Cyclists are a hardcore crowd. And with so many cycling events with cool themes, special locations, and rider perks, it can be difficult to attract the numbers you want to yours.
To stand out, you need to make your event speak to directly to your desired audience. Cyclists know their stuff. Show them that you do, too, with these six tips.
1. Run bike maintenance classes pre-event
Add more value to your big day by teaching riders the best way to pump up tires or do a quick tuneup on the road. Cycling events can be long and physically demanding, so an informed attendee is a happy one. By preparing your participants for what might happen on race -day, you’re showing them that you care about their full experience — not just the price of their registration.
2. Host training rides
Does your event have a difficult course or a lot of young participants? Give your participants the chance to prepare their bodies and minds by hosting a full or partial training ride. The pace or location doesn’t need to be the same as your event — in fact, it’s a great way to introduce your participants to a secret riding spot — but a low-pressure practice sesh will make them feel more confident and excited about the real thing.
Bonus: training rides give strangers an opportunity to connect and bond before the event. That means when race day comes around, you’ll have a community that’s ready to rock and roll.
3. Partner with local businesses to drum up excitement for your cycling event
Get in touch with local businesses and ask if they would like to participate in your cycling event, whether as sponsors, merch booths, or hosts of a maintenance class or practice ride. Getting the community involved is the first step to fostering long-lasting relationships while also getting the word out about your event.
Did you know? Cyclists make great fundraisers, so cycling events make an idea fundraiser for a cause. Dedicated cyclists and runners are typically high income earners and socially well connected. In Australia, they raise on average $1,600 per fundraiser on charitable giving platform, Everydayhero.
4. Encourage costumes or other unifying symbols at your cycling event
Hundreds of cyclists pouring down the street in matching merch create a great visual story about your event, as well as the perfect content for your social accounts. Even if you can’t afford branded bibs, consider investing in something smaller, like hats, socks, or armbands — anything you can’t miss in a crowd.
You can also consider a unifying colour or costume theme. Have everyone come in all black or white, provide cheap glow stick bracelets for a night ride, or have participants decorate their helmets or wear loud shirts. The possibilities are endless, especially if your event takes place around a holiday.
5. Keep your route diverse — and safe
Even with maintenance classes and practice rides, your participants still need support at your actual cycling event. Provide bike tune-up stations and rest stops along your route. By ensuring your participants’ gear is in tip-top shape and setting out essentials like water, sunscreen, and first-aid, you can reduce the chance of injuries at your event. Even having an unconventional break area — like a small dance-and-stretch party — can keep people pumped to reach that finish line.
6. Make the finish line a full experience
The end of your race should be more than a simple congratulations — use it to bring your cycling community together and create memories. Here are just a few things you can organise past the finish line:
- Partner with local food vendors to provide great eats to hungry cyclists
- Curate an end-of-race performance (bands, magicians, or dance crews)
- Offer swag bags for participants chock full of branded and sponsor goodies
- Let attendees in on perks they can enjoy post-race, like stickers for bike helmets that get them discounts at local businesses
Get your cycling event out there
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