Shine On! (dis)organizer and Dictator-in-Chief, here.Actually if you want to see a great charity ride event take a look at the Tyler Foundation Shine On ride.
To start with, apologies to IkedaWilliams for the extreme threadjack taking place here! (This should all really have gone here or here)
I think in the light of the discussions we've seen it's not really fair to make a direct comparison. The (Half-Fast) Shine On! Cycle Challenge in Norikura (SOCCIN) is only one way to do a charity ride.
We've done SOCCIN three times now, and from the outset we (the steering committee - again a small group of close friends) decided that didn't want to follow the European-style charity/sponsorship model in which participants individually raise sponsorship pledges from their family, friends and colleagues.
Instead we preferred to have a more modest charity goal, and to focus on the personal cycling challenge, affordability, and person-to-person 'extras' such as the Beads of Courage and postcards. Trust me, these extras have a huge positive impact with the kids.
So we never set out to make millions of yen... just a little more than last year. More important to us was to get a friendly group of cyclists together in a non-competitive environment and work together to support a charitable cause at the same time. Those who have the means to contribute more financially are able to do so, and those who cannot can at least spread the word.
The JC2C is very clearly a different model.
As a ride, it looks great. I'd love to do the ride.
I am mostly put off, indeed perplexed, by the goodie bag thing: "Each participant will receive over 30,000 yen worth of goods PLUS the use of a new OGK helment for the ride".* I would have thought that most people contemplating a 280 km bike ride would already own sunglasses, a jersey and whatever. Couldn't we reduce the participation fee by said ¥30,000 and skip all that materialism? I'd be happy with a pair of socks.
Then I'm put off by the fundraising target thing: "Ask your friends and family to support your challenge with a donation to help the people of Tohoku and Africa. We ask that each participant sets themselves a goal of 200,000 yen (approx. $2500) which will be split between famine relief in the Horn of Africa and economic recovery projects in Tohoku."* It's different from the 'sponsored swim' model where one persuades people to pledge a modest amount per length. It's an outright donation, only vaguely linked to the activity or the participant.
And I'm afraid I say "No!" I don't want to hassle everyone I know, Amway-style, just to go on a bike ride. My choice. Too bad. (Ultimately, for me personally, it's about the cycling!)
As I said above, I recognize that there are lots of different ways to set up a charity ride, with different priorities and different personal, business, and long-term agendas.
I respect what JC2C is doing and wish them success. However, with the current event model I personally don't want to participate. If I feel this way then you can be sure that not a few other gaijin cyclists do too.
P.S. I did a C2C (Naoetsu to Tokyo, two nights) and it cost me about 25,000 yen total. That's kinda my baseline. Just saying...