bike-rides-for-dummies

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					                                      BIKE RIDE PLANNING
                                      FOR DUMMIES
Prepared by JJ Hoffman, LACBC River Ride Coordinator

So you want to host a fun ride? Good for you! This will be a very rewarding experience, but
not without some challenges, so be prepared. What is the theme of the ride? What do you
bring to it? Have it reflect your interests and your riding style so that you are sure to enjoy
this process. Is it a ride to all the LA murals? Maybe it is a nature ride, a hard core ride, or a
food oriented ride, kiddie ride, holiday themed ride, maybe a historical ride, art, cinema,
theatre, opera…so much to do and see here in LA the possibilities are endless.

Once you know what ride you want to do, consider the audience for your ride, are they
hardcore or are they first time riders, somewhere in-between. Give that some thought.

I suggest you give yourself no less than one month lead time from the first idea of the ride
leading up to the day of the ride. You may want even more time if you really want to heavily
promote the ride and insure you get a lot of riders, or if there are any permits you need

1) KEY INFO

First step is get all the info that you need to make a flyer:
DATE, TIME, START LOCATION, RIDE THEME/TITLE

Those are the basics. You don’t need to know the whole route or any of the other details
just yet as long as you have your start location. Certainly having more info for the flyer
helps, but these are the basics and now you can start promoting it right away! Give yourself
no less than two and preferably three weeks to promote this with a flyer. Obviously, the
more info you can put on the flyer the better. Make sure to say something enticing about
the ride itself and a cute pic will help. Consider your audience. Are they parents with kids,
the kids themselves, hardcore cyclists, tragically hip, Goths, punks, disco nuts?

2) FLYER

Make your flyer so you can start promoting it. Try to keep your costs down, make
something simple and use a graphic that will look equally good in color and in black and
white. LACBC does not have a budget or the time to make, print and distribute flyers (with
some exceptions of course) so please consider the expense that a flyer will incur and keep it
simple. Don’t have a graphics background? Neither do I! This is where you find a friend or
a friend of a friend to help you. ***Proofread your flyer before you print it! Have a friend
proofread it too.

Consider making this flyer on a half sheet, you save money and trees. ***If you have a
restaurant, or park, or museum or any other kind of partner (including LACBC) with a logo
you can add to the flyer, please remember to get a tif file from that source and include them
on the flyer. In exchange for their logo on your flyer, your “sponsor” may reward you with
some kind of treat, or free admission to someplace for your riders and that is an added
incentive to get people to your ride! Win-Win!! Think logically about where to distribute
your flyer…movie theatres, coffee shops, bike shops, art museums, schools, rec centers…

3) FACEBOOK…

Promote on the internet! What did we ever do without it? Use Facebook, Midnight Ridazz
and LACBC calendar, CICLE, ask LACBC to include your blurb in their newsletter. Use the
full color version of your flyer for the internet.

4) DETAILS (where the devil is!)

Ride: Plan your route, ride your route, ride it on the same weekday and time your ride is
planned so you know what to expect. Take notes, cell phone pics and keep it as simple as
possible so you don’t lose people. Make a note of the mileage, the hours it took and the
difficulty. If possible, include this on your flyer. Avoid left turns, busy streets…make it fun!

Bathrooms: Where are they along the route? You may consider renting a porta potty, but
if you do, use a vendor that LACBC as there may be a liability issue.

Support: you may need bike mechanics on the ride with you, intersection corkers or even a
motor vehicle to follow you. If so, you need to find these volunteers. Use friends and
family wherever possible.

Map: If you think you will have 50 people or more, you need to make and print directional
route slips. This means you need to take very good notes of all the moves you make so that
your route slips don’t lose people.

Refreshments: Consider bringing a couple of big jugs of water, or even better, consider
where good pit stop locations are on your route. See if you can get donations.

Permits: Try to avoid places that require permits. If you are just using a park to start and
finish at then you shouldn’t need one, but if you need to reserve the space for whatever
reason, you might need to look into it and in that case, you need to really move quickly as
these things can take some time to process. ***if you are stopping at restaurants, museums,
etc in between the ride, be sure you contact the manager beforehand and let them know
what you are doing. You may need their cooperation OR you may get some help/freebies to
enhance your ride. Offer logo representation on the flyer!

Parking: Consider the parking situation when deciding on your start location. Consider
the nearest metro stop. Advertise the metro stop on your flyer. Will you need to park a lot
of bikes during the ride? Where is the best bike parking available?

On the day/Timing of the day: Have your participants show up a half hour before you
roll. Make sure your flyer says Start time: arrive at ? o’clock and ride at ? o’clock. That way
people have time to sign waivers, stretch out, go to the bathroom… Then greet your riders
and give them a safety and etiquette speech. Introduce the ride leader and the ride caboose.
Let them know the basic route you are taking, mileage, difficult hills or areas where the
streets are hairy and any stops on the way, bathrooms, etc... Have fun!

Waivers: LACBC has liability waivers that you need to get all your riders to sign. Don’t
forget to get a pdf from someone in the office and print out plenty of them for your riders.
Bring pens! (you can always go to the office grab some pens, stickers and waivers).

Pictures: Have someone taking photos of your ride. Email them to us so we can spread
the fun to all!

Pitch: Be sure to welcome your riders on the happy day and at some point during the ride,
pitch membership to the LACBC and/or whatever campaign you are waging.

Help: If you have questions or need help I am an email away lariverride@yahoo.com

				
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posted:7/7/2011
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