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Thread: Feedback for New Event Idea?

  1. #1
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    Default Feedback for New Event Idea?

    I've been kicking around an idea for a bike race in my head for a while. I've discussed it with a few friends and they all thought it was good enough to share, so now I'm looking to y'all for any feedback. If enough people are game, I'd love to give it a try some time this summer!

    The motivation is to have something similar in format to an alleycat that is more safe/accessible and that takes almost no planning.

    The rules would be pretty simple:
    * Old paperback books are pre-placed at locations throughout Arlington
    * Riders are responsible for planning their own route to find as many books as possible in a certain amount of time.
    * Each participant has a race number. When they get to a book, they tear out and keep the page corresponding to their race number
    * (Note, this system isn't my idea. I stole it from a documentary that I watched about the Barcley Marathons)
    * Everyone gathers at some final location at a set time, and whoever has the most pages wins.

    And a few clarifications that would keep it safe and easy to plan:
    * Everyone who wants to participate is responsible for placing one book the morning of the event, and then retrieving their book after the event.
    * I like this because nobody is responsible for any special planning and nobody gets the advantage of being able to plan their route ahead of time.
    * If the group is too small, we may need more than one book/person. If that's the case, the locations for the extra books would be announced ahead of time.
    * The race starts at some central location, and everyone reports where they placed their book. I imagine having a giant map that everyone can mark, and then each participant can take pictures of/study the map.
    * The books would have to be in Arlington and within a block of an official off-street bike trail or a street that Google says is bike friendly. They wouldn't be hidden - probably placed by a bike rack
    * I imagine there's the chance that a book might grow legs and walk off at some point in the day. We'd need some sort of GroupMe text message system so that we could alert eachother if a book goes missing.
    * You have to show up at the designated meeting point on time, or your score doesn't count.
    * If we're feeling competitive, we could have a buy-in. Everyone pays $1 to enter, and whoever wins gets the money
    * If we did this, we'd have to have extra aggressive messaging about safety - it's up to each person to plan a safe route and ride safely and not put yourself or anyone else in danger!

    Anyone have any comments on the idea or any of the specific rules? If folks are interested in trying it, we'd just need to pick a date and advertise it. I imagine we could start at some central, neutral location(Gravelly Point Park?) on a Saturday around Noon, and then meet back at that same location 3 hours later.

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  3. #2
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    Poor books! Maybe they can print a sheet with the tear-off strips, the ones you used to see at grocery stores with classifieds and the phone # on the tear-off portions.

    Sounds like a neat thing. I think it'd be relatively straightforward to have everybody tag their stop in a google map at the start point, and have the race organizer share the map with all participants at the start of the race.

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  5. #3
    Steve O's Avatar
    Steve O is online now I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Do it. Double up with a post-event refreshment gathering, and I think you have a winner.

    Others have had good success with creating events and rides: Bicycle Fun Club, Midnight Saddles, Boundary Stone ride, highly popular Donut Rides, etc.
    The trick is to get the word out far and wide and keep hyping it.

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  7. #4
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    Do it. Everything good in the cycling community here is because someone had an idea, advertised it and didn't worry if 1 person showed up or 100 did.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  9. #5
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    Just had this idea pop into my head (warning: you are about to see a brief glimpse into my thoughts): looking at your original request of using books got me thinking, if each person has a distinct page #, then each person is going to end up with a nonsensical "story" based on those pages. This gets me thinking, it's not about the books themselves, how about the writing?

    What if, instead of a page # from a book, each location would have a bunch of random words/phrases (maybe on cards?), and the order would be designated by the location (each location gets a number that denotes the position of that word/phrase in a story). Each participant would grab one part at random from each location, and at the end of the ride, everyone would tell the story based on the parts they found.

    It'd be like a mashup of Mad Lib with the words/phrases coming from something like Cards Against Humanity (see Steve O's cycling version for added hilarity).

    Quick example:
    Story: (rider name) set out on a bike ride. First, they put on (#1 clothes) and ate (#2 food). Partway through their ride, they encountered (#3 group) which made them feel (#4 adjective). Finally, (rider name) made it to the bar and drank (#5 beverage) until they (#6 action). The end.

    Picking up cards at random from each location, Judd ends up with this story:
    Judd set out on a bike ride. First, they put on coveralls-that-don't-cover-all and ate raspberries stolen from the MVT by Steve O. Partway through their ride, they encountered a pack of pathletes which made them feel sticky. Finally, Judd made it to the bar and drank nectar of the cycling gods until they forgot how to clip out of their pedals. The end.

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  11. #6
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    I'd totally show up to this. And Bobco85's idea is great too!

    Maybe make it teams if enough people sign up so it can have a social aspect? I don't think that'd speed anything up, but it would make it more fun to bike around and hang out with at least one other person.

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  13. #7
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    All good suggestions - thanks!

    I like the idea of having it end at a bar, but I assume that'd mean we'd have to give them a heads' up that we're coming (and schedule a date that works for them), and everyone would have to be of legal drinking age. I liked the one bikearlington event that I went to at New District brewing in Shirlington. Any other nominations?

    Think 3 hours is a good time period? Think 'Arlington' is a good enough boundary? or should it expand to include more of the W&OD, Hains Point, etc?

  14. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmj7gh View Post
    Hains Point
    It should be entirely at Hains Point.

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  16. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmj7gh View Post
    All good suggestions - thanks!

    I like the idea of having it end at a bar, but I assume that'd mean we'd have to give them a heads' up that we're coming (and schedule a date that works for them), and everyone would have to be of legal drinking age. I liked the one bikearlington event that I went to at New District brewing in Shirlington. Any other nominations?

    Think 3 hours is a good time period? Think 'Arlington' is a good enough boundary? or should it expand to include more of the W&OD, Hains Point, etc?
    My serious answer is that *most* places can usually accommodate our bicycle crowds without prior warning as long as it's not the type of place where there is a hostess that seats tables. Fast casual dining places typically work great. Places with patios are awesome. Brewpubs work well.

  17. #10
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    Suggest New District Brewing.... Bike and dog friendly and WABA / BTWD have had events there before... plus, it's my friend's business, and I like to plug it. I may even benefit from it eventually... full disclosure.

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