Introduction to "Cycling for a Cause"
Isn’t it awesome to be able to put a greater purpose to something you like and make it go beyond your personal challenges and achievements? The concept of organizing any kind of sports events to raise awareness of an issue or gather donations is a truly great one, and it brings together millions of participants and sponsors every year. So what are some of the biggest cycling events that go beyond the sport itself and how do you organize one for a cause you care about?
Turning your love for cycling into a larger event
Organizing something that goes beyond your group of friends can be an interesting and rewarding challenge. It can also be a chaotic nightmare; it all depends on you the knowledge you accumulate and the preparation you do in advance. Organizing a big cycling event is no different. Take some of these things into consideration:
- Your cause - Communicate it very clearly. People will not be willing to participate on any level if they don’t know what it is exactly they are getting themselves into. Be precise about it too. A local cycling event with a global cause such as climate change can be a huge success, but you are more likely to draw people in if you choose something everyone is in some way affected by, for instance the city’s municipality deciding to demolish an old building at the centre of the city.
- Be transparent - If there is anything, and I mean anything, related to donations or financial matters in general, be crystal clear about how and where that money will go, when will it get there and what will be done with it. If you succeed and want to do more events like that, make sure you follow up on what the money has achieved and how it benefited the community.
- Hire someone who knows a thing or two about event planning - If the event is supposed to be any bigger than a few people, you will need help. Organizing events for a cause is great in that many will agree to contribute their knowledge free of charge.
Participating in a charity bike ride
There are countless of such events around the world, so it is really hard to pinpoint just a couple of them. If you are looking to join one, it’d be the easiest to just google information regarding such events around you and see whether there are ones you feel would be worth joining.
If you are simply looking for inspiration or trying to investigate how the process of cycling for a cause looks like, here are a few events you can take a look at:
- The Free Wheel Foundation – The RIDE 430 Challenge. It’s a cycling event in Arizona that is hoping to increase awareness of poor treatment of veterans. It raises funds to support veterans and their families as well as honour people fallen in fighting for their motherland. They managed to gather up more than $440,000, exceeding their initial $350,000 goal by a leap!
- The Supermarket Street Sweep - This is your inspiration for an alternative event of such kind! Hosted in San Francisco, it includes people on bikes riding across town, “sweeping” food from the supermarkets to support people living on the poverty line. It’s a great initiative that has provided over 300,000 meals over the time of its existence. Take note and go for something with a creative spin, just make sure to get permissions from all necessary places first!