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Cycling event - what makes or breaks your participation?

Old 07-13-19, 12:04 PM
  #26  
indyfabz
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Originally Posted by Slightspeed View Post
Tobacco use? Is that a requirement or a ban? Never heard that one on a ride choice.
I did one that I can remember. American Cancer Society bike-a-thon out of Philly. I did it for numerous years. There was at least one guy who would smoke at rest stops. I kid you not.
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Old 07-13-19, 12:09 PM
  #27  
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Did the MS 150 City-to-Shore for 23 consecutive years. Never had any problem raising lots of money. Got as high as the 22nd highest fundraiser. Numbers started to exceed 7,000 riders. The last time I did it some knucklehead, who was blocked on the left by the crowd, tried to pass me on the right. I was already so far over to the right that he ended up hitting the foliage on the side of the road. He nearly wiped out in some sand and took me out. I said to him: "If you do that again I am going to knock your teeth out." At that point I knew it was time to retire from the event.
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Old 07-13-19, 12:23 PM
  #28  
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I prefer low-cost or free local events with minimal or no support. Some super-local charity rides are in this category (e.g. rides to support a town library, local Lions Club.) Local gravel events have been good, as they also follow the self-supported ethos.

In theory, I would pay a bit or travel a short distance for something epic, like a 200+ mile event. In practice, this has not worked out; my personal and professional obligations, which also require travel, have made it difficult to devote a weekend or more away from home for cycling.

I will not do events that require fundraising (I sold enough magazines and candy bars for Little League, basketball, and choir, thanks), require a high entry fee in exchange for support/goodies, or have alcohol as a primary emphasis.

Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
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.
+ one million.

I'm completely with you on direct giving as a more efficient way of helping others. Like you, I tend to give food to people I know will use it. Being in long-term recovery, my SO and I do not give cash to homeless folks, whom are often suffering from alcohol addiction...we do, however, stop to listen to their stories, provide moral support and information on community resources, and, if they're not creepy, hugs.

I've got a pretty good vibe on which local charities are efficient, and which ones have ridiculous overhead and are turning a profit. In a lot of cases, the more efficient charities really need manpower - volunteers to check people in to the warming/cooling/hospitality centers, cook and serve dinner, connect people to community resources and social services, make coffee, and sweep the floors.

I guess a bike ride is one way for organizations to get people fired up about fundraising, and if it works out for them, that's cool. I'm just a bit skeptical about the whole deal.
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Old 07-13-19, 12:35 PM
  #29  
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I try to do one organized ride a month Apr-Nov. Showstoppers are inadequate SAG stops, drive distance of over 250mi, hotels over $200, significant elevation gains (>4Kft), and local temps <45F or hitting >98F before I can finish. Note that I'm retired, so the expense comes out of our vacation budget...has to be close enough for me to do an overnight, then drive home after the ride. Turns out that the elevation gain and local temps are the main factor for me in E. TN...working on my climbs.
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Old 07-13-19, 12:40 PM
  #30  
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Cost is certainly a factor, as is weather. I generally don't do early sign-ups any more - I'm not "saving" $10 by signing up 3 months early if I don't end up riding because the weather is ****.

Organization/support is also a big factor. On a century that I did a couple years ago, I thought that the having different start times and locations for the various distances was a smart, smart move. It meant much less mingling with riders of wildly differing abilities. Between that and the law enforcement marshaling at major intersections, it was a really smooth, fast ride, 'specially considering the number of participants.
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Old 07-13-19, 01:01 PM
  #31  
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The only times I've balked at an organized event (i.e. "race") was because serious rain was in the forecast. Riding in the rain is zero fun, to me, and I hate getting my bike and clothes saturated with road grime, plus, I've gone down in races a couple times on wet roads, and I just don;t need the grief.
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Old 07-13-19, 01:19 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
Some require a light on the bike to participate in, haven't known of that to be a common requirement, but times are changing...
A light is required on a large gravel race here in the southeast, the Pisgah Monstercross.

They ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway and go through at least one tunnel. Lights are required in the tunnel by federal law so no light = no ride.


-Tim-
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Old 07-13-19, 03:16 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Does that bother you?
No, it was just an observation for using as an example.

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Arbitrary mandatory helmet requirement imposed by organizers or local sponsoring bike club/bike store, usually justified with bogus excuse that "our insurance requires it."
This I agree with you on.
It's not a motorcycle, & if anything, the event should put restrictions in place for the cycles equipped with more than the "assisted" bicycles.
Did one event not long ago, & there were many outfitted with high output motors (OEM equipped & modified traditional bicycles) that broke down at the wrong moment. Not only did it cause an accident, it also used up resources that the event provided that took away from those that needed it due to being fatigued. Those that were fatigued had to wait for the next vehicle to pick them up, which could pose a threat for recovery if it were time sensitive imo.

A helmet should not be enforced, but it is very acceptable to make it "highly advised" to have one.

Another concern are those pulling the young ones in the trailer behind them. Had one in front of me detach unexpectedly in front of me. Luckily it was on a somewhat flat stretch & not a very narrow lane, but it was on a rode shared by cars...
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Old 07-13-19, 04:18 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
Early start times and not quite ready if bowel movement goes off schedule.
funny, yet true.
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Old 07-13-19, 06:11 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
Early start times and not quite ready if bowel movement goes off schedule.
Actually this can be real issue for some people. One bud of mine had his gallbladder removed and some other digestion issues. He has nothing that is a issue for activity but his "morning routine" is pretty much set. After his morning routine is taken care of he is fine, but it really matters. We can't ride before 8 typically.
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Old 07-13-19, 11:18 PM
  #36  
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I've thought about RAGBRAI: classic event aimed at bike-camping, cost is pretty low, challenging course etc. But one has to register months ahead & hope to win a lottery? My favorite mass ride was back when George Washington Parkway, between Alexandria VA & Mt Vernon, closed off one side of the road on Sundays for cyclists. There was already a parallel bike path but it was narrow crushed limestone. On the Sunday rides thousands of bikers rode: no fee, no special rules. ~20 mile round trip so casual bikers & families enjoyed a bit of challenge but with smooth safe roads. Even shown in Nat Geographic magazine. Also one side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge used to be closed off one day for bikes/pedestrians, hugely popular but I guess tourism industry didn't like it.
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Old 07-14-19, 08:11 AM
  #37  
Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
Early start times and not quite ready if bowel movement goes off schedule.
Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
Actually this can be real issue for some people. One bud of mine had his gallbladder removed and some other digestion issues.

He has nothing that is a issue for activity but his "morning routine" is pretty much set. After his morning routine is taken care of he is fine, but it really matters. We can't ride before 8 typically.
Originally Posted by Princess_Allez View Post
funny, yet true.
A candid reply, but probably repressed by many, to the OP.”cycling event - what makes or breaks your participation?”

Nonetheless this post from 2008 is IMO one of the funniest I have read on BikeForums:
Originally Posted by trekker pete View Post
Missed my commute...

I mentioned this topic the other day in my thread about getting motivated in the morning. There have been more than a few days where I have my gear on, ready to taxi out the door and all of a sudden.....damn it.

By the time I'm done, the launch window has past. Commute aborted. Where are those damn car keys.

The worst case is when you just know the bomb bays are full, but you just can't the doors to open. So you have to sit around the hangar and wait.
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Old 07-14-19, 08:40 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
Actually this can be real issue for some people. One bud of mine had his gallbladder removed and some other digestion issues. He has nothing that is a issue for activity but his "morning routine" is pretty much set. After his morning routine is taken care of he is fine, but it really matters. We can't ride before 8 typically.
I can't make it the office by 8 am, so I'm not doing it for an event ride. If they ever started an event at 10, I'd consider it. But I like riding alone anyway.

I do end up riding on portions of event routes from time to time as most events around here include the roads around my house. But the events aren't that large and the riders are usually pretty spread out when they get to my area, so it's often not much different than any other Saturday.
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Old 07-14-19, 11:36 AM
  #39  
Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
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.
Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post
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….
Originally Posted by DropBarFan View Post
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.
Certainly, one of the draws of an organized ride is that usually a nice route is detailed by the local organized. One who rides the route unregistered (and unpaid) on the day of the event is known as a bandit.

I had posted to this thread “Can I ride on a century event if I'm not registered,”? in particular about donation made for charity events:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Frankly, I don't participate in those paid events anymore because they're expensive, there are local charities such as food banks and homeless shelters that could put my meager cash to better use directly, and most such events are either promotions for the local economy or indulgences for cyclists who want a new jersey or memorabilia. All of which is fine.

Just not my thing anymore. I did enough of those years ago….
I previously posted to this thread, "Little rant: I hate charity events"
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I’ve read that the reason such athletic events as Charity Rides, Swims and Runs are popular is because the value of the benefit received by the participant is near zero, and thus the entire donation is tax-deductible. For example if one attends a gala fundraising dinner, the cost of the dinner is not tax-deductible...

Here in Massachusetts the premier fund-raising Ride with an expected donation of around at least about $3500 is the Pan Massachusetts Challenge (Pan-Mass, PMC), about 150 miles in two days to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. They do take your credit card number before the Ride. It may well be the largest such event in total donations.

When anyone finds out I'm a cyclist, they usually ask "Do you do the Pan-Mass?"
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...Soon afterwards I caught up with a rider wearing a really cool Boston Red Sox cycling jersey, a souvenir of the 2002 Pan Mass Challenge.
So instead of merely soliciting donations, those organizations provide a tax-deductible experience for a “gallant” cause.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 07-15-19 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 07-14-19, 11:41 AM
  #40  
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ɅɅɅɅ
Originally Posted by u235 View Post
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.
Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
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.
Personally, the only charity ride I have done is a local Century, that fits the above description, for Children’s Organizations sponsored by a well-known philanthropist I know personally. There is a minimal $ 1000 donation that I spilt with my organization, which is also a recipient of his generosity.

It's a well attended, festive affair; hockey legend Bobby Orr was the Honorary Chairman one year

I am nearly always a solo rider, but what enjoy about this ride, as a goal (Century) to attain:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… For me it’s the pinnacle of the cycling season, but marks the start of the Winter Retrenchment. It’s a great ride on nice, lightly traveled roads throughout mostly far suburban to exurban territory in the southern sector [of Metro Boston].

It’s well marked, though only a part of it is well known to me and I particularly like spending a pleasant Saturday, the only time of the year when I’m almost completely unaware of time of day and where I am.

The ride is very well organized with comfort stops every 20 miles, and a breakfast and following barbecue party at the Start/Finish line. It supports several Children’s Social Service Agencies and in past years has had such luminary Chairmen as Bobby Orr and Terry Francona. I happen to know [the Organizer] personally and I'm glad to ride and support his cause.

Now I’m not necessarily soliciting for riders, nor pledges. The expected donation to ride is $1000, and the 25 and 50 mile loops are closed to registration, but one can still register for the Century on Saturday morning.

I myself have a corporate and personal donation to make, so that’s not a problem for me, because I don’t like to solicit. But I just thought you might like to know about this cycling event and I report it here as such:…
Another benefit to me as a routinely solo rider is to ride in a paceline:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
A basic advice is I keep in mind during the century is Ride my own pace,” in particular not too fast at the beginning, and ride the entire route at a pace comfortable for me.

Even when I pick up with another rider, I make it clear that’s my rule if our paces are not compatible. Another strategy on charity rides done by myself, is to start early and perhaps be picked up by a group riding at a suitable pace and ask to draft with them.

That adds a kick to my pace, but quite often I fall slightly behind at turning a corner, and its amazing how a slight drop behind can be impossible to catch-up, attesting to the value of drafting.

Also, you might catch-up to a slightly slower rider and draft him/her, and they could reciprocate, synergizing both of you. But always,“Ride your own pace.”

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 07-14-19 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 07-14-19, 12:17 PM
  #41  
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FYI Bring sunscreen.....

https://www.phillyvoice.com/philly-n...tember-august/
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Old 07-14-19, 12:48 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
Some examples could be: Age limit, passport required, type of bicycle required, sponsorship the event uses, safety, tobacco use, etc etc..
I simply refuse to participate in events that require a passport, don't allow riders my age, don't allow road bikes, insist on safe riding practices, and either mandate or prohibit tobacco use.
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Old 07-14-19, 12:59 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
I simply refuse to participate in events that require a passport, don't allow riders my age, don't allow road bikes, insist on safe riding practices, and either mandate or prohibit tobacco use.
BTW, I chafe under the universal rule of NO Headphones, but comply. I have considered getting AfterShokx bone conducting speakers to circumvent.
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Old 07-14-19, 02:23 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
BTW, I chafe under the universal rule of NO Headphones, but comply. I have considered getting AfterShokx bone conducting speakers to circumvent.
Before ever participating in an event i used to think of it as a slight issue personally.
I decided to go to one that suggested not having them for obvious reasons...
I packed them with me, put one in the ear, & then after a few miles into it, i decided that, since i never connected them to the bluetooth, i stowed them in the pocket...
I had noticed that the scenery & experience without them was way more enjoyable.
Normal riding around by myself, i use them, but to drown out vehicle noise & screaming yokels.
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Old 07-15-19, 06:31 AM
  #45  
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I almost never do events. A shop ride to be sociable w/the local community is fine, but otherwise I mainly steer clear of organized events.
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Old 07-15-19, 07:12 AM
  #46  
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When an event requires that I go out and get pledges of money for people I'm out. I'll pay to participate and usually I donate but I'm not going to be used to scour money from friends. That's a non-starter.
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Old 07-15-19, 07:29 AM
  #47  
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I shy away from events that require the participant to raise a certain dollar amount to participate. That AFTER paying an entry fee. I just hate asking people (i.e. friends and relatives) for money so that I can do something they see as, and in reality is, recreational for me. There is one bicycling event I will be doing for the 5th time this fall that has a flat rate registration fee of something like $80, with no fundraising requirement, and the sponsoring organization still contributes to charities. And it's a two-day, very well supported ride. Some of the rides that I'd like to do, but don't because of the fundraising requirement, I feel could get more participation and at least equal revenue if they just slightly raised their registration fee, and dropped the fundraising requirement. I would rather pay a bit more registration, and not have to go out and ask people for money.

Dan
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Old 07-15-19, 07:30 AM
  #48  
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I'm too disorganized & impulsive to participate despite wanting to
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Old 07-15-19, 07:40 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
When an event requires that I go out and get pledges of money for people I'm out. I'll pay to participate and usually I donate but I'm not going to be used to scour money from friends. That's a non-starter.
I know what you mean, it can be down right invasive. I have a few friends who seem to live for these charity rides and they bombard your feed with requests with these "canned" statements....almost begging at times:

"I only need $120 more!, anything you can do is greatly appreciated"

".....almost there!"

"Only need $50, it's a great cause and you would really be helping (insert name here of person suffering from this disease to personalize the request and apply guilt trip)"

I'm like get out of my face with that crap. The current charity ride they happen to be working is always the most important....until the next.

Charities have the business model they do (establishing a minimum to make it worth the orgs time) because they know cyclists and other sports are prime targets because it gives cyclists a reason to ride. I know not all people are like that, but if the charity was so important they would be raising money with the same fervor outside of an organized ride.
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Old 07-15-19, 08:09 AM
  #50  
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The only real deal breaker for me is fundraising. I don't want to go around asking people for money.

Cost and distance play a role obviously as well, but I'll pay for a nice ride, or a ride close to my parent's so my wife can do it with me while they watch the kids.
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