You Get What You Give, Ask Primal Why

By Bill Plock

Nov 6, 2022–Denver  In 1998, The New Radicals released the song, “You Get What You Give” and it seems to have resonated strongly as a business mantra with premier cycling apparel manufacturer Primal of Denver.

As I looked around the room at the Four Seasons conference room during the PrimalBike 2022 gathering a couple of weeks ago, it dawned on me that between all of the rides represented here, well over $150 million is raised each and every year for a variety of causes; cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, college scholarships, community causes and so much more.

You get what give

Between the rides, tens of thousands of riders explore roads in every corner of America. The reason they were all in Denver? Primal, a thirty-year-old company supplies cycling clothing for all of these rides and the cyclists who spend hours raising money and a lifetime rolling on roads.

Thirty years ago, Dave Edwards made some cool cycling t-shirts and sold them out of the back of his car in Moab. They were a hit and one thing has led to another and thousands upon thousands of designs later Primal has evolved into one of cycling’s top brands of cycling wear.

Dave Edwards and Key Note Speaker, Susie Wargin

Each year, Primal invites some of their top customers to meet and discuss the “state of the union” in cycling events and ponder the future, and share ideas on how to improve events and the sport of cycling. This year’s attendee’s included leaders from MS, RAGBRAI, Bike New York, Pan-Mass Challenge, Outside, and many others. All of the organizations attending, some for-profit and most non-profits, raise enormous money, but so does Primal.

Since its inception, Primal has given away over 12 million dollars. Says founder, President/CEO Dave Edwards about the gathering, “the most meaningful part is making connections and sharing knowledge and experiences. We’re privileged to work with incredible partners, and we wanted to provide an opportunity for them to get together in a setting that inspires learning, conversations, and relationship building that makes their events even better while getting more people on bikes.”

Tim Baker of Primal questions panel: Kris Raugh (Bike MS), Jarrett Collins (Pan-Mass), Steve Schulz (Cycle Oregon)

It’s incredible the amount of money these cycling events raise. Take a look at the top ten fundraising rides according to Grand Fondo Guide and many were at this conference.

Charity Ride State Amount Raised
The Pan-Mass Challenge Massachusetts $63,000,000
Pelotonia Ohio $23,233,265
AIDS/LifeCycle California $16,800,000
TexasMS 150 Texas $13,691,025
Bike 4 Chai New York $10,400,000
Best Buddies Challenge Massachusetts $6,600,000
The Ride for Roswell New York $5,671,759
Dolphins Cancer Challenge Florida $5,237,879
Bike MS: City to Shore Pennsylvania $4,974,767
Velosano Ohio $4,752,810

The Pan-Mass Challenge, in particular, raising $63million in one ride for cancer research leads the peloton of charity. Said President, Jarrett Collins, “Primal is a great partner for the Pan-Mass Challenge because they support many of our teams with high-quality kits, AND they give back to the fundraising efforts of those teams, all in the service of defeating cancer!”

Tim Baker sharing some Primal History

The group had break-out sessions focused on discussing a variety of topics ranging from sustainability to trends such as gravel, or as Jarrett Collins termed, “unpaved”. Steve Schulz from Cycle Oregon gave us a peek behind the curtains of their Community of Giving (COG) program and the impact their ride has on its communities and how it helps build everything from community centers to improving community relationships.

The group took to the streets and rode bikes to further build camaraderie and consider ideas aimed at getting more people on bikes and raising more money.

Post-conference ride

Ken Podziba, President of Bike New York holds the largest one-day ride in the United States, the Five Boro Bike Tour with over 32,000 riders (303 articles about the ride HERE) and said of the conference, “the conference, which was interesting, engaging, informative, and entertaining, provided an opportunity to learn from and collaborate with some of our country’s top bike event organizers.  I left Denver with a much greater knowledge of Primal’s creative and managerial processes, learning things we can apply to our events, and making some awesome new friends – now that’s a successful conference!”

If you measure yourself by the peers you attract, Primal has attracted many of the best of the best when it comes to top cycling events and raising money for good causes. You Get What You Give seemed more than obvious at PrimalBike 2022.

New Radical’s You Get What You Give–1998

You’ve got the music in youDon’t let goYou’ve got the music in youOne dance leftThis world is gonna pull throughDon’t give upYou’ve got a reason to liveCan’t forgetWe only get what we give

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