Event: 22-23 June 2013
On Tuesday 4 June, over 40 businesses involved in this year’s Bike Bath, met at the new Graze restaurant and bar, in Southgate Bath to hear details about the weekend cycling event happening over the 22-23 June weekend.
The two day event, championed by Charles Stanley Direct and its friends (Axa, Artemis and Aberdeen), involves a range of marked rides from the centre of the city as well as a Cyclescheme electric bike trials and road.cc sponsored “Celebration of Cycling” evening and is becoming a significant event in the South West’s cycling calendar.
As Richard Best, who founded Bike Bath explained, “Our objectives are to deliver a series of great safe rides in and out of Bath, offer interest and fun on the rides but also develop an event which benefits the economy of Bath. If we are successful, then the event becomes sustainable and will grow”.
So where exactly is the economic benefit? To start with, Bike Bath is being managed by a small team of experienced event managers. It’s a sector that is pretty exposed at the moment but the scale of the Bath event means there are the equivalent of 2 full time roles for 6 months. In addition, the event is supported by the skills and services of a local marketing agency, the local rugby club, local printers and equipment suppliers. Typically, part of the advertising spend is local so the local newspaper and magazines all benefit. Even, the Michelin starred chef who gives the event a unique edge with his post ride food and illustrator providing the finisher awards are from Bath, so Bike Bath is generating income for a broad range of interested parties.
Turning to the riders, it will come as no surprise that many locally based cyclists have been investing in both kit and their bikes and bike shops can attribute both sales and servicing to the event. As Bath is not short of bike shops, every effort to promote cycling is welcome. Our visiting cyclists are spending on accommodation and food which supports our hotel, guest house and B&B community as well as our bars, restaurants and cafes.
And, if the family comes along to support riders then the retail economy can also benefit.
However, as was demonstrated at the launch event, bringing together a network of interested parties can have great spin offs. The Graze venue run by Bath Ales took some new bookings from party attendees and offered to trial locally produced Bradley fruit juices. Cards were exchanged by many, office space was discussed, sausages and cheeses changed hands, work experience placements were made and food suppliers shared contacts. So Bike Bath as a showcase for the city, is establishing itself and if the enthusiasm at Graze was anything to go by, has a promising future ahead.
As Richard Best whose business interests include a training company, and sports marketing consultancy as well as live events says, “I’ve always seen the value in collaborating in business and I’m both delighted and grateful for the support from the Bath business and cycling community. One has to respect this, if I promoted the event with a web based on line bike business I would lose all goodwill that we’ve created with the bike shops here, so our message is clear: Bike Bath is about supporting the local business community and we hope we can grow together.”
Registration is still open, with over 1000 riders are expected to ride in the event. All riders receive a free gift bag, sponsored by HPH Property Management filled with goodies from our supporters and all routes have free feed stations show casing the best of local produce. There are still some remaining sponsorship opportunities for businesses or organisations to get involved.