but the furthest start place. Perhaps more the change to ignore the local riders makes it much less attractive to me.

u235 07-13-19 09:53 AM

I ride alone. If need support or a plan I couldn't come up with on my own or required additional group dynamic for encouragement for a single day event, it's not something I am interested in. I understand the group dynamic but it is not for me. I'd consider 5-7 day events like RAGBRAI where more logistics are required and helpful but for the logistics, that can be a deterrent though too, large groups have many restrictions you would not be subject to if you just did it yourself or with a small group on a random week of your choice.

I-Like-To-Bike 07-13-19 09:59 AM

Arbitrary mandatory helmet requirement imposed by organizers or local sponsoring bike club/bike store, usually justified with bogus excuse that "our insurance requires it."

Wildwood 07-13-19 10:42 AM

Maybe not mentioned yet —-
I see more and hear more of the local surroundings if with only a friend or two or three. Or alone is just fine too.

Crowds of strangers is also not my favorite setting; whether cycling, social, business trade shows, etc.

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