Thursday, February 17, 2011

Big Cruiser Ride Update

Big Cruiser Ride update:
As some of you might know Bike Night/Bicylce Longmont teamed with a promoter to help put on the big Cruiser Ride this summer. We are targeting , Saturday, June 18th for the ride. Our promoter is the same outfit that puts on and coordinates the Urban Assault Rides held all over the US, previously the New Belgium Fat Tire Festivals, and the new Diva Dash in Austin TX. We’re excited to be working with these guys.
Lastnight, they presented us with a budget for the big cruiser ride, which is why I’m writing this message to you. We want to make this event free for all to participate. In order to get the cruiser ride off the ground we need to raise money to promote and organize the event. We’re hoping to get one major sponsor and two to three other sponsors. Our promoter is confident they could get 1,000, upwards to 2,000 people to this event. That’s a lot of exposure.

My vision for this cruiser fundraiser is to have it annually. To bring people into Longmont and show them what an excellent town we have. The long term vision is to grow into a festival that was our way to kick off Colorado Bike Week. Think of it like the Sturgis/Interbike/Veloswap/Handcrafted Bike Show of Longmont/Northern Colorado.

But that is a few years down the trail.

First we have to have a successful first ride. I’m throwing this out there to the Bike Night nation because I know Bike Night draws from a eclectic crowd. We need to raise approximately $20,000. That’s a lot of cha-ching. However we’re hoping, as I mentioned, we could get upwards to 4 sponsors. Our major sponsor would get naming rights to the cruiser ride and the ubiquitous banners etc. This level would be in the neighborhood of $7,000-$10,000. The other levels would be $6,999 and less.

Bicycle Longmont and the Holiday Bike Program are the benefactors of the Ride. Bicycle Longmont is a 501-C3 and the Holiday Bike Program is Bicycle Longmont’s hallmark program. We estimate over 8,000 bikes have been given to area kids since 1988. In 2010, we gave away approximately 440 bikes and took in nearly 600 donated bikes. Those we didn’t give away to area children were brought to Community Cycles in Fort Collins and other non-profits.

If you have leads or are intouch with companies willing to donate money please have them email me at

Thanks for your kind consideration.



Anonymous said...

Definitely not criticizing this effort, and I'll support it 100% but Ft. Collins has a bike parade every early September through their old town area that draws 2000+ costumed riders, including grandma's, children, kollege kids, middle-aged hipster wanna-be's, and professors. Oh, and it's free, the ride ends up at a beer factory, and gets bigger every year. How would the proposed Longmont event be different, other than charging a fee to ride?

Pea Picker

Kragerud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kragerud said...

I suppose that is the fundamental question, right?

Ours would be free as well.

The main difference would be that the ride is in Longmont, not Fort Collins or Denver or Boulder.

There have been a lot of people talking about doing something like this here for quite a while. Bicycle Longmont decided to give it a go and see what happens.

I think Longmont has a lot to offer. Maybe more than most people realize.

We're testing the water to see if there is support out there for a bike festival. We'd like to see this be a multi year thing.

Personally, when I started Bike Night some people I talked with from other communities laughed at the idea of a cruiser ride in Longmont. Most comments were: Longmont could never support a weekly cruiser ride. I guess I underestimated the cycling community, too, but in a different way. I thought when I started Bike Night that it would be rolling party.

I underestimated how the community would support it and that the community would come together and make it there own.

The ride is shaped by those who show up. Longmont is a haven for young families. Young families tend to show up most often. Therefore our rides tend to be more G - PG rated than the rolling party idea. I'm glad for that.

We've had a lot of people join our ride and some who have said our ride is just like Boulder's ride back in the glory days before the college kids and drunk high school kids took it over. I'm not saying one ride is better than another, ours is just different.

I think that's a complement.

Bike Night has grown over the years, it has been slow and steady but, things are coming together.

I think that there are a lot of people who want to get on bikes and go for a mellow cruise around town. That's what Longmont offers. Longmont is more laid back and we don't have the college students that Boulder or Fort Collins have. What we do have are a lot of young families with kids, retirees, divorcees, school teachers and beer lovers. The common thread is these are people who are active or are discovering new ways to get active and to stay active.

keeping these groups in mind might shape the way our ride would be different.

Ryan Kragerud - Bike Night

Anonymous said...

Good points, Ryan, and great to hear that the Longmont ride will be free. I think you may be underestimating the G-rating-ness of the Ft. Collins ride. It starts at 10 AM; heck, the hard core partiers aren't even awake at that time. Lots of kids, infant, tag-a-longs etc. in their event, and parents take pride in outfitting the whole family with a costume theme. Grandparents and relatives can be seen cheering and cowbelling streetside as the parade goes by. The weekly Boulder cruiser ride, I'll give you, is not family-friendly! One angle that the Longmont event could perhaps use is that it won't be as crowded as Ft. Collins, sort of a "Don't Fence Me In" theme. Heck, it takes 30 minutes to get your feet on both pedals in that claustrophobic ride. I'm all for going local and doing things in our own town. The challenge will be to differentiate the Longmont event and create our own tradition. Family-friendliness is a good start but it by itself is not enough to create some separation from the parade to the north.

Rob Zabrecky said...

I want to comment on the post about the Tour de Fat. I have been doing that ride for years, but no more. The problem is that it is TOO BIG and completely disorganized. But it doesn't have to be that way. One of the problems is that they DON"T charge for that event. A minimal fee would bring their numbers down to a reasonable level while giving them the needed cash to purchase a proper permit (think BolderBoulder). As it is right now the ride portion of TdF has to stop at major intersections to let vehicle traffic through. You don't see that with BB, why? They have the money to get the permit. The last time I did TdF I had to walk the first mile! For the most part TdF is a zoo of college kids and young adults who are really there to drink beer and party after the ride.
I would like to see an event that is more focused on the bike portion and not a big advertisement for one beer company.

Anonymous said...

RZ would prefer for a bike theme to triumph over beer but yet the proposed Big Longmont Cruiser ride ends up at a beer garden. It's revenue from that beer garden that will be used to purchase cases of tubes used to fix up kids bikes in November. And who knows, if a title sponsor or two is found, they may be a suds company that would get first-class naming rights to the event. We really can't ignore the brew factor here in this center of excellence of famous craft brewers: the Longmont Symphony, for example, raises a ton of money from $5 pints at Oktoberfest. Ah yes, the Bolder Boulder. At $40+ an entrant, they certainly have the financial latitude to do a platinum-type event, with all of the permitting. I'm sure that they also get incentives and waivers from the city for bringing in millions of dollars to the city's general fund over Memorial Day weekend. The proposed Longmont cruiser ride, I agree, will be attractive vs. TdF because it is a continuous ride with no stops, and hopefully entrants can start riding right away when the starting whistle blows!

Rob Zabrecky said...

Yes I said that I would like to see an event that is more focused on the bike portion and not a big advertisement for one beer company. Nowhere did I say that beer should not be involved. What I am saying is that TdF is screwed up and not the type of event that I want to attend any longer. I think there can be a better event not focused on the beer (or one beer company) but on the bikes. I am also not sure that this event is my answer either.

Kragerud said...

Good comments. Rob, thanks for your insights to your experiences at the TdF. I, too, agree rides can get to large. I don't think that's what we'd like for the Longmont ride. However, we have to start somewhere. I'd like to know what we could do to differentiate this ride from Fort Collins, Boulder, & Denver? I agree the family friendly thing will only go so far, what else could be done. We're hoping to have a live band at the after party and DJ's at the stops. This all is contingent on funding, of course.

Let me know your thoughts.

Ryan Kragerud

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