League of Michigan Bicyclists

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Guide to Organizing a Bicycle Event

Organizing a great event means having a great support team. A planning committee involving people with various skills and connections is vital to running a smooth event. Your steering committee, subcommittees or individual volunteers (depending on the size of your event) can carry out the following functions:




· Develop an event budget, expenses and expected income.

· Itemize income, including registration fees, community and corporate sponsors.

· Itemize expenses, including facility equipment rentals, permits and fees, printing, mailing, t-shirts, giveaways, entertainment and food.

Location & Routing of Event:

· State or local permission/permits as needed

· Safe and reasonable routing & distances- roads with little or no traffic, good road surfaces and shoulders

· Course marking (maps, paint on road (paint and stencils), signs

· Traffic control

· Rest stops, food & water (availability of restroom facilities or porta johns)

· Support And Gear vehicles (SAG)

· Bike repair support

· EMT support




· Single day, special event policy with limits and coinsured as requested by venue

· Not cheap, but a necessity




Event Sponsorship:

· Solicit to secure financial donations to underwrite the cost of your event.

· Local businesses & civic groups (Rotary Club, Lion's Club, etc)

· Cash or in-kind donations

· Secure donated items for prizes, food, beverages, entertainment, etc.

· Provide sponsors' recognition on brochures, posters, t-shirts and information packets.




· Create an event timeline with committee tasks and established deadlines

· Contact road agencies, local law enforcement and businesses along the route

· Arrange security, restrooms, barricades, parking, electrical, PA systems, rentals, facilities and EMS.

· When practical, stay with as few vendors as possible.


Rest Stops:

· Pop up tent, card table, chairs, cooler, Rest Stop Signs

· Snacks, garbage bags

· Tire pump, first aid kit, spare tubes, multi tool





· Consider online registration

· Mail in registration forms

· Waivers

· Coordinate participant check-in the day of the event. Registration roster, waiver forms

· Arrange for late registrations: registration forms, cash box

Event registration fees for adults, children and families. Charge a late fee for registration after a certain date (usually 1-2 weeks before your event). The late fee generally coincides with the last date you can order t-shirts if they are included.




Roving SAGs:

· Identify number of SAGs needed and how they will cover the course

· Bike rack on car, tire pump, first aid kit, spare tubes, multi tool

· Accident report forms

· Communication - suggest cell phones




Food & Beverages:


· Contact local restaurants, grocery stores and vendors for donations/discounts.

· Included in your registration price or to purchase?

· Consider issues of how you serve food. Consult local health department.

During Event:

· Water is a necessity, food/ rest stops depends on your ride length

· Will you provide other snacks

Post Event:

· Snacks

· Sandwiches

· Cooked food

· Beverages



Entertainment and Kids' Activities:

· Arrange for local celebrities to attend or perform.

· Contact school bands and organizations, local radio stations, DJ's or live bands.

· Examples of kids’ activities: bike decorating, bike safety clinic, face painting, etc.



Publicity and Promotion of Event:

· Contact LMB to include the event in the annual Michigan Ride Calendar

· Press releases to local newspapers, radio & TV stations

· Flyers and/or mailers

· Email to local bike shops/cycling clubs

· Event website

· Begin communication at least two to three months prior to the event.

· Arrange photo coverage for the day of the event.

Note: To get attention, look as professional as possible with letterhead and an event logo

Ride Communications:

· Provide for communication between SAGs, rest stops and home base

· Registration roster with emergency contact information available

· Signage and banners




· T-shirts, Jerseys, etc. – remember to budget these items if you are going to include them as part of the registration.

· Provide registration packet, bag or envelope.

· Secure donated items for participant registration packets (coupons, magnets, pens and pencils, etc.)



Clean up:

· One of the biggest mistakes an event organizer can make is underestimate the manpower needed for clean up and break down of your event.

· Arrange volunteers for trash removal during and after the event.

· Help with facilities cleanup and breakdown of tables, tents, etc.



Recognition and Event Evaluation:

Arrange a post event evaluation with key volunteers and the steering committee.

· Send out thank you letters and recognize sponsors and participants after the event.

· Ask for suggestions for future events.

· Discuss what was successful and what was unsuccessful.

· Establish contacts and volunteers for future events.

· Set the date of next years event

· Inventory signs and supplies






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