June 25, 2007 - If the rides are true tax exempt charities, they should indicate so and offer a receipt so that we can claim the fee as a chairitable donation. I believe this would increase participation.
June 9, 2007 - My thoughts on the ride t-shirts that are handed out when you sign up for a ride. There are some really good looking ride shirts but there's a whole bunch of others I classify as "paint shirts". I'd invite the next ride planning committee to take a second look at what they have designed for grown ups to wear. I am not into going anywhere in a t-shirt that looks like a cartoon. Some of the better shirts have very few sponsor logos on the back. People don't look at all those logos so why put them on? Go with a clean sharp design that people would wash and hang in their closet, wear out some places and get some real use out of. Here are some examples to go by. Good ride shirts: Autumn in Bonham, Ride for the Roses, Collin Classic. Middle of the road ride shirts: Hot Rocks, Hotter-n-Hell. Bottom of the barrel, throw away, give it back because I already have too many paint shirts: Forney Jackrabbit, Tour d' Italia. Suggestions for improvement: Change the shirt color. Make it warm to the eye. Blend some of the colors in the logo so it doesn't just reach out and slap you. Limit the sponsor logos to the top 6-7 or put your organization name on the back but don't use letters so large you could read it a block away. Think more subtle than that. Chunk the animals or at least limit the use of them to a low percentage of the logo. A classy ride logo will draw people to take a second look. If it makes you giggle or laugh, throw it away and start over. Also, make the logo a decent size. The only thing I have against the HHH ride shirt is that the skull is way too big. It covers the entire front. Cycling takes a LOT of dedication, time, effort and money. A cyclist thinks about cycling subconsciounously. It is a respectable sport that is pursued by people that respect the human element. If you design a shirt with that in mind, you'll have a winner.
March 22, 2007 - These bike rides are getting expensive. It is bad enough that we have to pay the high gas prices to get there. On the rides I went to last year it was already apparant that this was having an effect on attendance. The fix for that was not to raise the price another $5-$10. I really enjoy going to the rides but this is getting out of hand.
September 12, 2004 - I wonder why so few ride promoters grasp the essentials about what makes a good, profitable ride for their charities?
When they talk with great pride about how "Challenging" their ride is what is it they are trying to accomplish? A "challenging" ride means lots of hills and the pain and discomfort that comes with it. Look, design a flat, easy course with great signage, top flight routg control, sags, rest stops and some music and good chow at the start and finish and what have you got? The Hotter-N-Hundred, Waco etc with thousands of riders and big time money raised for "the cause".
On the other hand your "Guaranteed-pain-and- Suffering" type of course draws maybe 300 Category 1&2 riders about 23 years old, etc. and makes peanuts.
Hello? Anybody out there? What's the purpose of the ride anyway? If it's to raise money then please avoid the "Challenging" courses,
Travel to one of the big rides and look around. What do you see? Thousands of Singles,
tandems, threesomes, etc. Parents with kidde trailers. Families, men, women, ages from children to age 80. They all ride distances to fit them. Nobody likes having to ride a 30 miler when they usually go 62 miles, just because the course is just too punishing.
Please spend some time making the course safe. Eliminate or limit the left turns across traffic. Be sure policemen are on hand and understand what to do at all stoplights and other hazardous traffic intersection to assist the
riders. Have large signs before, at and after all turns with volunteers there also in case someone steals a sign or gets confused. Make the sag visible and plentiful. Have some big tents and chairs for riders to congregate in after the rides. This equates to socializing and "fun", crucial ingredients in a good ride. Have some pizza,
Spaghetti, hot dogs, hamburgers, bar -B -Cue, etc at the finish. After burning up 4500 calories riders want to look forward to more than a warm banana and a slice of orange at the finish.- Norm Weatherby
November 2, 2003 - When riders see a police officer standing
near an intersection they expect that the officer will be directing traffic
& providing a 'protected crossing'. I can't tell you how many times I've
seen close calls at intersection when riders see the officer standing near the
intersection and expect that he is providing a 'protected crossing', when in
reality, he is just standing there watching.
March 12, 2003 - Consider giving a discount for children (16 and under, or 12
and under) or have a family rate that might be 2 or 2.5 times the single rider
rate. Without discounts for children the cost for a family of 4 or more is often
prohibitive. Think about the family of 4 where the children's maximum distance
might be 20 miles. If the fee is $25/person, it will be $5/mile! ** There
are very few young people at rides that I have done. Giving discounts for
children will encourage families to participate. For the sake of the future of
cycling, we should get more young people involved.
May 5, 2002 - I recently rode in a rally put on in a small town, by high
school students. I anticipated that it would be something less than professional
- and didn't really need or expect much support. But one guy who decided to ride
with us, planned his water poorly, and was dry - long before the next rest stop.
When we got there, they'd closed that rest stop - perhaps because they were
short on volunteers? He was not a happy camper. If you must close rest
stops before all the riders are in, show the "hours of operation" on
the route map. Same goes for the finish - Even though the ride is over at
that point, it's still kinda lonely to be one of the last folks in, and find
that the parking lot is empty, and all the organizers are gone.
December 22, 2002 - Ride directors can enhance the overall atmosphere at the
start finish line by always including some form of music, either live or
recorded. One ride director usually plays classical music which reminds me of
the music used in the movie " Breaking Away". Another ride always
hires a local garage band, whose members are trying to get exposure and will
usually play all day for free. Heavy head banging rock will not work, but most
any other type music at the finish line will work for rehydrating and
recovering, before the long drive home.
February 21, 2002 - PARKING - Please have plenty of parking with
easy entrance and exit. - START/FINISH - Do not start and finish your
rides in the middle of town. Not only is it dangerous, but it tends
to make make drivers of cars angry. Find a school, park, etc. on the
outskirts of town for the start and finish of your ride
3, 2001 - As a newcomer to Texas, I have completed six metrics and I am appalled
at the number of ride organizers that assume everyone knows where they are
located, has a working knowledge of "named" landmarks, and how to get
there - where ever there is. The Collins Classic is good example, I am still
trying to find out where it actually is. I end up passing by the rides where I
can't find good directions. The smart ride directors will have a map on their
ride web page or a hyperlink to a map site that provides sufficient information
to give me some fighting chance of finding them without 20 minutes of search
engine attempts. Many of us come from out of town and look forward to seeing new
areas and meeting new people: help us a little.
8, 2001 - I am one of those older but competitive riders and I am getting to the
point of anger at rides providing cash prizes, but only for an open category. My
racing age is 60 and, gee golly what a surprise, I can't keep up with the 20 and
30 somethings for more than about 15 miles like I used to. The cash prize is not
the issue, although even a modest amount would be nice, a medal will do; some
recognition for women and age groups would not only be appreciated but it might
increase participation and help rekindle interest in cycling. I still love
competition but it needs to be appropriate. Also, the route should be also be
category appropriate as well. My thanks to the folks at the Tour de Paris; they
did this part right!