Our 1st Ever 100% Virtual Event
The Decision To Go Virtual
The last event of our 2020 calendar will be our first ever 100% virtual event. As we made the decision between offering our typical large event, a virtual event or cancelling, we concentrated on 3 factors.
- Need: Our non-profit partners need the funding our events provide. Many local spring and summer fundraising initiatives were cancelled, resulting in diminished funding at a time when service providers were restructuring their service models. Our non-profit partners rely on our events to meet their operational funding needs, this year more than ever. We were determined not to cancel the event.
- Safety: The City of Houston’s evolving event protocols that made it difficult to plan appropriate safety measures and transmission mitigation strategies. Additionally, many of our non-profit partners work with individuals that are at high risk as vulnerable populations and the feedback we received that our large-scale event is not as conducive to keeping all members of our community safe.
- Community: Our community thrives on a challenge, rises in moments of need, and optimistically helps build a positive future. Because of this, we knew if we built a leading virtual experience you would rise to the need of our partners and share in the event.
Our 1st Ever 100% Virtual Event
Once we were committed to building a virtual event, we reflected on what makes our events unique. We identified 3 foundational features, which seamlessly integrate into a virtual experience.
- The Challenge: We believe that when you take on a challenge, you reflect on your strengths and potential. We focus on our ability to overcome adversity. By doing this as individuals and as a community, we discover that we each are capable of more, and we support others and witness their growth as they achieve their goals.
- Impactful Fundraising: The funds raised you raise help provide services to help each individual reach their potential. You enable our non–profit partners to expand their offerings and deliver services that change lives. We aim to expand the network of fundraisers and donors through our events.
- Building a Community of Advocates: We come together and learn about each other’s strengths and challenges. We learn each non-profit partner’s mission and their unique approaches to supporting every individual. We realize that, in our community, no one is alone: we are all advocates of the same effort.
In identifying these factors we worked to translate our typical ride day experience to something that could be done in the current environment and within current government guidelines. For each feature listed above, we identified a new path forward:
- The Challenge: In our typical ride we offer 25, 50, and 100-mile options. In the virtual event, we are able to offer the same. We have built a custom integration between our website and STRAVA, the national leader in workout GPS tracking. While we won’t be able to share all the same miles, STRAVA will enable your miles to be displayed on our website. You can ride your way up our leaderboard, and when you hit your mileage goal we will mail you a Bike to the Beach Finisher T-Shirt.
- Impactful Fundraising: Our average rider raises over $750, but we realize this may be a uniquely challenging year. This year we are asking you to set a goal of at least $250 and reach out to your network. Your friends and family can help support the life changing work our partners are doing each day. When you exceed the $250 goal we will mail you a 2020 Bike to the Beach Jersey.
- Building a Community of Advocates: One of the highlights of our typical event is seeing each non-profit partner at our rest stop locations. You are able to learn about our partner’s great work while pushing through the miles. Since we are unable to meet these individuals at rest stops this year, we are instead offering our Advocacy Challenge. Each day we will highlight one of our partners by sharing a video with you through your rider portal. After you watch all 7 videos by October 16, we will mail you a Bike to the Beach Advocacy Magnet. [Preview the challenges]
To add to the experience, we also created some bonus challenges throughout the week. Just like looking forward to water stations along the route, during the 7-day challenge you can get an added boost from our Daily Bonus Challenges. We have created 4 along the way:
- Saturday – Organize a safe group ride and send us a picture of your crew. The largest (socially distanced) group will receive a CUSTOM t-shirt for everyone in the photo.
- Monday – For every $25 raised on Monday, you will be entered in a raffle to win a JBL Flip Bluetooth Speaker. These speakers fit right in a water bottle cage and are great for almost any occasion.
- Wednesday – Knock out 5 miles of riding and you will be entered into a raffle to win 1 of 2 hydration backpacks.
- Friday – Recruit 5 donors who give on Friday and get entered into a raffle to win 1 of 5 pairs of cycling gloves.
As we approach next week we want you to know that, while we can’t be with you physically, we are committed to supporting you every pedal of the way. We are always here to answer any questions you have. In the meantime, we want to make sure you are on the right path to kick off your week. There are a few steps to take before you begin your miles this weekend.
- Follow our directions to connect your STRAVA to our system. Click here for directions to help you sign up for STRAVA and join the Texas group, if needed.
- Send out your fundraising emails or social media posts. Your rider portal is filled with resources to make fundraising easy. From prewritten emails and posts to your own unique URL to share, we’ve taken the stress out of fundraising.
- Be on the lookout for our emails. We will connect you to amazing videos about our partners and keep you up-to-date on our Daily Bonus Challenges.
We are excited to share the next week with you. As always, we are excited about the impact that you can make. In a year that has been trying and challenging for our partners, we are excited to be a respite and support in their time of need. Thank you for rising to the challenge and meeting their needs. We have an incredible event planned. We look forward to sharing it with you.
Register now to receive you rider number, custom Bike to the Beach face mask, and commemorative 2020 ride pin.