#HomeGrownStories – Roger Bowersock
Roger Bowersock, a resident of Greenville, Ohio, likes to spend time in Miami County. He and his family visit the county for recreation, shopping, and dining. Roger’s not for profit group, Rocketship Sports Management brought the popular donut and biking event, Tour de Donut, to Ohio in 2005. Besides Tour de Donut, Rocketship also organizes the Shawshank Hustle in Mansfield and helps other organizations plan events. In 2012 Roger was named one of the Nation’s Top Sports Event Managers by Sports Events Magazine. This year will be the first year that Tour de Donut is in Troy.
His connection to Miami County:
We live in Greenville. We spend a lot of time in Miami County dining and shopping. We also go paddling on the river and riding the recreational paths.
About his not for profit corporation, Rocketship Sports Management:
We started a bike club eleven years ago. It evolved into a multifaceted sports event management group. Rocketship Sports is a bike club and a bike race team. It’s also a Road Runners Club of America running club and USAT (USA Triathlon) Adventure race team. At one time we promoted as many as 25 races, including bike and running races per year. We now concentrate on two large events: The Tour de Donut in Troy and Shawshank Hustle in Mansfield. We have created several events for other organizations. We help many groups each year with marketing, equipment loaning, and event guidance. We are an all volunteer group. We use sports to enrich lives; from beginner clinics to elite sports assistance and charitable support.
How the Tour de Donut bike race came to Ohio:
We attended a bike event in Pennsylvania twelve years ago where you rode and stopped for donuts. Our group decided we would do something like this and planned one for the following August. The first year the event drew 100 people. The second year we had 250 people and 500 people the third year. Our numbers grew from there until we started selling out at 2,000 people in 2014. We sold out in 2015 and 2016 as well.
When we started we thought the idea was unique enough that it would help grow the sport of cycling. We had no idea it would grow into the largest one-day event in Ohio. We have continued to evolve the event. Each year we attempt something new. Some good ideas, some bad, but we always focus on the experience for our riders. That and the donuts are why this event is so popular.
How Tour de Donut will be different this year:
Our new location this year in Troy allows us to permit more riders as our previous location limited us to 2,000. We are also able to provide more activities and events to truly make the event family friendly. It will be a do-not-miss event for riders and non-riding family members.
Troy has restaurants and shops for the non-cycling family members to check out. We will also have Rock the Bike Music Fest with a full day of activities. The ability to offer hotels in Troy, Piqua and Tipp is an amazing asset.
On the community response been to Tour de Donut:
The community response has been excellent! The Miami County Visitors & Convention Bureau has been great to work with. They have guided us to great people and organizations to work with. Troy has been very welcoming to allow us to put on the event the way we envision it in your town. We can always use more volunteers!
How many riders have signed up for Tour de Donut:
As of August 1st, 2016 we had 628 riders signed up. As of August 1st, 2017 we have 1,121. We have sold out the prior three years with 2,000. Our limit this first year will be 3,000. We plan to increase the limit. First, we want to see how the big increase in participation is handled. We still want to provide the same great experience we have always provided.
His recommendations for out-of-town visitors Miami County:
You can find us most often at Basil’s in Troy and Coldwater Café in Tipp City. We love slurping down a chocolate malt at K’s Hamburger Shop and we love everything about the Strawberry Festival.
Rocketship Sports Management, Inc.
415 Russ Road, Greenville, Ohio
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