The Kentucky Century Challenge 2013 Was a Resounding Success!
A Brief History - How the Kentucky Century Challenge Came To Be for 2013
The Kentucky Century Challenge started as a collaborative experiment among 4 premier rides in Kentucky that offered a century ride as one of the options, and the State Office of Adventure Tourism. The concept was simple - Challenge cyclists to complete at least 3 centuries among the 4 offered by participating rides over the course of a riding season, and reward those who met the challenge with a commemorative jersey that could be earned only by completing the challenge.
As idea was discussed and developed, we thought that we might get 250 people who would sign up, and that of those folks, maybe 125-150 would complete the challenge. After all, riding three organized century rides in one year is a pretty daunting task! Based on those estimates, organizers of the Redbud Ride, Horsey Hundred, Preservation Pedal, and Old Kentucky Home Tour agreed that each organization would fund 1/4 of the cost of providing the jerseys for riders successfully completing the challenge. John Mahorney, a graphic designer from Louisville, was engaged to design a logo and inaugural jersey. The Office of Adventure Tourism agreed to host our website and to handle registrations.
The initiative was launched in early 2013 and cyclists quickly began signing up on line. Riders were also able to register on-site at the Redbud Ride and the Horsey Hundred. It became apparent fairly quickly that our initial estimates were extremely low - it was obvious that we sorely underestimated the number of cyclists eager to accept the challenge. After the Redbud Ride, when over 400 people had registered for the challenge, we agreed that we should try to find sponsors to help underwrite the cost of purchasing the jerseys, since it looked like participation would be more than double what we anticipated, and since all of the participating rides are fundraisers that support the sponsoring organizations. We thought finding sponsors would be difficult because the challenge had already started and one ride was already completed, but we were wrong. Almost immediately, four organizations stepped up and offered to help. We can't say enough about these four organizations and their willingness to step in on short notice. Our sincere thanks and appreciation go out to Graviss McDonald's, Insuranceworks, Main Street Bikes in Shelbyville, and Bullmoose Brothers Bikes in Elizabethtown. Please join us in thanking these great businesses for their support of cycling in Kentucky.
As is typical with a brand new, experimental initiative, we had some glitches but thankfully there was nothing major and we think it is safe to say that the Inaugural Kentucky Challenge was a resounding success! We thank everyone who signed up, and we especially thank those of you who met the challenge! You truly earned your jersey and we hope you wear it proudly!
Jerseys will be distributed in early December. We will have a jersey distribution party/celebration that we hope many of our challenge participants will be able to attend. We will also offer jersey pick up locations at Bullmoose Brothers in Elizabethtown, and Main Street Bikes in Shelbyville. Jerseys that cannot be picked up will be shipped.
Statistics from 2013
- 565 people registered for the challenge.
- 270 people completed the challenge.
- 40 people rode all 4 rides.
- Of those that completed the challenge, 221 were men and 49 were women.
- We had 2 participants from Alabama, 2 from Georgia, 7 from Tennessee, 17 from Ohio, 27 from Indiana, and 215 from Kentucky.
- We had 68 participants from the Central Kentucky area, 58 from the Louisville area, and 15 from the Elizabethtown area.
Looking Forward to 2014
Plans are underway for the 2014 edition of the Kentucky Century Challenge. We hope to have registration available in January of 2014. There will be some changes based on our experiences from this year, however the challenge will be offered again, so stay tuned for details!