We Welcome Your Input, Pinksters: where should we ride in 2014?

Where Wild Pink Yonder ought to ride each year is always an agonizing decision! We put off going north because we were afraid our southern riders (they are the majority) wouldn’t follow us that far north. This year we took the plunge … but we were right. Our rider monies are down significantly. (Very significantly.) Fortunately, our northern towns were exceptional and have picked up the slack … but that doesn’t “grow” our annual donation.

So my thoughts are:

1. I don’t think the south is ready for us yet. They are still in shock from the summer’s flooding and are in serious reconstruction mode. I expect this to be so for a couple of years. (That’s just my opinion. If you disagree, I’d like to hear from you.)
2. From what I’ve read, this (#1) applies to a lot more than just the Calgary/High River area. Even SE Alberta took a big hit.
3. We can’t do the same northern route two years in a row, and even if we could improve our ridership up there (which I think we can), I don’t see a lot of alternate routes up there.
4. North east Alberta is too sparsely populated to be viable.
5. That leaves either east (more or less) or directly west of Edmonton.
6. If we go west, we’re hitting a number of rather large centres, and typically, we don’t do so well in big centres. Our biggest supporters are the little centres.
7. My head hurts from agonizing over this, so I need outside input. Rusty and I are both stymied. East? West? Somewhere else?

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10 thoughts on “We Welcome Your Input, Pinksters: where should we ride in 2014?

  1. I think your ride from Grande cache would be great and do Awesome also… Lots of little towns can be visited in that area. And i also believe alot of support would happen also…. Just my opinion. Happy Trails πŸ™‚

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    • I, too, like the idea of coming out of Grande Cache. My problem with that route is that there don’t appear to be many SMALL towns after Grande Cache ’til you get the other side of Edson, and then we’d hit MORE larger centres (not good for us) once we get to Stony Plain and Spruce Grove. *sigh*

      Do you know of some small towns we could visit that are in the Hinton/Edson area?

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  2. How about up the middle of Alberta? Lethbridge to Taber up hiway 36 to Brooks then over to Bassano, to hiway 56 to Hussar ,Drumheller, Munson, Rumsey, Rowley. Big Valley, Stettler. And all the way to Edmonton.

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    • We’ve done a route very similar to that, Edie. We started one year in Cypress Hills and, more or less, went up the eastern side of the province. We did another route (year two?) that took us up through Three Hills and Trochu area. We WILL be back down there, just not in 2014 because I think too many towns are still reeling from last summer’s floodings.

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  3. I voted for Grande Cache because the others had too mcuh hauling time πŸ™‚ However I would love to see an Alberta/BC route!!

    If I can get the interest up for a BC Chapter, we will have to look In the future) at having the two rides meet up somewhere along the BC/Alberta border, ride together for a day or two then split up again to finish out our designated rides. How’s that for a future plan Jane??

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  4. Here’s my idea: Red Deer loop. Start in Red Deer, climb North towards Edmonton from the East side, then go West and South along Hwy 22, the Cowboy Trail towards Calgary and complete the loop back to Red Deer by going East. I haven’t look at it on a map but you would likely hit the most riders and donations keeping in horsey regions.

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    • We *must* end in Edmonton, Brigitte. WELCA is a fantastic partner, and we’ve just started to build a model that will (hopefully) bring in lots of research money. But whether it’s WELCA or somewhere else, it needs to be the *same* ending place each year. (It’s too hard to start from scratch every year!)

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