Monday, September 8, 2008

SpokeFest v1

With 1200 riders the first year, this event was an unqualified success.

The vision for this event was from Bill Bender. Bill is a morning ride guy. In fact, I think it's his ride that he started 18 years ago. This is a ride that hammers the Hangman loop at like 5:30 AM. Bill's day job is neurology. He jumped into the SpokeFest thing head first and just started making it go. He pulled together a board of people; got sponsors; and generally did stuff. I've talked about idea guys before. Bill is a doer. I'm impressed with his ability to pull this together.

The range of cyclists that attended this event was impressive: from the fully kitted out team cyclist to the "this is the first time I've ridden my bike this year" family guy.

I'm curious to see how this event shakes out for next year. It should be clear to the sponsors, cyclists, and vendors that were wary of participating in the version 1 SpokeFest, that there is interest for this event and that it's likely to be a successful yearly event.

I hope the various segments of the cycling community are able to engage earlier in the planning so that we have an even broader range of cycling representation at the expo.

As I think about the expo/finish line, I'm hoping we'll see a much bigger swap and more (and healthier) food choices next year.

I want to see more bike shops there. Given the timing of SpokeFest, this is a golden opportunity for bike shops to come out and strut their new bike models for the upcoming year.

Bike manufacturers, vendors, and service providers that are local or semi-local (Hairy Gary, Atoc racks, Raliegh/Novara/Redline design teams, Silver Tours, etc) should have a booth there.

A BMX and dirt jumping demo would rule. Maybe a small CX demo course for people to try out. A track stand competition and free style competition would be fun to watch.

Gather a bunch of different load hauling bikes so people could get a feel for how different bikes handle loads.

It would be great to have a booth where the local clubs/teams (SRV, FBC, Spokane Bike Club, Emde, etc) could tell their stories and cultivate new members.

BAB should be there with educational material and with maps and an updated story about the overall Master Bike Plan progress.

BAW should be there in a similar way. This year they pushed the swap, but next year we should see a booth that explains who they are and what they do to get more members signed up.

P2P should have a bigger presence. P2P was there swapping, but fielded way more questions about what we do and where we do it and how people could get involved.

I'm starting to sound like an idea guy here. I haven't even gotten to the riding part...


Anonymous said...

This just in! Ice cream is a HEALTHY food option...silly.

bleckb said...

Well said, and those are some great ideas for next year. Print this out and bring it to the next BAB meeting and give it to Bill. The day rocked but I was worried for a few folks who I could tell had not serviced their bike for quite a long time, nor exercised. I'm hoping the folks who were pushing up some of the hills won't be turned off but will see this as a challenge to ride more and get healthier. It was a fantastic day all the way around and a great start to a great event.

Dave said...

Thanks for the great comments and suggestions. I'm will email a link of your blog to the other SpokeFest board members tonight to ensure your good ideas are heard by all. And thank you for participating in the finish area festivities. David Silver

liza said...

i would love to see more wacky bike stuff next year. i saw the 2 tall unicyclists and verne playing his french horn on the tandem, but i still want more crazy, fun bike related things happening. either demos (like you mentioned with the bmx demo) or with participants. fun for the kids, families and "normal" cyclists who might enjoy the entertainment factor.

Anonymous said...

I really like the ideas you had for making the event more than just a 20-mile ride and more of a full day of bicycle-related activities. The one that I don't think would be "fun to watch": a track stand competition. Seriously, who wants to stand around and watch cyclists not riding their bikes... :-)

The Editor said...

I had alot of fun, maybe next year we could get the city to give us a full lane on govt way instead of trying to cram us all into the shoulder. Also, after months of reading everyone elses blogs I have finally broken through to the next level of nerddom and created my own.