Rally Site Requirements
So, what does it take to be considered for a Maine Bike Rally site? Besides basic curb appeal there are a number of factors that go into making a Maine Bike Rally site successful.
The Maine Bike Rally typically sees 200 – 300 participants. This is a non competitive event for the fun of riding a bicycle. The age spectrum ranges from toddlers to 70+ years old with a median age of 52. The Maine Bike Rally participants tend to be environmentally conscious, in tune with the ‘leave no trace’ philosophies of camping, and very respectful of personal property.
Generally speaking the venue should be in or near an area that is a “destination” point of interest for travelers. (This provides the non-cyclers of the group something to do, as well as draws cyclists to an area that they wanted to see anyway.) Access to and from this location should be pedal accessible to the novice rider and families with small children, effectively no long steep grades at the start or end of the ride experience each day.
Friday dinner is usually a ride to one of the local restaurants. Meals for Saturday breakfast, lunch and supper as well as Sunday breakfast are provided. Food items for a pack-your-own bag lunch are provided for Saturday day during the breakfast mealtime. Riders staying past lunch time on Sunday are encouraged to dine at one of the local restaurants. Local riders and riders staying locally can participate in the rally for a minimal fee and are expected to provide for their own meals however they can elect to stay and purchase meals separately.
Rides start and end at the rally site and range from a few miles to a 100 mile or “century” ride. Usually there are about 30 rides to choose from during the weekend. Friday has some short rides, dinner rides and a star gazer ride. Saturday and Sunday start with a sunrise ride at 4:30 A.M.
MBR venues are in two year blocks so as to make the second year process smoother all around.
Setup and Registration takes place on Fridays with setup starting late morning and registration beginning at 1 P.M. ending at 11 P.M.
Saturday is active all day and into the night.
Clean up on Sunday completes by 4 P.M.
Access to indoor parked bicycles needed ’til ~11 PM Friday and Saturday and from 4 A.M. on Saturday and Sunday
Camping space for a couple hundred tents and some parking area for RV’s (typically less than six)
Showers with hot water and available nearly around the clock
Indoor bathroom facilities (porta-potties are often times rented to supplement on site facilities)
Indoor bike parking is a big plus
Tables and chairs to accommodate all participants for meals and evening programs
Indoor assembly area for evening programs – Ability to seat 200-300 or more people – Evening programs typically consist of a slide show on Friday night. Saturday evening could be a slide show presentation, video or live entertainment (stage or raised dais helpful).
Sound system is very helpful
Kitchen facilities for food prep and serving (especially for breakfast) and storage is a major plus but caterers have been used in the past. On site kitchen staff is asked for price quotes on food.
A class room space is typically needed for bike safety training from Tuesday morning preceding the rally throughout the weekend.
Outdoor power is a plus but not necessarily required.
Local bicycle friendly folks – willing to volunteer to help run the rally and lead rides
Local community support
Friendly local government and school officials
Sponsor support – ability to raise ~$5000 – $7000