The Colorado Springs Chapter of the Women on Wheels (r) puts on the Annual Breast Cancer Awareness ride on the first Saturday of October.
For those of you that have never participated in planning an event--it is a lot of hard work!! Our ride is a 'test your memory' ride. At the stops, there are questions that are asked on that leg of the stop. It's pretty difficult!!! After all, how many red lights are on the traffic signal at Peterson and Stetson Hills?? Geez!!
The chapter typically starts talking about the run in March or so. We start forming committees--advertising/pr, donations, route committee, safety, stops, and the list goes on. I typically help on the route committee and help determine the stops.
This year was no exception. The route committee usually gets together to rough out the ride. We have some parameters: number of stops (usually 4), distance (about 100 miles). We have to be careful of the traffic. The first Saturday of the month usually has an Air Force football game and TRAFFIC!! And we try to avoid the mountain area and going too far north. October in Colorado can mean cold temps and SNOW.
Our first meeting roughs out the ride and we talk about the stops. What places will accomodate 250+ motorcycles? Not that they all come in at once, but rather in groups. Not too much traffic as well as convenient parking. Not too many unprotected left turns due to turning against oncoming traffic. Avoiding hot spots. One year our route went though Old Colorady City--in the middle of some parade!!
There are some great ideas and suggestions. Eventually, a route takes shape and then the work really begins. Mileage and timing. This year the event HAS to end at 4:30 pm. We have to reverse engineer the timing and have everyone in by 3:00. It's critical for us this year since our end stop was at Cowboy's East--and their line dancing lessons start at 5:00.
Over a period of a few months, the route takes place. We map out the detailed route. Set the stops and ask permission of the local businesses if we can designate their establishment as a stop and post questions. Stops have to be spaced evenly apart and be timely and not overly complicated.
The process of riding the route starts. Various route commitee members ride the route. Count mileage and time the stops. We have to leave time for fuel stops and lunch. And still be in by 3:00.
A couple of weeks before the ride, we start collecting the questions. This year, the group set out by cage (that's car) and we officially timed the ride and hashed out the questions. Easy but not too easy. Obvious but not too much. What color was the roof of Platte Floral??
Once all the questions are finalized, they are published and sent off to the registration commitee so the packets can be assembled. You'd think we are finished.
Not so. The morning of the ride, there is a group that sets out to check the route. Making sure that the "what color is the barn on Smith Highway" question is still correct. One year it was a question and come to find out that the owners painted their barn! The nerve of them!! We also have to put up the questions on each of the stops.
The other committees have been busy too. Donations, advertising, printing, PR....all have been busy busy busy. This year the donations committee collected from over 150 sponsors in excess of $5,000 in prizes....in a "down" economy! We were hoping to come close to last year....could we make another $10,000 donation for Breast Cancer Awareness??
All the work was done...all that was left was to wait for the date. October 3rd. And pray for decent weather......we did what we could.
Now all that was left was the ride.............
Until next time
Keep the Shiny Side Up!
~The Rainbow Wahine