One of the big differences between non-competitive and competitive cycling events is in how you get the word out and attract participants. An event like Tulsa Tough has to bring in all kinds of riders from professional and club racers to fast, long-distance tour riders to average pedestrian riders of all sizes and abilities. The races provide the show. The rides provide the sustenance.
Racers are licensed and have a central governing body. They’re in an available database and they come for cash. We’ve been very successful attracting racers from all over the world with our large purse and world class races. Tulsa Tough is fast becoming one of the premier events in the U.S.
But riders come from everywhere. They have no license, no central government, no regulations and no barriers to participation. They ride for fun, fitness, accomplishment, to cure a disease, to be part of a social group, to lose weight, to tour the world, to go to the grocery store or to simply be outdoors. They ride alone and in groups. For many, riding isn’t the primary motivation but rather a means to many diverse goals.
So how do you find and attract non-competitive riders?
You do it slowly by producing a quality event that has what appeals to as many of those riders as possible. Most important is that you provide a quality experience for every rider from their first awareness, to registration, to parking, packets, starting, finishing, supporting and engaging the riders after the event.
Do that and then get to work on grassroots, networking, word-of-mouth, and using the media in as many places as possible where you suspect they might be found.
Once you reach them and get them there, you have to deliver the quality experience they want so that the networking, word-of-mouth cycle continues and expands.