Bell Ride Free 2014 | Forest of Dean
A simple equation comes into play when we are introduced to a new bike product, be that a frame, pair of pedals or a posh new helmet. It's a process of association, and the main way brands build their exposure to us riders. It's called sponsorship, and investing money and products into riders has been and continues to work really well in the biking world.
We see them racing, appearing in videos and generally being radical imbibes the same emotion to us and sees us reaching for something shiny and new. This is a well oiled machine that works in all manner of industries and that's really cool, Bell have decided to take things in a different direction and it's even cooler to see a different approach from a big brand like them.
The concept is derived from a trail building scheme in the US where bike parks can bid for money to get their trails worked on and supported by Bell. In the same vein Bell have decided to give something back to the everyday rider who gets out on a weekend and just rides for the love of it. It seemed like a pretty cool idea to us so we rolled along on Sunday to see what was going on.
The concept is pretty simple, the first 200 people to sign up online get a free uplift for the day, a goody bag and the chance to win one of five helmets by finding a winning ticket hidden on the trails. With nearly every registered rider turning up it was a busy old time for a hot day at the Forest. There were five winning tickets dotted around the woods for riders to find and one lucky chap managed to pick two trails on his first few runs that had tickets on, so he went away very happy with two new lids!
Sam Needham, the man behind our latest cover, was on hand to shoot the riders and he has sent us this little teaser video of the day.
Everyone seemed to be having a good time and with just a few bumps and bruises to report it was a success on all counts. It's good to see bike brands doing things a bit differently free riding, free stuff and a BBQ served up by the guys at Pedal A Bike Away, is there a better way to spend a Sunday?
This is the first event Bell are putting on and there are more to come, next month there's the same format running at Hamsterley it's all booked up for now but they are planning more of the same next year.
Check out a bunch of sweet photos Sam took on the day right here: