Our sister event – Vélo Birmingham – took place on 24th September 2017 and was embraced by communities and businesses right along the route. Here are a couple of case studies that showcase how local residents got behind the event and made it a great day for everyone involved.
The town of Bewdley encapsulated the local involvement and support perfectly thanks to the successful organisation of the Bewdley Bike Festival. Local businesses and children got involved decorating bikes which were dotted all over the village to welcome the riders, and hundreds of people turned out in force to cheer on the participants. We worked together with the local Parish Council to make their ideas come to life, advising on bike placement and how their ideas could be incorporated into the event.
We provided stewards and barriers along the route to ensure the safety of spectators, and help people cross the roads during the event. To help with transport to and from the route for the community, we worked together on planning a park and ride throughout the day. With so many locals coming out for the event, and a number of participants stopping, this proved to be a positive for businesses, increasing their takings and footfall.
We also paid for bunting throughout the streets of Bewdley, including the installation and removal by a local contractor. The village used this bunting at other events prior to and after the event which provided further benefit for the community beyond Vélo Birmingham.
With spectators lining the route throughout Bewdley, there was an amazing celebratory atmosphere in the village which proved to be an unforgettable part of the ride for participants. This is just one example of the sort of feedback we received from local residents:
“We spent a few hours watching the cyclists going past. I think my daughter lost count of how many high 5’s she got. She loved it!”
The riders were inspired by the warmth and enthusiasm of the welcome provided by local residents who, in turn, enjoyed a fun day out. Bewdley also received a variety of press coverage, including features in local press and on ITV, and an impressive number of mentions on social media.
Here are just a few of the comments from our riders about their experience of Bewdley:
“Bewdley is now on my list of places to visit and stay and will recommend for others I know to do the same. Thank you Bewdley.”
“It was quite a community event, lots of people out, sitting on their lawn chairs with a cup of tea or whatever, cheering you on, so it was really good.”
“We went to the finish line and lots of riders said the atmosphere in Bewdley was the same as the finish. Loved the decorated bikes too! Well done Bewdley!”
GARDENERS ARMS, DROITWICH:
The Gardener’s Arms, a 17th Century Pub located in Droitwich, pub hosted an epic, cycling themed street party featuring live music, real ale and cider, a barbeque, local business stalls, and a bouncy castle with kids’ entertainers. Simon explains:
“We got a license from the Council to serve alcohol on the street, so we had a bar and a BBQ outside with a band playing in the background. It was absolutely phenomenal, one of the best ever events we have held here. The atmosphere on the day was superb and the riders really appreciated it as they came through”.
We worked closely with the owner Simon Berry and provided him with support and funding which enabled him to leverage the crowds the event drew in to help him make a success of the day.
For the safety of the spectators we installed barriers, and organised stewards in the area to cross locals in front of the pub.
Due to their involvement with the event, we were able to get significant PR exposure for the pub, who were featured on TV and in local newspapers in the lead up to the event. Simon confirmed that on event day BBC Hereford and Worcester were there all day and truly acknowledged the success of the event.
With the funding, infrastructure and PR support we provided, and the fantastic initiatives that Simon organised, he confirmed that they had a 125% increase in takings on the day of the event and numerous locals enjoyed spectating from the pub.
Simon could not see a reason not to be involved in Vélo events, affirming that:
“We’re a charitable nation and we’re a great sporting nation and with this being the second biggest bike ride in the country and all for a worthwhile cause, it’s very important that we support it”.
If you would like your local community, village, club or business to be a part of Vélo South, please click here. This page features tips, ideas, and information on how to enter our Community Celebration Programme to help bring your idea to life. Entries are open until midnight on 1 August.
If you have any questions on getting involved please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org, and put “Get Involved” in the subject line.