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9 Tips for Running a Successful Bike Event

By Brad Quartuccio & Jeff Guerrero

While we’ve been to countless awesome races, rides, festivals, and other bike events, we’ve unfortunately been to more than our share of shitty events too. In addition to making magazines, we’ve each run our share of less-than-official bike events in the past and at risk of sounding conceited, none of them have totally sucked. We think it’s fair to assume that most anyone promoting a bike event is doing so with the intention of providing a fun and safe experience for everyone involved, but some people just have more enthusiasm than experience. So it’s with the purest of intentions that we present the following tips for putting on your own successful bike event. It’s up to you and your local laws to determine if your gathering needs any sorts of permits, insurance or other formalities.

1 Promote The Damn Thing

This is probably the most obvious suggestion, but perhaps the most vital. And it’s the one aspect where people tend to fail most miserably. If nobody comes to the event, the event will most likely suck. Additionally, you want to make sure the right people come to your event. A Halloween alleycat is more fun if the outgoing members of the local bike coop show up in full costume. A bike polo tournament is more memorable if the loudmouths from across the state show up and heckle. And a trick contest just isn’t going to be exciting unless you can get some of the major players to make the trip to your city to strut their stuff.

So how do you do this? First, you have to be on the scene. Believe it or not, it’s even more important than the internet. Word of mouth hype is key for local events. Get the word out to all the blogs, websites, message boards and social networking sites that you can without turning it into spam. Facebook is not the only place to promote your event, so if you’re not in the know, ask people for suggestions. You have to actively promote the event to your friends—don’t take for granted that they’ll just show up. Make flyers, put them in every shop and bike hangout, and ask people to help spread the word. Paper still works, and shows a certain commitment to things.