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How Much will You Pay to Ride a Century? What a Supported Ride SHOULD Cost


As some of you know, I am quite involved in my local bicycle club.  I’m the President.  We put on a local ride every year that draws between 400 and 800 cyclists (this year was just shy of 500).

Before I tell you how much the ride cost, let me start with this:

There are five routes ranging from 25 to 100 miles.  The roads are marked for each route, by volunteers.  Volunteers sweep the dangerous, gravel laden intersections (I am one of the volunteers for that).  Volunteers and club members staff the four rest stops.  We had, this year:  Bananas, homemade cookies, peaches, watermelon, grapes, pickles and peanut butter and jelly sammiches.  We had water and Gatorade as well.  This is at each of the rest stops.  When we were finished we were treated to Coney dogs, watermelon, a bag of chips and just about any kind of soda you could want.  Routes were SAG supported by volunteers and several motorcyclists as well.

Custom cycling caps commemorating the ride were $20 and ride tee-shirts were $16 – or you could get one of each for $30.  These were not included in the price of registering.

Proceeds went to our not for profit cycling club and will be used to fund cycling clinics and programs that have yet to be fully planned (we didn’t make much, but we did make enough to make a difference).

The only down-side is that no roads were closed or monitored by police during the ride.

Pre-registration was $15
Late and Day Of registration was $20.

Watch what you pay and what is stocked at the rides you do.  Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth and not funding some knucklehead’s endless summer.  These things aren’t that expensive to put on.

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13 Comments

  1. I like the idea of paying extra if you want a shirt and not having it included into the fee of the event.

    I would like to chat with you about organizing a event, if you have time sometime. I have worked as race director of youth triathlon and indoor, but never a century.

    Thanks for all you do.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Absolutely. Shoot me an email at BDJ.fitrecovery (at) gmail (dot) com

      I’ll reply with my cell number. Of course, fair being fair, I don’t know much about putting one of these shindigs on, there are much more involved people than I.

  2. naomi2elizabeth says:

    Actually amazed at how cheap that is! Here in the UK it’s not often you get something like that… I reckon you’d be looking at £50 as pretty much a minimum though I’m not sure exactly what that is in dollars. Maybe I should consider a move, I reckon the cycling must be awesome in the US

    • bgddyjim says:

      No doubt about it, it’s good riding over here. Last I heard the exchange rate was pretty close, that’s maybe $60. That’s a lot of cash to ride a bike!

  3. Dan says:

    I agree with naomi2. That’s incredibly cheap for what you’re giving. It does make a difference with the shirts/hats being sold separately, which I think is a splendid idea. Most I’ve done have been around $35 and it included the t-shirt.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Interestingly enough, do the math and with the shirt, it’s $31… just four dollars off. I need another tee-shirt like I need a hit in the head!

      Most of the rides I do are $35 as well. The Assenmacher 100 is the cheapest, best staffed, one day ride in the State. I only offered this as a benchmark to show what they cost to put on.

      A local group had actually considered charging $70 for a simple 100k ride and it’s had me fired up ever since…

  4. zoeforman says:

    Sportive costs in UK vary greatly from those run by local cycle clubs wanting you to enjoy the experience to the huge organisations looking for profit
    I like the option to buy cap or tshirt if you want them
    Think your costs are spot on even with our crappy conversion rate $ to £

  5. Nice to know. Thank you 😉

  6. Yeah the UK mob that run most of the events is a serious profit making machine that can charge in excess of £50 for a ride (but you do get a medal, haha). People are willing to pay that though so in a way you can’t blame them for cashing in on the cycling boom and making some coin. After all that’s what a business is all about. There are AUDAX rides that are around £10 and various clubs that do cheap events or donate any profits to charity. I’d much rather support those ones.

    Hell for the £50 many Sportives cost I could buy a hell of a lot of mid-ride cake!

    • bgddyjim says:

      I know that’s right, brother! Some are worth it… I do one in Kentucky, about six hours from my house, that costs $135… it’s two days, 180 miles and you get two good dinners and the rest stops are stocked so well, it’s gotten silly.

      Then there are those that cost $35 and they five you a $7 tee-shirt and only stock bananas, oranges and water at the rest stops!

  7. Archetype says:

    20 BUCKS! That’s it!? Man, that is a sweet, super deal Jim. Here in NJ/NY area we get completely scammed. I stopped riding in these so-called charity rides. The cheapest and one I will keep riding (the only one) is Miles for Matheny. 25 bucks.But most rides here are in the rip-off region of 50, 60,(this is the low end) then 75, 120 and for the insanely fee of only 180…you too can ride Gran Fondo NJ or NY…

    -to those who partake in a ride paying nearly 200 dollars…I say, good for you dummy! LMAO.

    I don’t care what the charity is, how many rest stops, what type of food, blah, blah, blah…as the apologists like to spew their talking points (rhetoric from the playbook) when you spend upwards of 100 or more dollars to ride on public roads…you sir or madame are a sucker in my opinion…

    • bgddyjim says:

      Now see, I’ll pay $75 (I think that’s what it costs) for both my wife and I, so that’s $150, to ride the Horsey Hundred in Kentucky but that’s a two-day ride and we get a dinner an lunch out of the deal, plus all of the rest stops are stocked to the gills. On immaculate roads with a decent police presence. It’s worth that for my wife and I to get away for a weekend with my cycling buds… but a local ride? No more than $35, with the exception of DALMAC… DALMAC is a huge excursion though, over four days and involving the hauling of tents and luggage to each stop, plus breakfast and dinner each day.

      In other words, I’ve gotta get something good out of it to pay the big bucks.

      Anything over $35 is nuts, for a simple ride, IMAO.

      Thanks man.

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