Reflections on the 2018 Pumpkinvine Bike Ride

friendsPumpkinvine Bike Ride


The 2018 Pumpkinvine Bike Ride was a success, according to the feedback we received from 300 participants. Over 1,000 riders signed up and 856 showed up for the ride. The weather forecast for morning rain, which we had for about an hour, wasn’t enough to deter most riders. The afternoon warmed up, but it was not as hot as some years.
Rider Feedback: We had 289 people respond to our survey about the ride. The responses indicate that most were pleased with the ride. Here are some results I found interesting:

  • Many commented about how well organized the ride was and how friendly the volunteers were.
  • This was first or second time on the ride for 52.2% Most heard about the ride from a friend (31.5%), the mailed brochure (26.6%) and from email (25.2%).
  • 58% just followed the road markings, 16% used a GPS/phone.
  • 90.2% felt the road markings were adequate to impressive.
  • 96.2% felt the food was adequate to impressive.
  • 98.2% felt the service at the SAGS was adequate to impressive.
  • 96.2% felt the cost was appropriate with 15% of that group willing to pay more.
  • 92.3% are planning on riding next year


We tried to be more direct with some of our promotions using WSBT for digital advertising and a TV ad that ran during news broadcasts. The results are mixed. Bob Carrico compared past registrations with 2018 registration by region. We did not see a significant boost in registrations overall but did see a boost in the Fort Wayne area. It is hard to say if the new ads really made a difference. There is no marketing silver bullet. I think it is interesting that a large percent of the survey respondents were first- or second-time riders. That does show the importance of continually getting the word out about the ride.

The logistics have been improving each year. The initial check in/registration went very smoothly. The staffing levels we had with iPads was just about right. The line while long at the beginning moved very quickly. The more significant price boost for week/day of ride registration did not stop anyone. There will always be a few late comers.

Getting food, tables, tents, road markings, port a johns, coolers and bike racks, etc. out to the SAG’s is a true team effort. We expect to improve our food ordering again in 2019. The relative consistency of the number of riders the last couple of years will enable us to reset some food quantities to more realistic levels. Both of us are extremely grateful for the more than 100 volunteers who made the ride a success by their hospitality and friendliness toward our guests from all over the Midwest.

Tim Drescher