A good group ride is a reliable, fun and challenging day in the saddle with friends. While most of the rides you attend probably follow a similar script and hit the same routes, a couple of times over the riding season you may want to take your group rides to the next level. Maybe not every week. Maybe not even once a month. But if you have a great ride in mind and want to make a little unofficial, unsanctioned event out of it, there are ways to get all the people who like riding most together for a memorable day in the saddle. Here is how to organize your very own DIY gran fondo.
1) Make an amazing route
To make your ride really exciting to people, make sure to select a great route. It’s not a bad idea to organize a ride somewhere you and your friends don’t ride a lot, perhaps a couple of hours out of the city you live in. If you organize a ride on a bucket list route, then you are sure to attract more people out.
2) Publicize the ride on social media
Once you’ve decided on a route and date for your ride, spread word of it and extend the invitation to as many people as possible. The easiest way to let people beyond your immediate ride group know about a ride is the share it on social media. Make a simple graphic with the time and meeting location. Share beautiful photos from the route and build excitement for your ride.
3) Organize a follow vehicle
To take a group ride to the next level, organize a follow car to provide the group with support is a great idea. Perhaps a friend or loving family member would be willing to sacrifice an afternoon to help you and your friends enjoy your day in the saddle.
4) Have a mid-ride stop
There are few things more enjoyable than a good mid-ride stop where you can grab a tasty bite to eat and a nice coffee. Make sure your route has a good stop so that everyone can start to build anticipation for the rest stop even before the ride has even taken place.
5) Give the ride a name
Being able to identify your ride will set it apart from all other group rides. Find a catchy, humorous and notable name for it. The name can come from where you are riding or can be totally creative and unique.
6) Clearly define the ride
To encourage as many people as possible to come out and ride, you’ll want to let them know what to expect. Is this a vicious drop ride or a more casual day with a steady tempo and a no-drop policy? People will be able to decide whether they want to join your ride if they know how intense it will be.
7) End of ride celebration
Be it a barbeque, drinks at a local brewery or pizza, getting people together to ride bikes and then feeding them is a sure-fire way to make your ride memorable and great.
8) Find a partner to support the ride
If you want to make your ride a little more formal, find a partner to do a product giveaway or whose brand can be associated with your ride. This way they can also help you spread word about the ride and make it a can’t miss event for the riding community where you live.