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Charity rides

Old 02-05-20, 03:45 PM
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George
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Charity rides

I was sitting here thinking about charity rides and wondered why I donít do them anymore. I use to try and make a few a year, but every time I got to a rest stop all the refreshments were gone. Being a older rider I,m not going to get any faster . I think they probably should have someone there watching the first riders get in,so they donít hog all the food . Did any of riders have the same problem?
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Old 02-05-20, 04:33 PM
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Sounds like you're riding the wrong rides. I ride a few and volunteer for a few every year, and there is always food and water for every rider, with broom wagons sweeping behind the back of the pack to be sure no one has a breakdown and gets abandoned.
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Old 02-06-20, 12:17 AM
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Very funny and I bet some would find it hard to believe as this is such a huge ride now. Back then, there were about 100 century riders. (Now 10,000+ easy century)

My wife and I did the very first Tour De Palmsprings. It was a much tougher course. Hills, down, then back up into the hills again for the last 30 mile loop. We did it on a tandem so it was pretty challenging with the climbing back then. Now they go up into the hills a bit then pretty much flat after that.

We headed out with the century riders. At 65 miles, there was a bail out road. Most of the riders around us wimped out and headed back into town. No way, man, we trained for the 100 miles and signed up for it, we're doing it! No wimping out for us. After that point, we saw maybe 3 other riders up in the hills that continued on.

We had support vehicles encouraging us to turn back or take a ride in the van. WHAT?!

But we continued as did a the other very few. When we got back to town, we were supposed to have a chicken lunch plate and goodies. We got back and they only thing they had were M&M's. The crew had torn down all the decorations as well.

Bunch of short ride participants and wimper outers had eaten everything. If anything, I think the very few that actually finished the century deserved a plate. That was very wrong!
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Old 02-06-20, 08:43 AM
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I do between 5 and 8 charity rides a year here in Florida. Never had an issue with them running out of food or drinks at any of the rest stops. And at 73, I'm certainly not among the first group of riders to hit the rest stops.
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Old 02-06-20, 09:49 AM
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I've done a bunch of charity rides, several "for profit" rides, but the best are the rides put on by clubs who aren't trying to make money and just want to cover expenses.
The organized rides are now so expensive, over $100 for many and some have crappy support. Why bother?
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Old 02-06-20, 12:07 PM
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Only once has that happened to me. On that ride, very few people did the full 100-mile route, which I did in respectable time. But when I arrived back at the HQ, the lot was empy, vendor tents were pulled up, and the building was closed. No shower for you!!! I guess they figured the century riders could finish in 3 hours just like the 30-mile riders. Anyway, I never went back.

Find the ride's web site and give them some feedback. Rides usually have a cut-off time; but a century should generally allow at least 7-8 hours before they pull the plug on support. And running out of the pre-purchased food is just inexcusable.
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Old 02-06-20, 12:29 PM
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I did contact the organizers and I didn’t get any reply.
Hey John if I had to pay $100 I wouldn’t be going back either.
Thanks for the replies everyone.
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Old 02-06-20, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by George View Post
I did contact the organizers and I didnít get any reply.
Hey John if I had to pay $100 I wouldnít be going back either.
Thanks for the replies everyone.
I did some rides with a local club where they asked for a donation, most of us gave $20 and it was a bargain. There were about 100 riders and tons of home made Filipino food and American baked goods, even hot soup at lunch. They also had roving SAG and if you got a flat they were there to help. These rides were super fun and the way it should be.
I also did some LA Wheelmen rides where they asked for $20. Same thing, good food (store bought), and good support.
I've done a $75 ride with lousy support and hardly any food.
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Old 02-06-20, 05:52 PM
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There were some rides I paid $100 and was well worth it.

In Arizona, the Tour De Tucson was a blast. Support on almost every corner of the 106 mile ride. Streets lined with people but that was years ago. Compared to the big rides our here in California, no way are they worth $100. Solvang, Amtrak, all the big fun rides do not compare to Tucson as far as support thought I hear plenty of good reviews. Tuscons is by far the best. I even did a metric in Casa Grande Arizona that was pretty close to the same as far as support for a small ride.

The rides I do think were worth $100 in California are the big climbing rides like Breathless Agony and Ride Around the Bear (RAB no longer exists). But these rides were awesome timed events and one needs the support climbing 10,000-12,000 ft over 100 miles. Those I will happily pay and hopefully I will again.
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Old 02-06-20, 06:24 PM
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Had a similar experience on a now defunct event. Did the century course, taking my time but well within time frames. More riders had done the metric course that year than the full. Got back to the parking lot and nothing but a bowl of grapes! All items were torn down. I was a member of the sponsoring club and just railed on the Prez. as it was a full two hours before things were supposed to end. Others were still out on the road behind me. Only time I've had this happen. Most rides are well handled.
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Old 02-06-20, 06:50 PM
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I went out to Borrego Springs to drive along with my wife. I did most of the rides so this time it was her turn. Took my truck and supplies driving support. After the ride, we were heading out of town when I ran into 3 newbie riders on NEW bikes (no-no!).

2 had flat tires, repeat flats and all 3 were out of tubes and no patches. The sun was about to go down and they still had about 5 miles walking. I stopped to help them, luckily I had black electrical tape with me. The rim strip sucked so I used the tape and explained the problem to them. Luckily I had spare tubes. Replaced the 2 then sent them on their way with the extra 2 tubes I had as well.

I was really surprised that some kind of sweep hadn't been done by the organization. They said they had been out there walking for some time. That support team really sucked!

After doing about 15 organized rides, friends and I decided it would be cheaper to go ride our own centuries then have a BBQ after.
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Old 02-06-20, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by nesdog View Post
Had a similar experience on a now defunct event. Did the century course, taking my time but well within time frames. More riders had done the metric course that year than the full. Got back to the parking lot and nothing but a bowl of grapes! All items were torn down. I was a member of the sponsoring club and just railed on the Prez. as it was a full two hours before things were supposed to end. Others were still out on the road behind me. Only time I've had this happen. Most rides are well handled.
If it was "Cruisin' the Conejo" I had a similar experience the last time I did it. Nothing but scraps when I got finished. I was surprised.
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Old 02-07-20, 08:53 AM
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It sounds like the same thing all over the nation. I’m done with those rides. Thanks for all the replies.
Ride safe.
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Old 02-07-20, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
If it was "Cruisin' the Conejo" I had a similar experience the last time I did it. Nothing but scraps when I got finished. I was surprised.
Yep...They used to do a very good job with this event. It is now mostly a members ride and better handled.
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Old 02-07-20, 05:01 PM
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I don't mind event rides and have enjoyed several in the past, especially the Rosarito (Tijuana) to Ensenada, and Mexicali to San Felipe rides. Our club rode mostly together and had one or two sag wagons so we didn't need any support from the organizers, if there was any support. Mostly we appreciated the Mexican law enforcement folks for traffic safety.

My gripe about "charity" rides is they're a weird mix of purpose and participants. They're financially inefficient for fund raising (it's more efficient to just donate money directly to the organization), and mostly done to enhance public relations visibility.

And a common complaint is the wannabe racers scare the crap out of the slowpokes who get an early start so they'll finish before dark. Yeah, the roadies will fuss at the slowpokes to wait for the racers to start first so there's little risk of an 8 mph cruiser in a reverie being buzz passed by a paceline. But that also thwarts the goals of the early bird slowpokes who need the early start to finish on time.

I've heard some casual riders say that when they did as suggested and started later to minimize being passed, they were basically abandoned, without traffic indicators to notify them of upcoming turns, etc.

For some reason the non-charity type event rides seem to handle these big rides more effectively. I haven't heard many complaints about lack of food, direction guides, sag or toilets.

I suspect that's due in part to the way these rides are inspired and organized. A lot of charity fundraising stuff is contracted out to marketing specialists who may have little or no interest in cycling. So unless they consult with experienced cyclists they're bound to get some things wrong.

The non-charity type event rides usually were started by cycling enthusiasts who have a better idea of how to make these rides more successful as cycling events rather than as fundraisers for charity.

When I want to support a favorite local organization I just send money. I rarely if ever participate in their events. Same with holiday food drives. Unless we're donating directly to a needy family, food is inefficient. Charities that help feed needy folks need money, not food. They have dietitians and purchasing agents who can save money buying in bulk and arrange their own inventory management. Direct donations of food shift a lot of burden of physically organizing inventory to agencies that are operating on minimal staff. Some friends do holiday food drive rides, and occasionally I'll tag along. But I don't usually pick up food and carry it around on the bike to donation stations. I donate food directly to neighbors or homeless folks I see along the streets where I ride.
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Old 02-07-20, 08:17 PM
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As someone already mentioned, charities usually farm out their fun run/walk/cycling events to professional event management companies who take a cut off the high-priced entry fees as their commission in the hopes that the pros will be able to attract more people, thus more of a return in $$$ for the charity. I stopped doing a lot of those and just write a check to a few charities each year so my contribution goes more directly towards the charity's goal.
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Old 02-16-20, 06:26 PM
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Maybe look more for club sponsored rides than charity ones.

My club puts on a big event, & everyone is taken care of, down to the last straggler.

The band may have stopped playing, but there will be food.
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Old 02-16-20, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDudeIsHere View Post
There were some rides I paid $100 and was well worth it.
A friend did the Tour of Palm Springs last week and she said the food vendor didn't show up at the finish.
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Old 02-16-20, 10:04 PM
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Waaaay back in the '70s, the cycling club at Ohio State started a new Century in late April as a 'warm-up' or conditioning ride on the rural roads north of Columbus a few weeks before TOSRV. I remember quite vividly going out the week before in my car with a gallon of traffic paint to mark the road with yellow 'Dan Henry' route arrows. Ours were a 8" diameter ball, with a stalk and arrow head to show direction -- or a bent stalk if a turn was coming up in a few hundred feet, a sideways-pointing arrow at the turn, then a confirming arrow a few hundred feet after a turn. Fool-proof, huh.

The ride went well, with about 60 riders. Not bad for a first-year full-century ride. 7am start, with a projected finish of 3pm, dinner went on until 5:30. Yes, we had roving SAG support van, sponsored by one of the local bike shops. Two water/fruit stops, plus a lunch sandwich stop, and burgers/hot dogs/and chili at the finish. At the end, we did a sweep of the entire 100-mile route (again in my car). No stragglers. Great. We went back to the dorms... An hour later, we get a phone call from one of the riders -- back in the era of pay phones!. It is now dark and he is MILES off our route's course. Of course, he's cussing us out -- because he got lost -- by following another organization ride's white arrows. First off, they were white - ours were yellow, and the other arrows were even a different style of arrow. So much for fool proof... SMH...
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Old 02-19-20, 09:29 AM
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I did my local MS 150 for 23 consecutive years. One year I even timed a nearly four-month cross-country bike ride so as not to miss the event. As the years went by it grew from fewer than 2,000 people to over 7,000 people if the weekend weather was good. For several years I was one of the top fundraiser. IIRC, I got as high as 22nd. I also used to put out road signs the day before the event. With that many people there was too much craziness. Even getting to the start and on the road became a PITA. During my last time participating some jerk tried to squeeze by me on the right during a turn and nearly took me out. I was already so far over the right that he was brushing against the foliage. I said to him "If you do that again I'm going to knock your teeth out." "Don't threaten me!" "I'm not threatening you. I'm warning you." At that moment I knew it would be my last time participating.
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Old 02-19-20, 01:01 PM
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I've done different activities over the years but don't bother anymore. If you don't fundraise enough, the charity loses money on you. I didn't enjoy it enough for that. I have a couple of coworkers who do these things so I help them fundraise.
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Old 02-19-20, 07:56 PM
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I did the local MS150 several times, and it was a struggle to get the 'minimum fundraising' floor to 'allow' me to participate. I can donate directly and NOT be 'put out', thankyouverymuchNOT!
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