Bikes and Food. That’s how the Slow Food Cycle works.
Back in 2005, an event was dreamed up to let people see what Pemberton was all about. (Jack Christie writes the Untold Story of the original Slow Food Cycle in the Straight.) Now attracting thousands of riders, the “peloton of pleasure seekers” has also been voted one of National Geographic Traveler magazine’s top 20 travel-worthy events for the summer. In the world.)
Suffice to say the organisers of Slow Food Cycle Sunday are busy. Very busy. With the 2 week countdown looming, media coverage rolling out across the globe, and the website tracking at 10,000 hits a week, there are a lot of details to finalise before the bikes roll up the Meadows. (Not to mention a potato crop to harvest.) But we managed to hold Anna Helmer and Niki VanKerk down for long enough, just, to get the low-down on the following:
If you could write a sticky note to yourself, back at the beginning 7 years ago, with a few critical words of wisdom, what would you say?
Keep it simple.
What has been your biggest learning?
Never underestimate the power of a well thought-out and executed media/marketing plan.
Where do you imagine this event will be on its 10th anniversary?
10,000 hits a day on the website, organizers juggling jobs, kids and event, feature interview in the Financial Times newspaper.
Bikes and food: you have to bike to get your food in this event. That’s how it works. Bikes come first.
What makes the people come?
They come because there is something about Pemberton. Biking, food and Pemberton – that adds up to some kind of high that you can’t get anywhere else.
Finally, if you could have everyone who participates in this ride go away thinking one thought, what would it be?
Where is my food coming from, because if it is not from somewhere like this, then I don’t want it. And: I should bike more.