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Organized rides are popular and seem to be increasing in popularity around the world. The rides are usually charity and fundraising rides, and are generally supported in some fashion. Typically, the support includes food/rest stops and mechanical support. These rides are where you have 1000 - 2000+ bicycle riders, on the same route, at ALL skill levels.

How should one anticipate for, and adapt to this type of ride?

Prepare to be outraged, but there was this as well...http://obra.org/posts/obra/show/74957

Here's the deal via Bike Portland.

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I don't think you can call a 1000 bike ride "organized". It's hard enough with 100 bikes, or even 20. At best it's controlled chaos. And it's not clear: Are you asking how to organize a ride, or how to ride in one? –  Daniel R Hicks Jul 18 '11 at 21:46
    
@ Daniel - What? The "Reach the Beach" ride here in Oregon is usually 2000+ riders. –  user313 Jul 18 '11 at 21:51
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We've had "Levi's Gran Fondo" the past couple years, with this year slated to have 7500 riders. Seemed pretty organized to me, but there were 800 volunteers (including myself) last year making it all work. –  freiheit Jul 18 '11 at 22:24
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@wdypdx22: You mean you want to participate in one, or do you mean that you plan to organize one? –  freiheit Jul 18 '11 at 22:26
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You didn't explain the purpose of the question. This leaves people to have to guess, and the answers you get are thus not always on topic. –  Daniel R Hicks Jul 19 '11 at 11:23

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Anything involving more than 50 riders leaves a large impact on the area so you may want to really think about how you can be a great guest, self sufficient and most of all not in a rush. Add an hour or more to arrive early - you will be with wonderful people all interested in being outdoors together. Celebrate and take time to connect to others socially - there are no bad delays - just more chances to meet people.

Go slow and don't be in a rush to finish because it will end far too soon.

Enjoy!

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If it really is an "organized" ride for thousands of riders of all skill levels, you don't really need to know/do anything special other than to be reasonably prepared for the time/distance of the ride, bring along water bottles, and bring money. And maybe sun lotion on a sunny day, or rain gear on a threatening day.

But not all "organized" rides are that, and you need to be a little prepared for at least minor chaos -- having rest stops run out of water/food, maps or cue sheets that aren't especially accurate, etc. More money, an extra water bottle, and a cell phone will get you through most of these.

Otherwise you need to look out for others in the ride, to protect both them and you. If you've not ridden with a group before you should observe other, more skilled riders to learn a little bicycle group etiquette, and you particularly need to be conscious of the safety issues involved, such as riding too close together, riding 3-4 abreast in traffic, making sudden turns and stops without being aware of the riders around you, etc.

With that many cyclists there will be some idiots. Don't ride like an idiot just because a bunch of other riders are -- do your best to set a good example. And with that many bikes there will be some folks driving cars who will get frustrated and testy -- understand that they are NOT enjoying themselves motoring along at 5mph watching you guys clown around. Show some consideration.

Oh, and bring some toilet paper, or (my preference) a small packet of "baby wipes".

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Why didn't you just answer the question yourself, then? –  Daniel R Hicks Jul 19 '11 at 11:26
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I think the last line and the first two paragraphs are the best part of the answer. Nothing wrong with the rest of it, but I'd keep that in. Key point being that an organized ride still requires you to be self sufficient. –  Mike Two Jul 19 '11 at 12:48

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