Earlier in April I worked with the crew from the Cycling 360 podcast to help them achieve a dream they held for two years: to produce the world’s first ever free online summit dedicated to making people better cyclists. We named the event The Road Cycling Summit. From the start we wanted to produce an event that would make an impact on people’s lives. Helping them get more out of their limited riding time and empowering them with tools to help them improve their lives. Not only did we talk about specific workouts, but we also talked about goal setting, weight loss, self treatment and injury prevention, even happiness and work/life balance.
Some of the experts who shared our vision and were willing to give their time and expertise to the summit included Bicycling Magazine’s Fit Chick, Selene Yeager, mental skills expert Carrie Cheadle, athletic nutrition expert Kelli Jennings, fitness writer Matt Fitzgerald, coaches Taylor Thomas and Paul Page-Hanson, and many more. Each speaker not only recorded an amazingly informative session, but appeared live during the summit to answer audience questions. Some of these Q&A sessions lasted over an hour!
A lot of things came together to create this summit. The generous speakers who gave us their time and expertise, the hosts of the Cycling 360 podcast, Victor Jimenez and Darryl Kotyk, and I who spent the last 6 months planning and coordinating the summit, and the generous sponsors, including Mountain Khakis, who supported the event and the cycling community, all came together to realize our vision.
As for me personally, this was my first adventure into the world of online event planning and working professionally with the cycling community. I’m not sure what I was expecting. Everything leading up to the event was pretty standard. Organize jobs, assign tasks, contact speakers, contact sponsors, schedule recordings, edit website, etc. But during the event is when I was truly surprised. As project manager I did the behind the scenes work trying to make sure everything ran smoothly(ish) during the summit. This included moderating the chat during the summit. As someone who grew up in the era of comment sections and online communities I was expecting the usual characters. Trolls, angry disagreement…lots and lots of profanity. My hand was hovering over the delete comment and ban buttons just waiting for the inevitable rush of negativity.
It never came. I never deleted a comment during all 20 sessions. I never banned anyone. I never even had to ask people to tone it down. Everyone was positive. People were trying to help each other. People thanked the speakers, thanked each other, offered encouragement and were genuinely grateful to the speakers and hosts. It was this positivity that sustained me through the marathon of sessions every day.
I have really been blown away listening to all of you sharing your amazing knowledge and insights that you all share so passionately. I have picked up on so much and for the past 5 days everything else in my life was virtually put on hold to be able to join the webinars…. And now to get back to family, work, life and the bike.
The Road Cycling Summit was not only a great success because of the great content that helped thousands of people become better cyclists, but it was also a success because of the amazing community of cyclists who came out support the summit, and each other. I am proud to have been a part of Road Cycling Summit.
-Michael J. Davis.
Project Manager and Event Producer for The Road Cycling Summit presented by Cycling 360