Advise on a Bike run

Discussion in 'Road Trips/Touring' started by Twisted Noodle, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Twisted Noodle

    Twisted Noodle Member

    Hey all!

    I work for Northrop Grumman - Gulf Coast Shipbuilding. I am apart of a group within Northrop called "Connect1NG" that focuses on relations between the "Crafts", Engineering, and Management, as well as the community. One of the things we like to do is charity events. Now, in the past the chair / co chair positions in this group have consisted of Management and Engineering people. Me being a craft personnel, I just got elected as a "Community outreach" co-chair.

    Me also being a volunteer fireman/EMT from NY ( now living in Mobile Alabama) trying to take a little different approach than what has been done in the past. We have a budget we have to keep in mind, but I want this particular charity event to almost pay for itself as well as make a respectable donation to a local charity (which yet hasn't been named).

    Keeping my old fire hall in mind.. Thinking about the different events we have put on to raise money for the hall, we have never really had a budget to work with. Money was made selling tickets which also funded the prizes, etc.. We knew how many tickets we had to sell to break even, which was usually an easy task.

    Knowing there are 100's of bikers/people who ride their scoots to work, I think some sort of a bike run would be appropriate (not to mention keep me interested in organizing the event).

    I am looking for experiences any of you encountered on a run that you believe made that event a good time (we have to keep it family oriented). I am thinking about having a band (just because I have a connection in the business) at the end of the run. What do you feel was a good money maker? What should I look out for, obstacles, legalities, and such? I am looking to get my local HOG chapter involved and am also looking for sponsors for this event.

    Seeing this will be my first event to tackle, any info would be greatly appreciated. After all, this will end up going for a good cause.

    Thank you guys for your experience and wisdom...

    Nate Hopkins
  2. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    I feel like a police escort should be part of any charity ride like you're talking about. It's impossible to plan a route that doesn't involve some busy intersections and a uniformed LEO gets infinitely more respect in these situations than someone from HOG or anywhere else trying to control the intersection.

    The band sounds like a great idea - gets people to hang around after the ride. Probably wouldn't hurt to have a BBQ or some other type of food available for purchase afterwards, too. Pizza's cheap!

    Everyone that rides on 2 wheels seems to love a T shirt to remember the rides they've been on.

    Be sure to let us know what you come up with and when it is!
  3. whatyardwork

    whatyardwork Banned

    Charity runs can be great fun and raising money for a good cause is never bad thing.Heres a few things Ive seen that seemed very succesful.

    1.Choose a route thats a scenic ride with a couple of stops along the way.The route must be long enough to be enjoyable but short enough that a Sporty can make it without refueling.Wether local watering holes or Dunkin doughnuts.
    2.Talk to those establishments about the ride.Often they'll welcome the buisness and may even lay out a spread of finger food at no expense to you.They'll also hang flyers up letting people know when and where.
    3.Once you have a route with stops layed out inform the local PD.Nothing upsets a police dept. more than 300 bike rolling through there town unannounced.Plus the cause may just lend them to you for blocking intersections.Making a safer ride for everyone.
    4.Enlist some help and ride the route a few times just before the run..Nothing worse than running into road construction on the day of the run.
    5.Have some shirts made up.You may find a print shop that will contribute their skills for cost if they find the cause worthy.Seems most bikers just cant do a run without buying a shirt or 3.
    6.Have a backup plan or rain date prepaired and listed on the flyers.

    Hope these help.
  4. Twisted Noodle

    Twisted Noodle Member

    Great idea's guys, I am writing this all down.. Thank you for your input.
  5. jimweaver

    jimweaver Member

    Here's how it works up in the North. Pick and choose, something might help out.
    > Get the word out - Posters, flyers, emails. All the information included
    > Benefit for?
    > Start time and place - First bike out time
    > End destination - Last bike in time
    > Suggested Donation Single or Double (never fees, price or cost, always donation)

    >Route is the most important item on the run. Choose somewhere with less traffic and scenic.

    >You'll need volunteers -Lots of them.

    > For family runs, an observation run works great. Gets everyone invovled.

    > Start point could be anywhere, usually a bike shop - Harley or Aftermarket
    They like the business - Set up there with volunteers for sign up and information. Give them an hour for sign up time. Have them leave right after the sign up. Don't send them out all at once. They'll bunch up it smaller groups and hang out together for the day. Much safer that way.

    > At the start point, give every rider a sheet with the route, road by road, direction to turn at each intersection, distance between points and required stops. On the back of the route sheet, ask some questions about points of interests along the route. Name of Lake or River? When was that bridge built? When was that town established? Name of old church. Etc. You get the point. Don't make them stops, just pay attention along the route. Have volunteers at each required stop. Could be anywhere, parking lot, rest stop, any place with room for bikes to get in and out. Also gives people time to stretch and talk. We use bingo dabbers to mark the sheets showing that they made the stop. They're easy to use and come in different colors for each stop.

    > End of run depends alot on the budget. More volunteers, food, drinks, prizes. For the observation run sheets, people will usually miss required stops or points along the run, but why penalize them. It's family fun, they all enjoy the challenge of finishing the run. Have them sign the sheet, drop them in a bucket and draw for your prizes. Fair for everyone.

    Hope that helps - I could rattle on, but you get the point. First fundraiser is always tuff. But you'll get better at it. Have fun and ride safe.
  6. Twisted Noodle

    Twisted Noodle Member


    I have done something similar to this before but in a car. We called it a road rally. Great idea! I am going to try to incorporate this into the plan.
  7. martin14

    martin14 Active Member


    Could also throw in a poker run to enhance it.

    5 stops, at every stop a deck of cards.
    straight draw, 1 card each stop, rider gets sheet to keep track of cards drawn.
    Best hand at end gets 1/2 pot.. 5 or 10$ a hand.
  8. SledDog

    SledDog Senior Member Staff Member Moderator

    You may also need some type of insurance coverage for this event. Northrop may require it since your group is associated directly with the company. I'm sure they don't want to expose themselves to a lawsuit from someone that may have an accident/problem/oops I fell down and got a boo boo.

    Look into what type of release the riders may need to sign to protect your company sponsored group.

    It's sad but true that there are folks about that would sue at the drop of a hat.
  9. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    Hate to have to agree with Sleddog, but he's right. Run it by legal dept. If someone gets hurt on the run, they may see N.G.'s deep pockets as thier retirement plan.
  10. rscalzo

    rscalzo Member

    Defiantly a liability policy. also get legal advice on waivers for all participants.

    a police escort would be nice but budget cutbacks make this less and less possible. No department can afford overtime and these events require more than a few to assist.
    Some would suggest trying to get them to volunteer but that represents a major issue with their pensions and disability should one get injured. Even if they can't provide an escort, coordinate the routes so there isn't a major issue the day of the event. Nothing like a surprise of a large group of bikes going through without prior notice.

    Find other groups that have held these events and pick their brains. Blue Knights and local HOG chapters might be a good starting point.