In 2012, Ride Directors across Alabama came together with the idea that by working together through their websites, social media, and newsletters, they would be able to promote all events and therefore increase their donations to many worthy charities and causes across the State.
In 2013, the plan materialized with 10 rides being part of the 1st Annual Alabama Backroads Century Series. Our “incentives” were to provide quality Centurion medals to those achieving each century option, to urge cyclists to complete at least 4 centuries, and eventually reward those who conquered 1,000 miles with the Champion jersey and annual Champion Banquet.
For the past few years, we have been fortunate to work with 13 Ride Directors in offering 13 event opportunities to our cyclists, giving them an even better chance at becoming a Champion. We strive to include rides in many locations across the State; however, our main goal is to provide events that are safe, well organized and supported. We will continue to try our best to offer 13 rides as they appear to offer these qualities.
As a 501(c)(3) organization, the ABCS Board of Directors makes the decision on invitations into the Series according to each event’s contribution to the Series in general.
With the success and growth of the Series, we want to share some of the criteria used in inviting these events into the Series and how these events can succeed and remain part of the ABCS.
WHAT WE LOOK FOR IN AN EVENT
- Updated website with date for following year, or expected date if headquarter approval is in process.
- Headquarters which provide ample parking and rest rooms/porta potties, and shower facilities on site or provided in the area
- Event organizers including bicyclist(s) who are aware of the Series and have used social media to promote the rides
- Events that are established for at least one year with a Director and planning committee (including bicyclists) who are aware of the Series and its benefits and who are willing to work in partnership with all ABCS events in co-promoting through their website, social media, and newsletters.
- Events which support a worthy charity or cause
WHAT THE SERIES REQUIRES FROM ITS EVENTS:
- Online registration opened at least 6 months prior to event date.
- Host Hotel information on website 3 months prior to event
- Establish and maintain an active event Facebook page
- Follow all ABCS event pages and the ABCS page
- Promote all events by sharing information with a minimum of one post per week
- With invitation to the Directors’ Private Facebook page, indicate that a post has been understood by clicking the Like button or by making a comment.
- Provide updated logo and information for medal designs by January 1 All events pay for their own medals ($2.56 each) with the Series paying the $40 design fee and shipping.
- Prior to event: Share online registrant spreadsheet including name, bib number, phone, mailing address, and email address for the purpose of event day sign in
- Post-event: Share contact information of registrants, including weekend sign-ups, in order to send surveys and newsletters
- Provide 2 volunteers to assist with event day sign-in and reception
- All events provide a post-ride lunch. Breakfast is a big plus, but an offering of fruit and packaged breakfast items is encouraged.
- Include the ABCS logo on apparel, banners, promotions
- Provide up to 3 comp rides for ABCS volunteers working sign-in
- Provide accurate Ride with GPS route maps showing rest stop locations, including at minimum 3 routes (ex: 32, 63, and at least 100 miles)
- Provide bib numbers and color-coded wristbands with coordinating numbers and emergency contact information
- Provide clearly marked road signage with 3 before a turn followed by one confirmation arrow after the turn.
- Safe send-offs, which include waves rather than mass release with experienced century riders going out first.
- Communications between SAG drivers, rest stops, and headquarters, preferably ham radio operators
- Law enforcement presence at send-off and busy intersections
- Provide ABCS a contact sheet including rest stop and SAG cell numbers
- Minimum of 5 rest stops on century route
- Minimum of 3 SAG drivers on century route
- EMT’s stationed at central rest stop or on call
- Sweep driver/rider to communicate where last rider is located
- Event Directors or member(s) of the planning committee must attend the annual ABCS Director’s meeting in January.
- Signed contract agreeing to above plus $100 non-refundable application fee. Mail to: Alabama Backroads Century Series, 703 Main Ave., Northport, Al. 35476
BENEFITS TO THE EVENTS:
- Buffalo Rock sponsor benefits
- 5 Cases Pepsi
- 4 Cases Diet Pepsi
- 5 Cases Mountain Dew
- 4 Cases Diet Dew
- 5 Cases Dr. Pepper
- 25 Cases of Aquafina
- 1 Case of Gatorade Powder
- Banners Limit 10
- 15 barrel coolers, shared by all rides
- Truck backs advertising the Series
- Cash sponsorship to support the Series, including printing & distribution of save your dates cards, Champion jerseys, advertising, patches, shipping, etc. sponsor benefits
- Primal Wear sponsor benefits
- Excellent apparel pricing which can greatly benefit your event profits and promotion.
- Champion jerseys, the incentive to do more of our rides!
Benefits provided by ABCS:
- Newsletters promoting each event which goes out to 7,500 contacts
- Social Media exposure – 2,300+ followers
- 15,000 Save-the-Date cards
- Assistance in being listed on sites such as Gran Fondo Guide, BikeRides.com, and other popular online sites
- Series website with your own information page including link to your website, registration, social media