I’ve been to bike events where 100 or so willing riders show up to a bar in the morning, get a short speech and set out on a circuitous route, with no real rest stops, ending up back at the bar. The fee, which was nominal, got donated to charity.
I’ve been to bike events where 100s of riders show up at a ski resort, get a packet of stuff and race number, grind themselves to a fine powder in the surrounding hills, and return to the ski resort for a catered party and free beer, a bike wash, a souvenir T, an official finish time.
I’ve been to bike events where many 100s of riders show up at a field on the backside of nowhere, set out in waves in various directions over various routes and distances, rolling back into a tent with a DJ and buffet, a bike raffle, commemorative jerseys, camping.
I’ve been on teams, and I’ve been a solo artist. I’ve done rides just to contribute to a cause, and I’ve done destination rides that showed me beautiful new places. I’ve even pondered my own event, which would be a real boondoggle, maybe like a scavenger hunt, or a thing that required some running or the eating of strange foods. I have notes somewhere.
I’m fascinated by the way these things get stuck together, what the animating idea is, what the promoters think is important, the stuff they think people want or need to be motivated to sign up. I’m intrigued by those who see a ride as a money-making endeavor vs. those who try to raise money for a cause. None of that is judgment. I know people have a plethora of motivations and ideas, and maybe every ride is a good ride, on some level.
This week’s TCI Friday asks, what do you look for in a cycling event? What do you expect, and how much should it cost? How much is too much? And do prefer to take these things on solo or with friends?
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