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costs for organized century/metric rides in your area(68 posts)

costs for organized century/metric rides in your areatarwheel
Apr 30, 2002 4:05 AM
It seems like most of the organized century and metric rides in my area (NC) charge $30 to participate now, which is a lot of money -- for me -- to pay for riding. I know it costs money to operate sags, supply food and drinks, etc., and some of the receipts usually go to a charity, but $30 is more than a trivial sum -- it'll buy a decent tire, half of a saddle, new chain, etc.

What are ride organizers charging in other areas? Most of these rides are $25 if you register a month ahead of time, but I'm one of those slackers who register on the day of the ride because I won't do a long ride if it's raining outside. The other thing is that most organizers seem to think everyone wants a T-shirt, which inflates the registration costs. I could care less about having another t-shirt to add to my collection and would rather save the extra $10. Would ya'll think? Am I a cheap bastard or are ride organizers getting carried away?
re: costs for organized century/metric rides in your areanetso
Apr 30, 2002 4:22 AM
In my area they charge $30-$40. They charge less if you do not want a T-Shirt. If you knew the problems encountered to set these up, you would gladly pay. You are cheap!
re: costs for organized century/metric rides in your areapmf1
Apr 30, 2002 4:22 AM
I find an organized century to be a great deal. I get to ride somewhere that I usually don't ride, have the course all mapped out so I don't have to worry too much about getting lost and have some support (I've never used it) and some food stops. An entire day's worth of entertainment for $30. Cheaper than going to a movie in dollars per hour. Yeah, I'm an economist.

I've paid anywhere from $15 to $50 for a century. Usually its around $25. I like getting a t-shirt although I agree that after you have 87 of them, another one has limited value. Also, why long sleeve t-shirts? I hate these things. I wish they'd give other things away instead. The best freebie I ever got was a nice pair of cycling socks. Can't ever have enough pairs of socks. What urks me more is when they have some "fancy" dinner afterward. The more expensive ones always seem to have dinners afterward consisting of crappy over-cooked pasta and greasy meat. This is proudly displayed in the ride flyer. All you can eat. I never partake. I'd rather make my own food or stop someplace. Make it an option. A few hotdogs is great, some stupid catered meal is not. I also wish food stops along the ride stocked salty stuff as well as sweet stuff. At mile 80, I really don't crave cookies anymore. And have a porta potty at every stop.

The most expensive one I do is the Seagull in Maryland. This ride is overcrowded (7000 people), deadly flat (boring) and not very scenic unless you like the smell of chicken manure. Its the first one I ever did and I feel compelled to do it every year even though its gone up to $50. I did it for the 10-th time in a row last year.

You can always make up your own century. I do that often, but I still prefer the organized ones.
Oh and ps ---pmf1
Apr 30, 2002 4:24 AM
you are cheap.
admittedly ...tarwheel
Apr 30, 2002 5:41 AM
I honestly don't mind paying the $30 when it's going to a good cause. Eg, I'm riding a century this weekend that's $30 with all the proceeds going to the Kidney Foundation. It's just that all these fees start to add up, limiting the number of organized rides I can participate in. My main point, really, is that organizers ought to just forgo the t-shirts, or make them optional, and reduce the fees for the tightwads or budget-constrained riders.
admittedly ...pmf1
Apr 30, 2002 5:48 AM
Don't feel so bad. My wife rides most of the centuries I do, so I end up paying around $50 or $60 a pop. Still worth it to me.

I do agree that t-shirts and dinner should be optional. It also urks me that if you sign up early, you get a t-shirt. If you sign up late, no t-shirt and it costs $5 more.
admittedly ...EZRider
Apr 30, 2002 5:51 AM
T shirts are optional on all the rides in Chicago area, however they still charge an arm and a leg. You should be happy you are at least getting something for you money other than stale cookies and bruised fruit.
admittedly ...RadicalRonPruitt
Apr 30, 2002 7:45 AM
We all pitch in to pay for one persons ride fee, then we have that person get food and benefits for us. It works well, and it cuts your cost mega dudes!
That's not cheap it's dishonest (nm)salmonwheel
Apr 30, 2002 8:40 AM
Oh and ps ---RadicalRonPruitt
Apr 30, 2002 7:43 AM
Yes I am, and proud of it actually. Now what were we talking about?
Chicken ManureGregory Taylor
Apr 30, 2002 6:30 AM
Oh man, you had to bring that up. My nostrils are twitching. I remember one Seagull a few years ago -- we were just outside of Berlin, riding into a headwind when the breeze started to bring in this just godawful smell. The chicken manure smell taken to a higher order. It was so bad that I thought that the paint on my bike was about to blister. It was this way for a mile or two.

Anyway, it turns out that a farmer had parked his full manure spreader next to the road, and we were downwind...
Chicken ManureSpoke Wrench
Apr 30, 2002 6:45 AM
If you think chicken manure smells bad, stay away from the big pork feed lots. Even the country folk complain about them.
Even worse ...pmf1
Apr 30, 2002 9:09 AM
I was doing a century in North Carolina once, riding with a pack going pretty fast. Right before we round a corner, this truck full of chicken manure pulls out in front of us and proceeded almost the same speed as we were traveling. We had to follow that thing for about five miles. It was brutal.
...and I agree with most of your comments about the SeagullGregory Taylor
Apr 30, 2002 9:18 AM
I think that the Seagull hit its saturation point last year with 7000 riders. I've done it a bunch of times, but last year it just seemed WAY more crowded that in the past. I'll do it again because it is a club "tradition" and still a fun time. I'm thinking of doing it next year on the fixie -- 52 x 16 gearing should allow me to cover ground in an adequate fashion.
I'll be therepmf1
Apr 30, 2002 9:39 AM
Even though its way over-priced, way over-crowded and way, way ugly and boring, I'll do it every year that I can. #11 in a row this year. The tradition part is what keeps it going and growing. For many people, its the pinnacle of what they accomplish on a bike for the year. I see folks with the stickers on their helmets months later. Its truly a monumental gathering of bike nerds.

The crowd part has seemed pretty bad to me for the past 5-6 years. Before that, it was better. The first 15 miles or so these days is almost dangerous. The bikes are amazing. Only place I've ever seen a Colnago C-35 in real life. And I'll never forget that 13 year old kid I rode up next to on about mile 96 one year. He was on a mtn bike, wearing jean cut-offs, tennis shoes, a t-shirt and a backpack. Looked like he was ready to die.
Ride PiratesEZRider
Apr 30, 2002 4:48 AM
I am a ride pirate. I don't care what everyone thinks. Personaly, I think the $25 to $50 they charge in the Chicago area is a little steep to ride on roads I ride throughout the year anyway on, and some stale cookies that people have touched and breathed on. I ride and I don't use thieir facilities. If I have a mechanical I fix it. I don't need their sag wagons. The food isn't ever good afterwards. I think $15 is fair, $20 if they are giving a t shirt out, since t shirts are cheap, but they just want too much money for these rides.
Its called charitypmf1
Apr 30, 2002 5:26 AM
The vast majority of century rides I do are for some charity or cause. I did one Saturday for a volunteer fire dept. The whole idea behind it is that yes, you pay more than it costs and the excess money goes to something worthwhile.

I'd be ashamed to show up and ride someone's organized ride without paying. Sure, its on public roads. But if you wouldn't be there if the ride wasn't, then you are taking advantage of the organizers. Someone, who didn't get paid, got out there and mapped out the course and painted arrows on the road. At the minimum, you're using that. If everyone were like you, these rides wouldn't exist. And that would be a shame because many of us enjoy them and it helps raise money for good causes.
Actually its called "fun."Spoke Wrench
Apr 30, 2002 5:41 AM
I kind of think you must feel you are getting some kind of benefit or you wouldn't choose to ride those particular roads on that particular day. It sounds to me like you think that their charge is too high for the benefit you percieve so you choose to rip them off by paying nothing.
Why is it ripping them off if...?EZRider
Apr 30, 2002 6:00 AM
How am I ripping them off if...

#1, I am riding on roads that I ride on anyway, and I pay taxes to keep the upkeep of these roads?

#2 I don't use their facilities and food. I stop at the Casey's General Store for food and bathroom?

#3 I don't use their sag support?
Actually,Spoke Wrench
Apr 30, 2002 6:15 AM
you're the one who referred to yourself as a "Ride Pirate."

You indicated all of the benefits that you don't use, but you negelected to say why you choose to participate in the ride. Personally, I think its because you find it more fun to ride with a big group of bicyclists that only occurs at organized events.

You can rationalize it anyway you want, but if you didn't feel at least a little bit guilty, the topic wouldn't have come up.
Why is it ripping them off if...?jtolleson
Apr 30, 2002 7:11 AM
I'm one of those who hates event crashers.

First, why is it you want to be there, on those exact roads, on that exact day? My guess it is for a host of reasons (even if it isn't the cookies and gatorade every 15 miles)... such as the atmosphere of a group ride, the safety of a marked a populated route, the precision of a preplanned route over a specified distance, etc.

You are benefitting from the organizers little labor of love, whether you recognize it or not. And usually there is a charity involved (or even just a needy club). So, why not cough up the dough?
Why is it ripping them off if...?RadicalRonPruitt
Apr 30, 2002 7:49 AM
They charge too much period.
I think we have the rising costs figured outsalmonwheel
Apr 30, 2002 9:06 AM
In addition to the costs of the event, we all need to pay for the jerks like Ron who do the 5 for 1 deal. If they charge too much don't do the ride. It must be real rough for you Ron after buying the bike and the SUV payment money just isn't available to pay your fair share, eh? So instead of curbing your spending or skipping the rides you feel the need to attend but you ripoff a charitable or at least non-profit event to balance your budget. What a guy.
I think we have the rising costs figured outRadicalRonPruitt
Apr 30, 2002 10:05 AM
They don't consider that in pricing the rides. I bet the food is donated anyway.
Its called charityEZRider
Apr 30, 2002 5:56 AM
How do you know I wouldn't be there. I ride a lot of the same roads weekly that these centuries are on. How can they justify $30 for a ride if you aren't getting a T Shirt? Do you think a handful of cookies are going to cost you $30? I have seen 600-700 people show up for these rides. They make a ton of money on them. I think they could lower the prices, and still make nice profits.
It's not about the god damn cookies!!!tz
Apr 30, 2002 8:36 AM
If you think that ride organizers charge too much - don't participate! If the wares are too expensive - don't buy them! Thank god we all live in "decaying" capitalist countries.
And, please, stop the BS about "paying taxes", "riding on same roads". You know that there are other costs, besides the sag support, t-shirts and stale food. If participants are required to pay, and you don't - you're a thief. It is just like copying a music CD for your friend. How many times have you re-traced a complete route of some organized ride? I bet not even once!!!
Some people still think that term "theft" only applies to physical objects - bikes, cookies, t-shirts...
Apr 30, 2002 9:42 AM
First, does this guy show up to do his loop and unexpectantly find that a century ride has been planned on that exact loop? Yeah, right.

Second, he's diminishing my experience. If a bunch of nonpaying jerks showed up to rides I was doing, I would not enjoy it as much. Partly from crowding and partly because I generally find people like this not to be very good company.
It's not about the god damn cookies!!!RadicalRonPruitt
Apr 30, 2002 10:07 AM
If I don't use anything but the road, seriously, what are they out? Oh, so I ride on the same roads as the century is on, I am stealing the route. I am a real bad dude. Give it up.
RadicalRonPruitt , arguing with you is a waste of timetz
Apr 30, 2002 11:27 AM
because you DON'T READ OTHER PEOPLE'S POSTS. When replying to someone, you just keep repeating what has already been said, without supportive arguments, and ignore the questions you are being asked...
RadicalRonPruitt , arguing with you is a waste of timeRadicalRonPruitt
Apr 30, 2002 12:16 PM
I read them. Go ahead ask me the tough questions you Mike Wallace wannabe!
It's not about the god damn cookies!!!weiwentg
Apr 30, 2002 12:09 PM
if part of your route happens to coincide with the century, fine. but you yourself said that you do a '5 for 1' thing ... so, yes, you are - by your own admission!! - a 'real bad dude'.
It's not about the god damn cookies!!!RadicalRonPruitt
Apr 30, 2002 12:17 PM
I know I am a 'real bad dude'. You don't have to remind me. I never ride their exact route.
Waaah Wahhh Waaahjtolleson
Apr 30, 2002 1:18 PM
And if I sneak into the movie theater and bring my own popcorn what are they out because they're already showing the damn movie anyway, right?

Sheesh. Are you working hard NOT to get it?
Why bother, you can't teach morality! nmLen J
Apr 30, 2002 2:25 PM
It's not about the god damn cookies!!!tz
Apr 30, 2002 8:39 AM
If you think that ride organizers charge too much - don't participate! If the wares are too expensive - don't buy them! Thank god we all live in "decaying" capitalist countries.
And, please, stop the BS about "paying taxes", "riding on same roads". You know that there are other costs, besides the sag support, t-shirts and stale food. If participants are required to pay, and you don't - you're a thief. It is just like copying a music CD for your friend. How many times have you re-traced a complete route of some organized ride? I bet not even once!!!
Some people still think that term "theft" only applies to physical objects - bikes, cookies, t-shirts...
Shouldn't you be sleazyrider? nmdzrider
Apr 30, 2002 9:51 AM
re: costs for organized century/metric rides in your areaBill B
Apr 30, 2002 4:52 AM
I'm with you, I think most century's are getting too exspensive. I did one last fall for the World Trade Center that cost $40, I paid the money because it was for a good cause but I won't do it this year unless they cut the price in half and do away with the frills. Give me a nice route with the 7-11's marked on the cue sheet and I'll support myself on the road.

How about a pot luck century? T-shirt in/t-shirt out, bring a dish to serve two or three and pass a hat for the local food bank.
Bike Psychos CenturyEZRider
Apr 30, 2002 5:54 AM
These guys put on a century in the Chicago area. They have ride police on the ride that make sure that you stay out of the rest stops. They also make sure there are no c stores on the route, which forces many people to pay their high priced ride. Keep this in mind if you ride the Bike Psychos century as a PIRATE.
Bike Psychos CenturyMisJG
Apr 30, 2002 6:25 AM
Where in Chicagoland do you live EZ? 'Cause if you tell me you live in DuPage County and 'just happen' to be riding the roads around Coal City on the day of the Psychos ride, then you're full of s...! Do you 'just happen' to ride the roads in McHenry County on the day of the Udder Century too? How many pirated rides can you justify that they are on the same roads you normally ride? (The two rides I mentioned here are easily 60 miles apart, both in the 'Chicagoland' area)
$20-$25, except the Ride for the Roses (nm)Dave Hickey
Apr 30, 2002 5:42 AM
free, and you can't beat itcyclopathic
Apr 30, 2002 6:15 AM
but those are randonneur style self-supported events

I as others think price gets a bit out of hands, and people who organize it use it to rise money to fund other things (clubs, charity, own pocket).

Luckily still some honest event organizers who use money only to cover expenses, that's why you can still ride brevets for 12$ or ride 400mi Quadzilla for 45$.
Join a club and ride its centuries for freeUncle Tim
Apr 30, 2002 6:43 AM
Good cycling clubs should be offering regular century rides that provide a good cue sheet and schedule a store stop every 25 miles or so. If your club doesn't offer this ,then maybe you need to step up and organize it.

I don't need to stop every 8 miles of a century and eat a handful of grapes. A century is about riding the bike: it's not about standing around and socializing, talking about all of the other organized rides you've done.
Join a club and "work" its centuries for freeAlex-in-Evanston
Apr 30, 2002 8:37 AM
Club members rarely get to ride. They're working the rest stops.

try racingDuane Gran
Apr 30, 2002 6:58 AM
If you think organized rides are expensive, try racing. It routinely costs $20-25 for less than 50 miles of pure pain. If you are very good you might recoup the entry free with a top 5 placing.

Coming from the race scene, I view the organized centuries as a great diversion and a bargain. I don't care for the T shirt, but we all know that there is something particularly fun about riding with a large group. It is worth every penny to me. In many cases the funds support the community, or a bike club at the very least.
Pan Am Challenge minimum raised donationskenyee
Apr 30, 2002 7:16 AM
Think that's bad? Look at the organized charity events like the Pan Am Challenge. You have to raise a minimum of $3000 in donations. I believe in the cause and would love to ride it, but I have no clue how to get that much in donations, even hitting friends/family/coworkers...
Pan Mass ChallengePsalm 147-10_11
Apr 30, 2002 7:50 AM
I plan to do several organized centuries this year, and $30 is about average.

I have also riden in the Pan Mass Challenge for the past 5 years (, but this is much more than a century ride. It is a fundraiser first and foremost. Last year, 3000 riders raised $15 million for the Jimmy Fund, the fundraising arm on the world famous Dana Farber Cancer Institute. That represents more than 50% of the money that is raised each year by "New England's most popular charity". Most impressive, IMHO, is the fact that more than 90 percent of the money raised goes directly to the charity... (compare that to some of the AIDS rides).

BTW, I send out about 100 fundraising letters and raise more than enough to meet the minimum requirement. Try it next year, you'll be amazed at people's generosity.
Pan Mass ChallengeRadicalRonPruitt
Apr 30, 2002 7:53 AM
If you ride several centuries at $30 a piece, you are half way to a new wheelset. That is a lot of money just to ride with people.
Maybe he doesn't need a new wheelsetpmf1
Apr 30, 2002 9:51 AM
I do 8-10 organized centuries a year. Bike riding is a hobby and I don't mind paying for it. Its not the people aspect that I like. I enjoy riding in different places and I'm willing to pay for it. Organized centuries and bike tours allow you to do that. I've spent thousands of dollars to bike in Italy. Are the roads that much different than in the U.S.? No, but the scenery sure is. And the food and the people.

Did a metric last weekend. We got out there early and rode 40 miles before it started so it would be a century. Cost $20 each and only had 2 stops. Even with the $125 hotel room at Ocean City, $70 for dinner the night before, $25 for gas and a day off work, it was well worth it. It would have been chaper just to stay at home and ride my usual routes, but not as much fun.
Pan Am Challenge minimum raised donationsRadicalRonPruitt
Apr 30, 2002 7:52 AM
I wanted to ride the AIDS ride until I found out that they wanted mega bucks in donations. I have no time to ride and collect money. Then the clientel I see that rides the aids ride is a bit much.
How are they a bit much? &.......Len J
Apr 30, 2002 10:07 AM
Raising money for charity is an act of charity, it requires giving of oneself. I can tell you from personal experience that I got much more than I gave & I raised $6,000.

re: costs for organized century/metric rides in your areaRadicalRonPruitt
Apr 30, 2002 7:43 AM
Don't pay to ride on the roads.
In my area there are optionssalmonwheel
Apr 30, 2002 8:58 AM
Last year I looked around for century rides and some are small and simple providing regular sag support sd food stops, priced about $12-18. Some of the bigger ones that are more popular and have more services (ie. dinner, ice cream) cost more. I think having options is great. I don't have lots of money either and I'm cheap also. I am also a fan of the a la carte approach, make it cheap to ride, but allow people to opt for additional purchases

I prefer the smaller ones and usually opt to buy the t-shirt because I haven't done too many centuries yet. My daughter and I are going to do a ride this June it was $18 for me including a chicken dinner prepared by the local police (the reviews are good), my daughter's fee was much less since she's only 6. I can't swing the 35-60 dollar rides unless it is for a specific charitable event that I feel strongly about or a big event for us (like when my daughter does her first full century)

And the answer to your last question is yes you are cheap, and I think some organizers get carried away, but different rides attract different people for different reasons.
except for the Trek100RadicalRonPruitt
Apr 30, 2002 10:10 AM
I do not know of one century in the Chicago area that is for charity. I am not even sure what the Trek100 ride is for actually. Most of them are just clubs looking for some income.
Apr 30, 2002 10:38 AM
When I think of the centuries I do, at least half are for some type of charity or non-bike group. Hell, bike clubs often do community services and help out younger racers who can't afford supplies.

Quit looking for reasons to rip them off. If you don't want to pay to ride, then don't do the ride. I think 5 guys riding a century with only one paying is really dishonest. If it sucked so bad, you wouldn't be there.
BS No it isn't.RadicalRonPruitt
Apr 30, 2002 10:42 AM
First of all I was referring to the Chicago area. Are you from Chicago? Second of all, I have never seen one bike club post that they were donating a certain amount of the proceeds to the community. Instead it benefits that small amount of people in the bike club with things like end of the year dinners, which I guess less than 5% actually attend.
Radical Ron's Radical Century This SundayRadicalRonPruitt
Apr 30, 2002 10:50 AM
Come one, come all to Radical Ron's Radical Century. One hundred rolling miles across Illinos backroads. It benefits Radical Ron's favorite charity, himself. Entry fee is $20 which included Radical Ron's famous chocolate chip cookies at each rest stop. All riders must be on course by 10 am. Remember this benefits Radical Ron so we want a huge turnout, especially since you all so easily part with your money.
I'll be therepmf1
Apr 30, 2002 10:58 AM
and I'll bring 10 friends. One of us will pay the $20 and surely we'll eat no more than $20 worth of cookies and gatorade. Hey, we don't have to pay. Its on public roads and doesn't benefit anything we believe in. We'd be outraged to pay money, yet we still feel the desire to participate. Maybe if you lowered the price to $2, we'd all pay.

Its nice to see you are pathetic about so many aspects of life. My belief in karma is affirmed.
I'll be thereRadicalRonPruitt
Apr 30, 2002 11:13 AM
I still make $20 if you show up. Choc chip cookies are cheap to make. I will make a big un for you just to improve my KARMA.
I'll be therepmf1
Apr 30, 2002 11:19 AM
I will gladly pay you $20. I assume you will waste an entire day painting arrows on the roads to mark the route. And your buddies will be manning the stops, right?
I'll be thereRadicalRonPruitt
Apr 30, 2002 12:18 PM
Sure if there is lots of money for us in it.
Some tips and questions for Radical RonNo_sprint
Apr 30, 2002 11:39 AM
Heck, I'll come along too! Who is driving the pick up and support vans? Every century I've done has been entirely littered with those who couldn't go on and those with every ride stopping mechanical difficulty you could ever think up. Sometimes there are groups of twos and threes every 50 yards waiting to be picked up. Kids, moms, etc. You'll probably need a bunch of vans at least.

There will be support at the turn right? If you've got 1000 entrants, who's going to truck out 2000 small bottles of water and all the cookies? Better start bakin' tonight. 20 on a tray, two trays in the oven, that's 25 batches for 1000. That's over 600 minutes of baking time alone! You can just throw all the cookies in one of those huge boxes they sell pumpkins out of in October. Where you gonna find that box though? Hmmm.....

Many centuries I've done had bands at the turn. You gonna have one? If so, what kind? Pop cover bands go over well for the masses. How will they get all the power they need? You gonna have tables and chairs and shade or does the water just get tossed on the dirt in a big pile? Many people like to have a comfy area at the turn to sit and rest for a bit.

Better make sure you're permitted by the city/county to do this. You could be shut down before you even start.

You'll likely have to pay income tax on this too. With all these people and needing to pay the city for the permit, the IRS and state tax board will surely know what's goin' on.

Before I pluck down my hard earned 20 spot I need those questions answered! Lookin' forward to it!
Some tips and questions for Radical RonRadicalRonPruitt
Apr 30, 2002 12:20 PM
All these issues will be addressed after my ride this afternoon. Good day.
Apr 30, 2002 12:30 PM
I think you might want to hire security for yourself being that you've made a lot of really rabid fans on this board....
Radical Ron is a Pathetic LOSER and a chronic LIARcritmass
Apr 30, 2002 12:39 PM
Radical Ron could no more run a century than find a shred of honesty in his character. He could say he was going to have a century but then he would just rip off the entrance fees and walk away smiling at all the suckers. Much like he smiles at all the suckers that pay attention to his games on this board. Radical Ron's first appearance on this board was one of lies and deception and he continues his games with all of you being willing dupes. Talking about ripping off centuries, verbally abusing his wife, pretending to be in support of Spokes, coming here under differant names are all dishonest and the work of a pathetic loser.
Crit Mass=Radical RonRollapalooza
Apr 30, 2002 6:02 PM
It is my opinion that Crit Mass seems to show up everytime Radical Ron shows up. It is seems fishy to me. Something tells me Crit Mass is a part of Radical Ron's alter ego. Just my .02.
Rollapalooza=Radical Ronxxll
Apr 30, 2002 9:33 PM
Does Ron have a NEW name for tonight? We'll just add it to the list of others.
Tour of the unknown coast century Nor Cal $25...NMRaiderMike
Apr 30, 2002 7:39 PM
$20-$22 no t-shirt, $30 w/ t-shirt (nm)gregg
May 1, 2002 8:25 AM