Skip navigation

Tag Archives: family bicycling


One of the most prestigious, long-standing bicycle races and sports events in general- is “Le Tour de France”. The Tour is the third largest sporting event around the globe, following the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup.

The 95 year old race event creates  massive interest from the international media, as it is broadcast on TV in 180 countries. The race brings in representatives from 75 radio stations in 25 countries and over 450 newspapers, photographers and media from 26 countries in total.

The Tour involves shuttling, accommodating and feeding over 4,500 people each and every day for the full 23 days (21 days of racing plus two rest days) A total of 2,400 vehicles will be following the race, including race director with support, team vehicles, medical and general support.  Then there is the matter of the huge, dedicated, fanatical crowds that line the routes for three solid weeks.

The entire budget for the Le Tour is estimated at nearly 100 million euros, or $140 million U.S. dollars-  of which, approximately 50% derived from the broadcast television rights, 40% from title and presenting sponsors and the remainder from participant fees paid by each town where the stages start and finish.

The 2009 edition of the Tour will see the competing cyclists span about 2,200 miles, visit 34 towns, pass through 560 municipalities and make stops in a total of six countries- Monaco, France, Andorra, Spain, Switzerland and Italy.

Each and every town in every country will feel the effects of the Tour from spectators, media and team personnel in the way of traffic jams, long lines, and crowded streets- but most importantly; money spent.

The event organizer- the ASO, or Amaury Sport Organisation owns the newspapers and magazine publications l’Equipe, France Football, l’Equipe Magazine, Vélo Magazine, Le Parisien and Aujourd’hui in France.

Created in September 1992, the ASO  is a specialized organization of sporting events, and in addition to the Tour de France, they put on the famous Dakar Rally and the Paris Marathon.

Aiding the ASO in France will be the French police and emergency services, who will direct and assist all the French municipalities in dealing with needed highway repairs, road signs, safety barriers and the planting of yellow flowers in all of the prevailing open spaces.

The cost of these operations is approximately three and a half million euros- with technical costs accounting for over two million euros and the rest spent on miscellaneous items including, communications and local ancillary supporting events.

On the financial side, along with the promotion of tourism in each city and town there will be a substantial increase in the traffic and flow of people in and out of restaurants, hotels and merchant shops. The subsequent impact of the large increase in traffic will spur positive economic upshots for all commercial merchants involved.

A major retailer, the Champion supermarket chain, which is the presenting sponsor of the “Polka Dot Jersey” or “King of the Mountains” for the best climber, will have 21 vehicles and countless personnel in the Tour’s caravan.

For the 2009 edtion of Le Tour, Champions managers have planned a very aggresive, dedicated marketing and promotions campaign for their 1,000 stores in France, Belgium, Spain, Poland, Greece, Turkey and Argentina.

With Spain being one of this year’s major themes for the supermarket, the chain’s plan is to have the in-store hostesses wearing outfits designed by one of the country’s most famous fashion designers all in hopes of attracting more female customers.

It is estimated that there will be approximately 15,000,000 spectators over the 21 days, spending an average of three euros per day- for a whopping total of 45,000,000 million euros or $63,000,000 million U.S. dollars.

The result will be a significant economic impact for all of the participating countries, cities, towns and boroughs. It is no wonder that over 200 towns in France alone apply to the ASO every year for a spot on the famed Le Tour route.

Advertisements

  –Basking Ridge | May 27, 2009 | By: p9 SportsGroup

Event Presented by: Ricola USA

The established and rising stars of some of the best road cycling race teams, both domestic and international took part in the 4th annual Ricola Twilight Grand Prix in the historic borough of Basking Ridge, New Jersey. The challenging 8 turn, 1.1 mile, spectator friendly circuit snakes through the suburban side streets and up the main road in downtown Basking Ridge. The 44 lap event and race circuit are very demanding of both riders and machines- with its 5 sweeping fast and 3 tight corners that challenge the riders handling skills as much as their speed and endurance.

The temperaturewas a mild 70 degrees with partly sunny skies at the beginning of the race as some 93 riders from about 15 pro and category 1 & 2 cycling teams rolled off the start line. The opening laps pitted Kenda/Inferno racing, Battley Harley Davidson Cycling Team, Canadian Team Planet Energy, Mtn. Khakis Team, Empire Cycling, Kelly Benefit Strategies, Team Team Type 1 and OUCH Pro Cycling Team against one another for about the first quarter of the race.

GP start

Empire Cycling Team briefly led the first few laps before Mtn. Khakis took a turn at the front followed by the Harley Davidson and Kelly riders who struck back taking their team colors to the head of the field. The race was fast-paced and tidy, as the bulk of riders stayed mostly together through the first half. Then the racing action heated up as Battley Harley Davidson made a mini break but was soon caught by the pack. As the last third of the race wound down a handful of riders led by Team Kelley Benefit made another attempt to split and break free but it was short-lived as well.

GP Lee

The tempo was rapid but steady as the pro’s winded their way through some of the narrow streets, inches from curbing and hay bales- the action, swift and intense. The group bent their bikes in- leaning hard left sweeping around Lee Place then a quick cut right on to Hillside Terrace as the tight pack tucked in and drafted up No./So. Finley across start-finish one more time.

 GP Finley

Lap after lap, turn after turn, the 90 plus rider field was whittled down to about 30 with 10 circuits to go. Soon after, team Mtn. Khakis made a solo effort to break away and began to gap the main field by about 15 seconds. But on the penultimate lap the fury of the speeding pack in the final sprint reeled him in and one became 20+ riders flying on the road at over 35 mph- pegged at their absolute limits heading to the final bell lap.

 

GP finish

Up South Finley Street on the main finishing stretch of road- it was Aldo Ino of Team Type 1 and Kazane-brand mounted Eric Barlevav from Mtn Khakis  fighting it out- as the Slovenian Ino nipped Barlevav at the line with Francois Parisien aboard his sleek and swift Argon 18 of Planet Energy Racing team taking third. The 44 lap Ricola GP went by quick- as the riders clicked off lap after lap with speeds touching just over 40 mph in some sections of the course. Thankfully there were only minor incidents that saw only 2 crashes, one being a Champion Systems rider that was relatively unhurt. In the end, the average speed of the event was a very stout 32.2 mph.

Top Three Finishers:

  • 1st place – Aldo Ino | Team Type 1
  • 2nd place – Eric Barlevav | Mtn Khakis Racing
  • 3rd place – Francois Parisien | Planet Energy Racing

Fourth to Tenth Place:

Maxime Vives | Planet Energy
Jonathan Page | Battley HARLEY-DAVIDSON/Sonoma Grill
Clayton Barrows | CRCA/Empire Cycling Team
Cheyne Hoag | Kelly Benefit Strategies
Chad Burdzilauskas | Kenda Pro Cycling
Stephan Kincaid | CRCA/Empire Cycling Team
Ryan Anderson | Kelly Benefit Strategies

GP podium

A big round of applause goes out to all of the riders and teams as well as Ricola, Base Camp, The Store and Liberty Cycle. The racing was great and the excited, cheering fans who lined roads were treated to a unique display of athleticism, determination and passion all rolled into one fast, galant battle of men and their machines. See you in 2010!

Larger/Additional Photos: http://www.p9group.8m.com/photo2.html


 –Basking Ridge, NJ

Part II

For those who may not know, Basking Ridge/Bernards Township is situated in the Pharma belt of Somerset County- which is also the second wealthiest county in New Jersey.

The Bernards Twp/Basking Ridge area is home to the corporate offices of AT&T, Verizon and The United States Golf Association. Basking Ridge boasts its own country club as well, with an 18 hole PGA golf course.

Ridge High School, one of the best rated in the state was ranked second overall in 2007.  There is no doubt that Basking Ridge is a much sought after, desirable community and a nice place to live- just ask any of its 26,000 residents.

untitled1

Quick Stats

Bernards Township is one of the most expensive boroughs to reside within Somerset County, as well as the state. The cost of living is 68.66% higher than the national average.

The median house value is approximately $685,000, with median property taxes just over $9,500 and the median household income above $128,000.

The public school budget rings in at a hefty $84,007,764. The cost per pupil is over $11,000 (24% higher than the state average) with a total student cost of approximately $68,500,000. Which leaves approximately $17,000,000 for expenditures. Salaries, vehicles, athletics, etc. A very healthy budget indeed.

The general tax levy in Basking Ridge has increased a massive 110% in 10 years. Rising over 11% annually, (more than double the cost of living) from $30,128,190 to $66,837,438.

The only aspect that keeps the very beautiful and historic borough from being an exclusive bedroom community is the four thousand plus condominium units throughout the township.

Those 4,000 units have a median price in the neighborhood of $300,000. These more affordable options (evidently to the chagrin of some locals) are approximately half the cost of most single family homes in Basking Ridge.

Who invited you to the party?

The Ricola Race has the distinction of being the only professional sporting event to take place in Basking Ridge and immediate surounding area (excluding the Somerset Patriots Baseball team). This alone should be a fantastic draw for the fast-paced, excitment filled event.

You want reality? The race is the best reality show around, happening real-time, up close and in your face. No other sport allows the spectator to get so close to the athlete- while he or she is competing! Cycling offers unique perspectives and unprecedented access.

Interestingly enough the only other two other major annual events that take place in Bernards Twp., are the Far Hills Race Meeting Steeplechase and the Music at Moorland Farms Summer Symphony. Both of which get a lot of attention and exposure from the local media, surounding townships and presenting sponsors.

It seems as though the bicycle race may not be perceived in the same vein as the equestrian, golfing and symphonic events. But a look at the social and sporting statistics of bicycling tells a different tale.

FYI

Cycling is the second most popular recreational activity in the United States.

Cycling demographics cover three areas of interest. Recreational, Racing and Spectator Events. Like most professional sports the race participation is male dominated. Though unlike most sports, cycling has a very large female recreational and spectator base.

Demographics

grids

  • Cycling is the #1 fitness and health activity among doctors and lawyers over the age of 40.  
  • Cycling is the second most popular recreational activity behind sport walking.
  • 17-million bicycles are sold in the United States each year.  
  • The mean price for a professional racing bike is $3,500.  
  • Household income for 45-49 year old licensed racers. ($95,940)

  Source: Simmons, MRI, USA Cycling Membership, Bicycling Magazine

There is no doubt that the sport of cycling is very popular and attracts a wide array of participants who take part in one way or another.


 -Basking Ridge, NJ

Part I

ricola_grand_big

The 4th annual Ricola Twilight Grand Prix cycling race is set to take place on Wednesday, May 27th in the bucolic borough of Basking Ridge New Jersey.

The elite cycling event attracts a good number of pro and pro-am riders from all over the country including a small contingent of globally based riders as well.

Though not a points paying race for these pro’s and non-pro’s , the large attractive purse of $10,000 in prize money is definitely a strong pull for the 120+ competing riders. Most of whom were already in town for the oldest bicycle race in the country- the 50 mile Tour of Somerville, which will have run its 66th edition on Memorial Day.

The Ricola GP organizers capitalized on the Somerville classic, taking advantage of logistics by staging their race just 2 days after the ToS event. Local bicycle shop Liberty Cycle and its owner/operator, Greg Cordasc was instrumental in bringing the event to the Somerset County borough.

The race takes place in historic downtown Basking Ridge, with the riders passing along the main line of retailers along South Finley Avenue. The circuit layout is key in showcasing the many types of retail stores and services in the borough.

The race course is not the typical “criterium” style course and is regarded as one of the most technical short race circuits in the U.S. It features a 1.1 mile loop that offers a combination of 8 tight and sweeping corners every lap over the 44 mile race distance.

There are plenty of ideal spectating spots where fans get up close and personal- just inches away from some of the best elite riders- sweeping past in excess of 35 mph, which makes it unique and exciting to watch.

small alp horns

The event offers some interesting and fun pre-race activities such a BMX riding and tricks demo, the Bonnie Brae Knights Drum Corp. and the Ricola Swiss Alp horn players. The organizers have made the event appealing not only to cycling fans, but the whole family and all ages as well.

Obtaining the headline sponsor, Ricola USA was a huge ‘get’ for the event, providing visibility, name recognition and a lot of potential market appeal. With such a major sponsor, you would think that the race would be a fairly big attraction for the borough.  After all, it is a professional sporting event.

But apparently that is where that thought ends. It is somewhat painfully obvious that borough officials of Basking Ridge do not exactly embrace the event- for whatever inexplicable or unapparent reasons they may have.

Spectator turn out is decent, but certainly nowhere near its true potential. The racing event has tremendous appeal, but does not yield the bigger, more enthusiastic type crowds at other similar cycling events within the area, such as the Tour of Somerville.

There seems to be a bit of a disconnect between the solid efforts from the promotion of the race and the townships lack of efforts to publicize and market the race- in fact, one could even say they almost seem to undermine it.

(a topic further explained in parts II & III)


 The historic and famed TD Commerce Bank “Triple Crown of  Cycling” has been consolidated into just one title event for 2009. The single sponsored event- the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship is scheduled to take place on June 7th of this year.

Admist the deep recession and troubled economy as well as TD Bank’s assessment of its sponsorship dollars, the bank has decided to step down from title sponsorship of the Reading and Lehigh Valley Classics, the first two legs of the Pennsylvania Triple Crown of Cycling.

The event is now in its 25th year of existence, starting out as the old Core States race back in 1984. Each year its stature and popularity has proved to continually grow with both the fans and competitors alike. But with the on-going financial difficulties, 2009 will be more of a test to the future of the long standing event.

There will be a  main featured race for the contingent of pro riders and a few of races for the amateur riders. Philadelphia city and Pro Cycling Tour officials expect a slight decline this year, with between 50,000 and 75,000 spectators posibly attending, based on figures from previous years.

“Given the succesful history of the event and the past amount of spectators, the 2009 expected numbers are a bit down due to the economic climate.” Said a Pro Tour official.

Race Statistics:

Biggest One-Day cycling event in U.S.
Over 350,000 spectators – 2008
Local live television coverage
2007 ratings – 3.4 audience share

Video impressions – 12.5-million
Website hits 30 days prior to event – 3.6-million

Event Demographics:

53% male
47% female
57% ages 25–49
64% college graduate or higher

49% professional
31% non-professional
20% students
59% earning $50,000+
30% earning $100,000+

The estimated total economic impact for the city of Philadelphia  is approximately between $3 and $5 million dollars. Being the 5th largest media market in the country that type of boost to the local and regional businesses will do the tax coffers good.

The impact of revenue ranges from the mom & pop stores to chain hotels, restaurants and a variety of retail services.

Sporting events, both local and national are visible reminders that hard work eventually pays off and that winning is never easy- but is always rewarding.

%d bloggers like this: