In the Spring of 2010, bicycle riders from all over the country will stage a relay race in the 8 western states of California, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas and Missouri. Approximately 500 selected bikers will attempt to ride the actual Pony Express Trail as it exists today faster than about 500 veteran horseback Pony Express riders. The 2010 Pony Express Bicycle Challenge authentic head to head relay race is a separate event from the historic Pony Express Reride and will compete day and night until there is a winner. The goal is to ride the roughly 2,000 miles from Sacramento, CA to St. Joseph, Missouri in just 7 days, 16 hours.
Not for 150 years has there gone out across the country an urgent call for ‘wiry 18 year old’ riders. Today, the Pony Express Bicycle Challenge is looking for great young bicycle riders from bike shops, bike clubs, college racing teams, military personnel, noted individuals and racing pros. You need not be an ‘orphan willing to risk death’ to apply.
Horses are clearly favored when climbing and powering through soft soil conditions. Naturally, there are huge advantages horses have over bike riders climbing up the Sierra Nevada range and up the western side of the continental divide. Nevada's 40 mile desert and Utah's Upper Sonoran Desert have hundreds of miles of less famous but no less difficult terrain conditions. The single most advantageous factor for the cyclist is that much of the original trail has become gravel roads and paved highways. Horses must run on roads and are at a disadvantage here. Wind and weather will also be a huge factor. Ultimately, the real ‘horse race’ of this horse race is in the marginal areas of terrain where decades of horsemanship experience may trump technology.
Both racing groups have taken advantage of technology. Horses are bred for better blood lines. Bicycles have drastically improved on the simple concept of two wheels and a frame. We intend to use all types of human-peddled bicycles just as horsemen select from Thoroughbreds, Mustangs, Pintos, and Arabians.
In addition to the 80 lb Mochilla (mail pouch), Pony Express riders will carry 150 years of history as a virtual burden. Bicycles, on the other hand, will carry 150 years of history, literally! Their 20 lbs bicycle mochilla contains all manner of portable digital devices filled with the last 150 years of recorded history, including the genealogies of original riders and their horses.
The Pony Express Bicycle Challenge is a historic moment with public morale riding on it. In truth, the Pony Express Bicycle Challenge itself has little meaning in terms of actual accomplishment. Modern bikes with the best riders could not compete over the original Trail with the motivated horses and horsemen of 150 years ago. Mostly, the country needs to be reminded its own historic struggles as a strength and regain an optimism for the future to build on. Motivated citizens can make the unusual and the seemingly impossible happen. Cross country mail delivered in days instead of weeks by boat: imagine that! Elect a black President: imagine that. Bicycles beating horses at their own game on their own 2,000 mile long turf. Imagine that. What’s' next? Imagine it.
The theme of the challenge is “Men propelling themselves on machines at speeds rivaling horses”. But, man against beast has its own tantalizing appeal. Beyond that, 200 horsemen racing against 500 bicyclists is interesting, competitive and just plain fun. Certainly, competition on the grand stage of the original Pony Express Trail speaks for itself.
The race is on for 2010. The country needs a spark to get going again. This head to head match may light that fire.
Google Street View Trike in Singapore!
There is NOWHERE Google won't go people!
Google Street View Trike at Stonehenge
Is Facebook's Pay-Per Click worth the expense to a Small Bicycle Business...Hmmm...NO! Believe it or not, Facebook probably has the most sophisticated consumers of any Social Networking page out there.
I will not waste space and quote their market demographics but it is safe to say that the average consumer on Facebook is much more savvy than the MySpace crowd. People with Facebook profiles tend to be Home owners whereas Myspace users tend to be renters...blah..blah..blah!
I have personally used Facebook's PPC advertising so I speak from experience when I tell you that the MOST VALUABLE piece of this for small bicycle business is not the 'Cost Per Click' but rather the 'Cost Per Impression'.
The difference in a nutshell shell is the cost to get someone to click on your ad could vary from 15 cents to 50 cents depending on your keyword selections.
Bikes are normally considered mid-level to high ticket items so that cost may seem small. It even becomes more attractive IF the bicycle biz drop ships the item. Customer clicks on ad, arrives at your website, buys a bicycle, you ship it and life is good, right?
How many people buy WHOLE bikes from websites though? Especially from an unknown small business? Parts...YES! But bikes are something that a discerning buyer wants to touch and feel.
After all reader, how many times have you purchased a complete bike off of a website?
Is it any wonder most companies put more focus on helping you locate a dealer as opposed to selling straight from their site.
For a small business, CPC can get expensive so I suggest you focus more on the Cost Per Impression! Facebook can get your ad in front of, say 17,000 people in a few days (if keyword is searched), out of that, maybe 150 people will click in your ad.
Let's assume that the 'Cost Per Click' is $.40, that would be $60 per day using CPC. If you have that kind of money...JUST for people to see your business that probably won't buy ($420.00 per week) GO FOR IT!
In contrast, CPM (Cost per Impression) gets your brand out in front of people who will see it, but may not click on it, therefore it will cost you no money!
What a great way to build your brand folks for LOW COSTS!
There are about a billion bicycles in the world, twice as many as motorcars. Almost 400 million bicycles are in China. Every year some 50 million bicycles - and 20 million cars - are produced.
Although Leonardo da Vinci drew some rough sketches of a contraption that looked like a bicycle, the Frenchman De Sivrac built the first bicycle-type vehicle in 1690. It was referred to as a hobbyhorse. However, it did not have pedals. Those were added in 1840 by a Scottish blacksmith, Kirkpatrick Macmillan, who is credited with inventing the real bicycle.
On a penny-farthing bicycle, one pedal gave the wheel one turn. A lot of pedalling was needed to get around! With the advent of gears, bicycles could move as fast as cars.
Air-filled tyres were used on bicycles before they were used on motorcars.
The bicycle as we know it today - with two wheels of the same size - looks almost exactly the same as one from 1900.
The first five-seat bicycle, the quindem, was built in 1940.
The world speed record on a bicycle is held by John Howard, Olympic Cyclist and Ironman triathlon winner from the US. In 1985 he reached 245,08 km/h (152.2 mph), cycling in the slipstream of a specially designed car.