Did you know there are over 80,000 events in the US? That is a lot of events to choose from much less be aware of. I grew up racing bikes, then started running which led to Triathlons. It was a great workout that allowed me to relieve my stresses from the work week and think of inspirational ideas. One of those inspirations was starting a running series.
Have you ever wonder how and why some of these events get setup? What inspires someone to create an event for running, cycling or triathlon.
As I started putting on events I reached out to many event organizers just to understand how they do what they do and why. It was real cool discovering the other side of the event, from a non-participant perspective, and it was really cool discovering how events got their start. I had a recent chance to meet a real cool guy via a relationship that I have with America Walks and I got to learn about his event, which was specific to cycling.
Michael Denehy is the brains behind the popular Peddaler’s Jamboree which takes place in Missouri and Iowa. The Pedaler’s Jamboree is a music festival created for bicycle riders and non-riders alike!
I asked Mike to share a little about himself, how he got into Endurance Sports. ‘I grew up running cross country in high school and soon after found a great love of bicycle touring on RAGBRAI up in Iowa. Both running and cycling became great social activities that also helped me challenge myself in both speed and endurance.’ replied Mike
So I asked Mike if he had an inspiration behind the activity he choose and Mike replied ‘Both running and cycling have always been an adventure for me. To get outside and run/bike on the trails, back roads and to feel the open air has always been an exhilarating experience.’
Mike went on to tell me that running and cycling have shared the top of his list of favorite activities for years. Mike stated, “Currently, I can think of no better activity than to spend the day exploring backcountry gravel roads on a bicycle and explore new areas that I have never been before. I love the opportunity to travel long distances using my own power and skill and an inspiration to take roads that are off the beaten path of life.”
So I asked him how he come up with the idea for Pedaler’s Jamboree, Mike replied “ The inspiration from the Pedaler’s Jamboree came from small bicycle tours with friends on the Katy Trail. I thought that it would be fun to make the rides that we did for fun “official” events and invite musicians to perform along the route. The ride went from a few bands and a few hundred people to a couple dozen bands and a few thousand people through the years. A lot has been learned as the event has grown. Now at year seven, the event is expanding to a 2nd location in Des Moines Iowa on the Raccoon River Valley Trail. It is exciting to take all of the years of experience to a brand new trail!”
So I asked Mike what makes the event so unique, Mike replied “ The event is as much a music festival as it is a bicycle tour. There are many other rides out there that have music along the route, but the Pedaler’s Jamboree definitely focuses on making it a feature of the event. It is quite a party! I spend all year scouting bands and making the festival experience something special. I do believe that the event is the largest bicycle/music festival in the world with close to 3,000 participants on the ride. This will be year seven and people are starting to get really excited!”
So as it goes I recently put Mike in touch with a key contact in Dekalb County Georgia in hopes of bringing something similar to the South, only time will tell.
Be sure to check out Pedaler’s Jamboree and join Mike for some fun!