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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,973

    Looking for input on creating an annual community ride/event for girls and women

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    Hi ladies! I'm looking to your thoughts and experience on creating an event here that will be geared toward women and girls.

    Last year I joined a new women's cycling group called Team Soul (we are sponsored by the Kia dealership, thus, the reference is to the Kia Soul). We have been finding our way and figuring out who and what we are, but one thing we would like to do find a way to impact the community. Since we are not really a race team, though a few women race, but more of a club, we thought one thing we could do is develop a "signature event" that would be open to women and girls, to encourage them to get out and ride. We thought about having a short length (5-10 miles) and a moderate length (30-40) miles. We were thinking of contacting the local Girl Scout Council, YWCA etc to try get them to partner with us. I think we can get insurance through our membership with the League of American Bicyclists.

    We don't yet have a firm plan- we are still looking at a possible route, date, and what kind of things we need to think about, since none of us have organized something like this. I am guessing that 100-200 participants might be our goal.

    Things on the list to consider (in no particular order, off the top of my head): route, signage, aid stations, contacting local officials to arrange for any necessary permits etc, finisher medals, advertising, bike patrol or SAG, waiver forms, costs/fees....

    Other thoughts: maybe we would be able to help Girl Scouts get their bicycling badge through the event, maybe have it the Saturday before Mother's Day...

    That's about where we are. I don't know how much time we need to plan ahead and I'm sure there are zillions of things we haven't thought of, but any thoughts are welcome!

    Thanks- Sharon
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,226
    You can get the insurance you need for permits and liability from the League of American Bicyclists. The saturday before mothers day sounds like a perfect idea!!! Hoping your ride brings some good memories and fun for lots of girls!!!!

    I'll pm you the name and email of the woman who’s the outreach coordinator for the Greater Az. Bicycle Association in Tucson. She may be a good source for networking in your area and the logistics of their century and shorter rides.

    Great idea Sharon!!!!!....with lots of work involved
    Last edited by rebeccaC; 09-11-2013 at 10:44 AM.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    At the moment my head's still reeling from our ride falling apart ... but I'll get ahold of our task list and shoot it to you if that would be helpful. It sounds like a great idea, just be aware it will take a LOT of person-hours to pull it off, and even if you rely on a handful of people to do the groundwork, you'll still need a lot of warm bodies to do road painting and food stops. Plan on starting initial preparations a good six months ahead. Find out what the deadlines are for any annual and quarterly event calendars. Good luck!!!!
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Our club just had its annual century. We had 80 volunteers. That included route marking, manning the rest stops and post-ride picnic, on-site registration and sign-in, directing cars in the parking lot before the ride, driving SAG vehicles, etc. A small group of people put a huge amount of time into managing it, including determining the route, writing and printing cue sheets, managing pre-registration, advertising, buying food and beverages, coordinating with the people at the rest stop locations and ride start/finish, coordinating volunteers, getting permits, etc.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,973
    Thanks for the suggestions - keep 'em coming. Rebecca, I had already planned to contact GABA :-)
    Since we're mainly doing shorter distances, it should be easier than a century, but it is helping me to see that we will need to recruit a LOT of people to help, since we are a small organization.
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    130
    Are there no other womens rides done in your area that your group can help with before re inventing the wheel? There seem to be quite a few around here. The big one here is little red, a victim of it's own success LOL, then there is goldilocks and wonder woman, these rides are also 100s though. I think if yours is just an intro for new cyclists, you don't get experienced cyclists interest which is counterintuitive really. I think you should think about your audience and if it is served already. I dunno about there you are, but here any given weekend has competing events. We have winter where I live though LOL.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,043
    In my area (Central Indiana), I can think of only one women-only "event" bike ride. It's callled The Girlfriend Ride. Now I find that name sort of cringe worthy, but the concept is for female riders--of different experience levels--to have a rid for themselves. It benefits an organization that offers supportive services for domestic violence victims. With different route lengths, I think you can make it appealing to both inexperienced and experienced riders alike.

    Here's the thing with most fundraiser events in my experience: You generally have to accept that it takes several years to grow an event to the point of financial "success." That's not to say that you can't make a profit from the get-go, but your expectations, and the expectations of any of your partners, should bear that in mind. In this regard, getting sponsorship and underwriting for as many of your costs as possible is helpful, as is securing some corporate donors. But again, it often pays to take the long view.

    It also pays to bring people to the planning table from a few places in addition to your cycling team, unless the members of your team are already pretty well connected within your community. You've mentioned partnering with a couple of not-for-profits. It might be possible to tap into their governing boards for assistance with some of the heavy lifting in terms of obtaining corporate sponsors, corporate donations, etc. I was a board member at a Y chapter, and it wasn't uncommon for us to be approached in this manner so that there was a sharing of resources from a fundraising perspective. Of course, when you do that, there is a price to pay in terms of control, too.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    Certainly it appears you want a more structured ride and looks like you got some great advice so far.

    Will you need police/municipal permit to close off certain road intersections?

    If there is a musical busker (to keep it simple instead of a band that needs electrical power, speakers, etc.) or....a performing unicyclist at the end.


    Just an off-question, how many women/girls currently join your existing bike rides? I did belong and was involved in organizing workshops, conference and rides for a women's cycling group in Toronto for a few years.

    It would be cool for a shorter ride, that cyclists chose to ride...in costume theme.... now I don't want to get into Prom Ride...but that is a big hit where I am for guys and gals. Over 40% of the cyclists don't even dress up in prom wear/suits, they just love to join the ride of fun. This ride would have been under 15 km. No refreshments stops, etc. Much more informal.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Sacramento area, California
    Posts
    17
    You might want to get in touch with Janae Noble @ Noble Pursuits. She set up several ladies only California rides - I knew here from the Princess Promenade, which eventually my club helped SAG for, and she was my cycling coach (I needed a little/lot descending confidence help). I think that first year was more than a little exhausting for her - permits, vendors, lining up sponsors... and the first year it was rocky. You definitely need help from multiple clubs - road painting, route guidance, SAG (get a high school cycling club for kid ride alongs/chaperones if you do have a youth option), sweeps, clean up, set up, adverts... The ride in Sacramento uses a multi-purpose recreational trail which was open to other cyclists/users at the event day, but that also limited permit/liability woes. There was an optional time trial, which was fun!, and costume contest. However, it seems to have really taken off. My daughter also participated in the ride, and she enjoyed it. We tough girls did not so much enjoy the princess aspect - but I did half-heartedly go as a Valkyrie.

    I cannot much help but offer encouragement. While my ride buddies are now mostly men, so I tend to prefer mixed gender events, I think rides like these are encouraging in building confidence. That said, I love the pre-Mothers day idea. I did used to lead a women's only ride before moving to the SF Bay Area where I still have not joined a club - my ladies group added in some skill building workshops, which was helpful - and could be useful for getting the word out if you target clubs (e.g. cycling clubs, school clubs, Girl Scouts, 4-H). I might suggest you consider contacting your local hospitals/health plans as sponsors - or even the local council. Try the education department if you go for the hospitals - very often they have money for health related activities.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,973
    We have no other women's rides in our area. We're in Tucson, Arizona, where it is possible to ride year-round but June-mid-September require very early starts, so fall and spring are better choices.

    Rebecca mentioned GABA- a bike club here that does three century rides among other things, and we wouldn't want to compete with that. We want this to be very accessible to people who might not otherwise ride, and encouraging especially to girls and young women.

    We had not pictured this as a fund-raiser- more of a community service to encouraging girls and women to participate in cycling. So the idea would be more to break even than raise money.

    Ame, can you send me a contact for Janae Noble? We are also going to be contacting a local hospital, which one of our group works for.

    We had not considered costumes or anything like that... up to now... I might prefer to keep it simple.

    I hadn't thought about painting roads. For the GABA century rides, they place stand-alone signs along the road indicating the route. I was hoping we might even be able to borrow or rent their signs.

    One option would be to use the ever-expanding "Loop" around Tucson, which is a paved MUP with many miles that are lightly used by pedestrian traffic- mainly used by cyclists. This would provide a safe route that would not conflict with vehicle traffic for the short distance. Thus we we wouldn't need to consider having any traffic control. Plus, I really think we are going to start small - and hope we don't need to worry about traffic control with the number of riders we'd like to have for the first year.

    We have quite a few sponsors for the team: a car dealership, bike shop, several restaurants among them, so that will hopefully help. We also are doing some volunteering for other events and maybe can get support back from those organizations for this.

    This is all really , really helpful

    Sharon
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Another thought, if it hasn't been mentioned yet -- some of the local bike advocacy groups in this area sponsor short rides that are intended to encourage new cyclists and introduce people to the local trails and bike facilities (e.g., roads with bike lanes). Perhaps you could partner with a group in your area or at least get advice from them.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    As far as marking roads, planting signs won't be much, if any, quicker than painting stencils. The most time-consuming part is finding a place to pull your car over, then walking while you place three or more markers beginning 250 or so feet before each turn, then getting back in the car. Signs would be easier to do than paint with one person - because you don't need to put on and take off rubber gloves to get back into the car - but I much prefer sending road-marking teams out in pairs anyway, for safety reasons.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    130
    People move signs.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,704
    Yup, and bad weather can cause problems with painted markings. The best rides I've done use a combination of signs and paint.

    We had number of folks get terribly lost on a super-hilly, quite remote century route near here a couple of years ago because of fall storms that obscured or washed away painted markings a couple of days before the ride.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,501
    That's just a matter of using the right paint. Paint formulated for road marking stays on fine, and any paint store has it.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

 

 

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