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Venus de Miles: Event Review
 
By Imelda March
Date: 7/31/2013
Venus de Miles: Event Review
 
Venus de Miles is a women’s only charity ride that supports college students in need by providing financial assistance and mentorship through the Greenhouse Scholars.

It offered a long and a short course; a 25 miles/40 kilometers and 64 miles/103 kilometers options. It traveled through the neighborhoods of Lake Forest, Deerfield, Riverwoods, Lincolnshire, Long Grove, Forest Lake, Mundelein, Libertyville and Mettawa. The courses winded through forest preserves and bikes paths that were both paved and unpaved.

In terms of weather, it was partly sunny and the temperatures ranged from 12C-20C/54F-68F. The weather was significantly cooler than in the inaugural event in 2012.


Riders getting ready to depart for the Venus de Miles in Lake Forest, Illinois.
(Photograph by: Imelda March)

Facts and Figures

The event had 327 registered riders of which 69% rode the long course and 31% the short course. There were 99 less riders than in the inaugural 2012 event. The fee to participate varied from $79 to $129 (day of ride) depending on how early a participant registered. In addition, there was a $75 fund raising minimum per participant.

The majority of the riders were from the state of Illinois with the remainder of the participants representing Colorado, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, Iowa, Michigan and South Dakota.

Event strengths/weaknesses

Strengths:

♦ The ride is well suited for women of all abilities because it offered and opportunity to ride with other women in a low-traffic setting.

♦ Four rest stops along the way offered riders an abundance of food, water, hydration products, medical assistance, and female hygiene products to keep things rolling along.

♦ There was excellent course marshalling and signage throughout the courses.

♦ Excellent post event offerings rounded out the day including food, ice cream, non- alcoholic beverages, beer, spirits, massage, chiropractic adjustment, manicures, pedicures, facials, and an array of apparel and services options.

♦ The event does a good job of following sustainability standards with volunteers helping to steer participants on where to put recyclable items after each use.

♦ A few of the charity recipients were present at the event.

Weaknesses:

♦ The event lacked any sort of social media strategy. There was no unique event hashtag to assist riders to post photographs and comments on Twitter with/without mention of @VenusdeMiles. Equally there was no call to action for their Facebook page.

♦ I really did not like that we had to ride on an unpaved bike path because I had slick road tires mounted on my bike.

♦ The ride conflicted with the ABD Winfield Criterium (Winfield, Illinois) and the Franco Panveno Masters Cup (Northbrook, Illinois) and further away with the Wisconsin State Road race.

Overall Impression

On a personal level as a racer, after battling wind, rain and a few hills; I welcomed having food, beverage, ice cream, post event t-shirt and massage options immediately following my 64 miles/103 kilometers ride.

For riders who are looking for another training option while helping out a charity, this is a good ride to add to the repertoire. For non-racing women this is an excellent ride because there are not too many women’s only rides in Illinois that allows the opportunity to network with others with similar interests.

Still want to ride

Grab your family and friends and travel to Colorado the weekend of September 29. Visit Venus de Miles Colorado for more information and don’t forget to bring your climbing legs.

Donate Today

If you did not ride this year and would like to contribute then visit Greenhouse Scholars by the end of August to make your donation.

Visit Venus de Miles to learn more about the organization and the ride.

RELATED NEWS
Venus de Miles returns after strong debut in Illinois

About the author: An experienced racer, Imelda March lives in Chicago and is a member of Team Kenda. She is a frequent contributor to The Daily Peloton Cycling News team, reporting on women’s cycling news and general peloton ramblings. She also holds an MBA, is a marketing strategy expert, and is a social media team member/contributor to the Chicago chapter of the American Marketing Association. Follow me at @hcram1.

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