Fail to plan and you plan to fail. I love that little saying because it gives me an excuse for creating lots and spreadsheets and hours of internet research. And it's a great motto if you're in charge of organising your club's attendance at cycling events across Europe in 2018. Cycling sportives aren't a normal getaway; every aspect from flights to insurance requires more planning. Add to this the fact that cycling breaks tend to involve larger groups than your average family holiday, and it starts to sound like a headache.
If your cycling club is attending a cycling event in 2018, you have two choices: let individuals make their own arrangements, or form a united front and make the planning a club responsibility. A social media page showing attendance at various cyclo-sportives and gran forno cycle events is a big draw for new club members. It's also the best incentive for your club members to put in the training hours on their home turf.
The Who: Sweet Spots and Personality Crashes
There is a sweet spot to numbers on a group trip. Too few and it can become intense, not to mention more expensive for accommodation. Too many and it become a logistical nightmare. Of course, if you're in charge of organising a cycling trip for your cycling club, it's likely to be an open invitation with little control over numbers or attendees!
Our Curzon Custom Cycle Jersey is the mainstay of our custom cycling gear lineup and makes for the perfect cycle tour jersey for cycling clubs attending sportives. The bigger the numbers, the cheaper it gets, and with multi-day meets, you're going to need at least a couple per rider.
An often overlooked factor when organising your cycling tour group is individual personalities. Different approaches to things like sleeping arrangements and post ride day drinks can cause friction.
Constant and detailed communication is key here, so that expectations are managed. If the cycle tour is a serious affair and pre-race tactical talks are non-negotiable - make this clear. Likewise if the day's star rider is expected to down shots of the local alcohol as a prize, don't keep this a secret. Not everyone enjoys the same kind of holiday, but everyone wants to have a good time, in their own way.
Unless you intend to head out from and return to the same accommodation each day, you're going to need some support in the way of a driver and van, to transport your belongings as you ride. Even if you are staying in the same spot for the duration, it might still be nice to have some help in the form of cooking, housekeeping and logistics. After all, any downtime you have is going to be spent recovering.
Taking non-cycling partners along (if you can convince them to) is always an option. You can even make them feel like part of the team with their own 'Support Team' cycling jerseys - another great reason our Curzon Cycle Jersey is such a good buy. Alternatively, you can hire support locally. Look for accommodation with a regular maid service and check out the cycle event info pages for recommendations for support.
The When: Spring Brakes! Europe Cycle Event Season Has Begun
February to April is a popular time for a European cycle holiday. France, Belguim, Spain and the Canary Isles will all be milde but without the crushing heat of the Mediterranean summer, and they all have excellent spring cycle sportives.
The 2018 cycle event season has also kicked off, and are proving more popular each year. It's not too late to enter an organised ride, and as it's closer to home, the logistics and costs won't be so much of a burden.
If your team want last minute custom cycle jerseys for an event, we can help. Our standard turnaround time is six weeks, but with our express service, your new club cycling jerseys, cycle shorts, or cycling racesuits can be with you in three weeks or less!
The How: No Need For Planning To Be An Uphill Climb With The Right Apps
Technology, apps, and the internet are your friends here, ensuring that planning a club cycling trip DOES NOT have to be a logistical nightmare.
Done correctly, the planning stage can be brilliant fun and can get everyone really excited about the cycle meet beforehand. This has the added benefit of upping everyones game and making them train harder and perform better. Getting everyone involved a little in the planning can help you all to bond before you get there - great for new cycle club members.
All major airlines now have apps for booking flights, adding extras, like bikes, and storing e-tickets. The bigger the group and the more bikes, the earlier you'll want to get booking.
And don't forget that you will need specialist insurance, for you and for your bike. Most standard annual holiday insurance policies won't cover sports holidays and expensive sports kit. Check your cycle event entry details for public liability insurance too; this is usually included in the entry fee, but always worth a look.
Communicate frequently and transparently. The two big sins here are: not telling everyone EVERYTHING, and not telling EVERYONE everything. People don't like secrets or surprises when their money or annual leave is at stake. They like secret squirrels even less. You can roll your eyes all you want at the idea of a WhatsApp group chat, but it's an effective tool for this kind of situation. You can collect responses to questions, share videos of rides at your chosen destination, send links to flights and accommodation, and images of your designs for cycle event jerseys. Group members can always mute or leave a group chat. If they miss out on vital info, that's their call - you have the evidence you shared it!
Cash is no longer king when it comes to collecting money for your group cycle trip. Online payment methods have become super-simple and there's always evidence of who's paid what to hand. PayPal is still the go -to, but others are definitely worth a look. If you have an online banking app, you're likely to have Paym included in there. You can also send money through Facebook Messenger and WeChat.
Remember that cycle meets and European sportives fill up fast, so if you anticipate a lot of your members will want to attend, get the entry fees in early!
Designing your cycle event club jersey is an important step in the planning process. You could always wear your usual cycle club jerseys, but a bespoke cycle jersey made especially for the cycle meet has a certain edge. A dedicated 'tour jersey' makes for great group shots, and a long-lasting cycling memento after the cycle trip is over. It's also a great excitement builder beforehand; there's always a flurry of activity on the group chat when the jerseys arrive!
Our online tools make it easy for anyone to design a cycling jersey masterpiece, and it can get pretty addictive! You can put together a few designs yourself, or get everyone involved in a 'Cycle Jersey Design Competition.' The website shows you a realistic mockup of your design, so you don't need to rely on anyone's crayon skills before committing to buy!