The Denver Post Community Foundation, the Office of Governor John Hickenlooper and presenting sponsor Viaero Wireless are excited to hit the road for the fifth annual Pedal The Plains Bicycle Tour beginning on September 16th. The ride will spin through southeastern Colorado along its three-day, 154-mile journey. Participants will visit scenic, historical, agricultural and educational stops in route to the three overnight host communities: Ordway, Fowler and La Junta. Off the bike, riders will enjoy locally-sourced food, beer gardens, live entertainment, contests and the community spirit of Colorado’s Eastern Plains.
“Pedal The Plains is not only a fun and challenging Bicycle Tour, but it gives folks a chance to experience our state’s storied Eastern Plains,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “It’s an opportunity to visit and learn about a part of the state many haven’t visited.”
The ride is a celebration of Colorado cycling culture combining great rides, delicious eats and close friends. Billed as “a ride for the rest of us,” Pedal The Plains has three ride offerings suitable for a variety of skill levels: the full 3-Day Tour, a Century Ride and Family Fun Ride.
Riders will pedal away the weekend between entertainment and festivities, eat meals made with local produce, and stay in accommodations ranging from tents to hotel rooms. Participants can enjoy their time off the bicycle seat as much as on it. From performing pigs to live music, moonlight dances to historic re-enactments, beer gardens to horseshoe tournaments, Pedal The Plains has it all.
“Pedal The Plains truly has something for everyone—whether you’re an avid cyclist, a history buff, a seeker of new experiences or someone who wants to have a weekend of family fun, you’re certain to have a good time,” says Tour Director, Chandler Smith.
The Denver Post Community Foundation, which has managed the world-class cycling event Ride The Rockies through 31 successful years, is also the organizer for this unique Colorado event.
Established five years ago, Pedal The Plains dives into Colorado’s agricultural roots and the state’s frontier heritage on the Eastern Plains, and provides significant economic benefits and opportunities for host communities through lodging, restaurant and retail businesses, as well as entertainment, community meals, home stays and transportation.
Additional tour highlights include:
- Bobby’s Animal Farm
- Crowley Heritage Center
- Olney Springs All Vets All Wars Memorial
- Crowley Correctional Center
- Fowler Historical Society
- Larson’s Apishapa Ranch
- Viaero Wireless Tower Talk
- Arkansas Valley CSU Research Center
- Hirakata Farms
- Otero Junior College
- Comanche National Grasslands
- Purgatoire River Region / Historic Cattle Corral
- Bent County Fairgrounds / 4H Exhibits
- Las Animas Fish Hatchery & Rearing Unit
- Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site
- Health in Rural Colorado
- Colorado Ranchers & Cattlemen
- Powering Colorado: The Evolving Energy Industry
Proceeds from the ride will benefit The Denver Post Community Foundation in support of Colorado Future Farmers of America Foundation and Colorado 4-H. Both of which will receive a $7,000 grant. In addition, The Denver Post Community Foundation will provide a $3,000 grant to each of the three host communities to benefit a local organization of their choice. Pedal The Plains will also donate 10% of total registration fees to a charity of choice to teams of 10 or more.
Viaero Wireless, the Tour’s presenting partner since its inception, is joined in supporting the ride by founding partners Western Dairy Association, Anadarko Petroleum, Noble Energy, Suncor Energy and CoBank.
Online registration for all ride offerings is now closed. Walk-on registrations are welcome during the Tour.
The Julesburg marching band set the stage for the opening ceremonies on Friday morning.
The fourth annual Pedal The Plains bicycle Tour launched from Julesburg, Colorado for a three-day, 155 mile journey through eastern Colorado’s high plains. From September 18th to 20th, participants rode to stops in three host communities: Julesburg, Holyoke and Sterling.
OnSight was on hand for the entire weekend, photographing and posting on six social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, Vine, and Flickr) throughout, as well as managing posts from the Plain Pedaler community bloggers.
For the first time in Pedal The Plains history the route took riders over the border into Nebraska.
The ride across Colorado’s Eastern Plains is a celebration of Colorado cycling culture, combining great rides, delicious eats and close friends. Billed as “a ride for the rest of us,” Pedal The Plains is set in the heart of western agriculture, home of the frontier spirit that inspires all of us to keep pedaling. Almost 1,000 cyclists took part in this year’s ride.
Another successful Pedal The Plains is in the books!
Over a thousand riders participated in this year’s ride from Sept 19-21, which visited host cities Wiggins, Fort Morgan, and Sterling, with stops at farmhouses, towns, and historical sites along the way.
OnSight provided an insider’s view of the ride for participants and fans along the way, with Facebook posts, tweets, Instagrams, Vines and daily photo albums on Flickr.
We hope to see you out on the road with us next year Sept 18th – 20th for the 4th Annual Pedal The Plains!
Pedal the Plains looking for three or four enthusiastic riders who share our excitement for bike culture in Colorado’s Eastern Plains to join forces with the ride and become “Plain Pedalers”. Plain Pedalers will help capture the spirit of Pedal The Plains and tell the story of this fall’s ride and the culture of cycling.
What does it mean to be a Plain Pedaler?
As a Plain Pedaler, you will get one free entry into Pedal The Plains 2014. You will have the opportunity to tell your story by sharing photos of training, riding and exploring the state during the event, as well as during the weeks leading up to the ride. All of your content will be featured on the Pedal The Plains website and shared by Pedal The Plains social media.
Who is the ideal Plain Pedaler?
The ideal Plain Pedaler is someone with an interesting perspective and a knack for storytelling or photo-taking. They are willing to write a blog post every couple of weeks in the months leading up to the ride, and to post stories or photos every day during the event itself. They are savvy on social media, and willing to participate in conversations and sharing their work online.
You entries are due by Sunday, July 25th.
Objective: Use multiple online platforms to create Pedal The Plains brand, push share-worthy content throughout the social web, create buzz about the inaugural ride with the goal of raising awareness and interest, and increase registrations for the 2012 and 2013 rides.
Setting up a Flickr account and encouraging riders to post to the PTP pool is one way we created a shared community around the ride.
Strategy: Publish an ongoing stream of interesting content, interact with existing social hubs, and utilize fan-generated content as much as possible. Promote the ride as a mutually beneficial endeavor for cyclists and local plains communities—guests get a chance to see a part of the state that they may not have visited before, and local communities will see a tourism boost during the week of the event.
The Team: OnSight Public Affairs, Denver Post Foundation, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and Governor Hickenlooper’s staff.
Challenge: OnSight was tasked with branding and developing an online presence and social media plan. Having worked with the USA Pro Challenge previously, OnSight knew the challenges of branding and promoting a cycling ride. As a new event, Pedal the Plains provided another list of obstacles, such as:
- How do we entice people to cycle in a region that has an agricultural landscape?
- How do we turn this event into a tourist draw that highlights the culture of rural communities in Colorado’s eastern plains?
- Built Pedal The Plains website using customized WordPress and branded with logo, colors and language.
- Developed and managed social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and blogs.
- Created an extensive Social Media Roadmap, which provided guideines, content ideas, timing and posting best-practies, as well as a sketch of target benchmarks for the weeks and months leading up to the event.
- Prioritized responsiveness on social media to individuals posting questions, items that could be shared or responded to by the existing community (e.g., requests for carpool coordination), and posts to promote sponsors, participating towns, and partners for the event.
- Created blog series called “The Plain Pedalers,” where participants submitted daily updates and posts, giving the public an insider’s view of the ride.
Outcome: Pedal The Plains became not only a story in the paper for the public to read about, but an interactive experience for riders, as well as spectators and non-participants.
- Website had 32,927 unique visitors and spent an average of more than four minutes on the site.
- Email list grew to 2,249 subscribers and had an average open rate of 48.2%.
- Social media platforms engaged 1,629 followers.
OnSight will be teaming up for 2013 Pedal The Plains with the goal of making it even bigger and better than 2012.
Testimonial: “OnSight was instrumental in creating our event’s brand and shaping its culture. Their team demonstrated a keen understanding of all social media platforms and helped to make the ride an interactive experience. We look forward to partnering with OnSight for years to come.” –Chandler Smith, Director of Pedal The Plains
Trained pigs were an entertainment highlight at Pedal The Plains 2012…what could be in store this year?
The 2nd annual Pedal The Plains bicycle tour features the wide-open spaces and star-filled nights of Southeastern Colorado; a region rich in history and full of hidden treasures. Join PTP this fall as we roam the vast beautiful grasslands; learn about the Sand Creek Massacre and Camp Amache; visit Bent’s Old Fort and the Santa Fe Trail; befriend local farmers and ranchers; and have a boot-stomp’n good old time!
A celebration of cycling culture, this landmark event combines great rides, delicious eats and close friends. Registration is now open for the 3-Day Tour, Century Ride and Family Fun Ride.
Route announcement press release here.
Pedal The Plains on Facebook and Twitter.