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Palm Coast “Joy Ride” Draws Far Fewer Participants Than Anticipated

| January 10, 2011

palm coast holiday joy ride colbert lane

You had to be there. (© FlaglerLive)

Palm Coast’s “Joy Ride,” an attempt by a promoter and the city to build up interest in BMX biking in the city, finally got rolling Saturday morning from Central Park in Town Center, three weeks after it was initially scheduled. The event, dubbed a “Holiday Joy Ride” and first scheduled for Dec. 18, was canceled, ostensibly due to the threat of rain.

Turn-out on Saturday was considerably lower than anticipated. By the time bikers lined up, in two groups, to ride through town and trails, a sheriff’s deputy estimated the first group to have about 30 riders, and Bob Pickering, a Flagler County emergency management technician pulling duty with other volunteers as a member of React, said the second group–for the shorter ride–had 50 riders, or 80 in all, including children. The original schedule had planned a third group. That proved unnecessary.

The event was organized by promoter Renny Roker, who’s hoping to see the city build a BMX track (a spot around the Indian Trails Sports Complex was discussed during a Palm Coast City Council meeting last year) and stage a BMX reality show in town, allegedly starring Erik Estrada, the 1970s TV star currently hosting “The World’s Funniest Moments” — a contractual rather than a network show, meaning some local stations run it individually on a contractual basis, at times and on days of their choosing. The show is not available in the Palm Coast, Orlando or Jacksonville markets, but it may be available to some Dish Network customers. The BMX show, if it is produced, would be shown the same way, without guaranteed or blanket exposure nationally.

Before the rides, a few hundred people — many of them volunteers who’d turned up to help run the event — gathered in front of a big banner and a camera to give David Letterman a “this is Palm Coast” shout-out. It was Roker’s and the city’s idea, both to draw participants and to capitalize on Letterman’s recent “discovery” of Palm Coast, to invite as many people, businesses and politicians as possible to thank Letterman for the riff and videotape him a message that may or may not get on the air on “Late Night.”

Roker’s schedule, distributed organizers ahead of time, had listed an elaborate succession of events, including an “audition group” meeting at 9:15 a.m. to “prepare to meet prospective talent” and “audition table and audition persons in place” by 9:45, with auditions beginning at 10. But the auditions turned out to be nothing more than brief chats with Roker himself, at a table. By noon, he said he’d spoken to some 20 people. A volunteer standing by said there’d been about 10, with a few more to go.

“Turnout wasn’t as big as we’d hoped,” Roker said, but he was happy with the way the event had unfolded. The weather was ideal–cool, dry, virtually cloudless, a slight breeze–though the few vendors who’d set up shop in a half-arc around Central Park drew few customers once the riders left. The park had the feel of a regular weekend rather than the more successful special events the city has hosted there recently.

Long-distance riders logged a 26-mile loop that took them along Royal Palms Parkway, the Lehigh Trail, Colbert Lane up to Waterfront Park, Linear Park (along Palm Coast Parkway) and back down. The shorter route turned around at the Graham Swamp Trail Head a little north of the Lehigh Trail.

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12 Responses for “Palm Coast “Joy Ride” Draws Far Fewer Participants Than Anticipated”

  1. Justice for All says:

    This event had disappointment written all over it before it left the starting gate. I wouldn’t want my kids around these guys. Note the participant isn’t wearing a helmet but is hands free. Time to put the flim flam man in the rear view mirror and move on.

  2. Charles Ericksen Jr says:

    What concerns me the most about this effort was the apparent “snubbing”, of the other municipalities in Flagler County, in what was to showcase the biking atmosphere in the area. Just why wasn’t Flagler County involved, as many of the paths are on County property ( well that is, unless Palm Coast has annexed them over recently), and Palm Coast residents are also Flagler County residents. We all are..While there are boundary lines on the official maps, they should be invisible, .. and cooperation should be the theme. One has to question, just why there were so few attending, with the great weather..Is this a message to the city, that …….. well, you fill in the blank…Will this be the same for the 1/2 mile marathon event??

  3. Look Ma no hands says:

    Hey Justice,

    Just because you feel the need to wear a helmet at barely a crawl on a bike path, doesn’t mean everyone feels the need. I would agree that yes i should have worn a helement as an example for the kids. So JUSTICE FOR ALL how would you suggest i to talk to my DEAF! wife you idiot. Before you open your mouth, or post on the intranet think ~!~ Considering this was the first year the event took places, i feel Palm Coast did a decent Job. At the “orange” turn around we learned some local kids moved signs around. A gentleman who i road with had a great idea, for a table or a tent at the turn around just to keep everyone straight. The registration was horrible. They never took our names or had a place for our cans of food for donation. IT was greant to see the Bike Doctor at the even, Sadly i didnt see Tony. I guess some one had to run the shop. My wife and i had a great time and look forward to next year. Thank you Palm Coast for a great event. Great Job on all the wonderful bike paths!

  4. GhostRider says:

    Kudos to “look Ma no Hands” Thanks for clarifying some concerns in the photo and reminding everyone that we should not be quick to judge the actions of others without knowing the whole story. And yes, you should wear a helmet – at least at these events :) You make some valid points that will make the event better next year, hopefully. The first time an event is run is always a learning experience and you pointed out some areas for improvement. There is a theory in the study of sociology known as “conflict theory” which basically says that conflict results in positive change. We can look at these weaknesses in the event as “conflicts” and look to positive changes for future events! The important thing is that we put our heads together and make suggestions rather than blatantly criticize people as Justice For all has done.

    Ericksen – you point out a major weakness – let’s include the other municipalities and the county. The bike trails belong to all of us. Palm Coast, let’s make the next one better and embrace the entire community.

  5. Cat2 says:

    It is very common for cyclist to ride hands free, however we should always wear a helmet. I hope the half is better orginized then this event. I wonder did you ride the even Justice? It is not other riders to teach lessons to your kids about bike saftey? I saw a few kids and they all seemed to be having a good time. Is that the true purpose of riding a bike? My husband and me really enjoyed our time but note the lack of organization at the registration. I personally would like to thank all the volunteers for a good effort. Every time we crossed a road we were greeted with a smile. Personally, i would love to see a longer ride.

  6. OldSchoolBMX says:

    If Palm Coast is stupid enough to give Roker ANY money, they deserve what they get. Do your due diligence and INVESTIGATE his background, Palm Coast city gov’t. He is a scam artist and has been RUN OUT of the BMX community at large.

  7. TopDogBMX says:

    I love how he calls everyone a racist!!!! Race has nothing to do with it. Now being a Liar! Well thats different.

  8. DCS says:

    Renny Roker has been full of hot air for a long. In Jan 2007 he put out the following statement “There are many exciting things happening with BMX now that it has been accepted into the Olympics. Coming soon, information on the $100,000 Pro JAG BMX World Championship Final. In an exciting location! Look for the exciting TV Series on Versus TV Network (81 million homes weekly), Internet TV and worldwide TV with more than 300 million homes worldwide.” None of it happened then, but a lot of folks jumped on board because of the pie in the sky he created.

    I personally think he is partially responsible for global warming with all the hot air he puts out.

    If you take a hard look at Renny Roker and his JAG BMX olympic track, you’ll discover that this promoter is full of more then hot air.

    For example, he stated, “We’re excited! Being a permanent fixture and being an “official Olympic facility” How can he claim to be an official “Olympic facility” when he doesn’t even have a track? According to my research, no official BMX organization has officially given him “official Olympic status”

  9. Zorro says:

    OK folks, let take a look at what Renny Roker has been saying and doing since left the BMX scene after he bounced the checks to Greg Hill and other BMX pro race winners:

    1986 – Renny Roker said he would tape for broadcast on cable TV by the Nickelodeon network the USBA’s San Diego National held in early 1986. The USBA promoted heavily in advertising that the event would be broadcast by the cable network. Many of the top BMX bicycle manufactures sent their factory teams to that race in the hope of TV exposure for their products. Not only was that San Diego national a typical low turnout USBA event. Roker did not even appear to tape the nations for the promised TV coverage. (He flees to the U.S. Virgin Islands)

    2004 – Nearly 20 years later Roker returns to the BMX scene with a promise of a $50,000 national purse. That didn’t happen.

    2007 – Roker puts out a tweet that Jag BMX is back on the prowl but this time he promises a $100,000 purse in an exciting location with an exciting TV Series on Versus TV Network (81 million homes weekly), Internet TV and worldwide TV with more than 300 million homes worldwide. (Where’s the $$$, TV series and the location for the race?)

    2008 – Roker says he was going to Indianapolis to put on a new Jag Championship Race. There were people in the BMX community that got on board, even put up some of their own money and guess what?????? No race.

    According to a post on 30k went through the NBL to Renny for a TV show that amounted to nothing more than a 5 minute youtube video.

    2010 – Roker comes to Palm Coast FL saying that the Jag BMX Global Championship will be held at the tail end of the year (in this case, December 18-22, 2010), and was promising a $25,000 pro purse, with equal payout going to men and women classes, among other enticements for attendees. And a TV series with Eric Estrada. Needless to say this event didn’t take place and the TV series never happend either.

    2011 – Dec 2010 came and went with no race or TV series. So, he decided to move to another location in Bunnell saying Palm Coast was dragging their feet in issuing him permits. Then he said, a major bike organization was going to build the track at the new 2nd location and that never happened. According to Roker, Bunnell was also dragging their feet. So he moves to a 3rd location at Destination Daytona and said the “olympic” track would be ready in Oct 2011.

    Then he moves to a 4th location in Daytona Beach and said that he is ready to start construction and is waiting for the ABA to set a date when they can travel to the site location for the official groundbreaking. Then he said, I wish to invite representatives from every Florida track to compete at our Grand Opening. The event is scheduled for October 14-16, 2011. BMXers are focused, healthy, positive individuals. Let’s celebrate that fact together.”  (That date has also come and gone with the same results as above – NOTHING HAPPENED)

    Now, he is promoting a 5th location saying that the 4th location for his Grand Opening in Daytona Beach turned out to be unsuitable land. This guy needs to get a life somewhere besides FL. But the again, swamp land would be the perfect place for him, knee deep in alligators.

    On of the funniest B.S. stories that this B.S. artist keeps saying is he is building an official Olympic sanctioned track. No how do you have an Olympic sanction track if you don’t even have the land for the track.

    2012 – Roker is now saying that JAG BMX is currently in pre-construction of a brand new BMX facility that will feature an Olympic Elite track and amateur Championship track just like the facility built in South Africa for the World Championship. In addition he says he will be building a Fitness Center with modern equipment, locker rooms and showers and whirlpools. But he doesn’t stop the B.S there. He goes on to say that in addition his plans call for a BMX museum, and a BMX Factory to once again build the JAG BMX bike “Made in America”. A children’s playground for little tots to enjoy them selves will accommodate the total family especially when parents are also competing. It is important that everyone feels special at THE JAG BMX GLOBAL BMX AND EDUCATION CENTER” and yes there will be an “AFTER SCHOOL HOMEWORK ASSISTANCE” program for every youngster that attends our track if the need or want it.

    The story gets bigger and bigger every time you turn around. It goes from $50,000 to $100,000 to the above. This guy reminds me of the south end of a north bound jackass. The light Renny Roker sees at the end of the tunnel must be his proctologist’s flashlight.

    The facts speak for themselves, Roker the Stroker is as someone else rightfully stated a “Flim Flam Snake Oil Salesman”! If you want to believe in the tooth fairy, Roker will be putting on his wings for that role, too, just as long as you climb on board his bandwagon. Remember that an actor is on who makes you believe that the movie etc, is real and a promoter is a fast talker who paints a very rosie picture in order to get you to buy whatever snake oil. In short Roker the Stroker is a fast talking bullshit artist out to find the next sucker i.e. an individual investor, city/county council members or anyone else who is willing to listen.

    I for one am going to support the boycott that is being organized against any BMX track that he is involved with as well as any sponsors. Roker needs to go back to the Virgin Islands like he did after he bounced the checks to the BMX winners back in the 80’s. We don’t need his lip service and broken promises.

  10. DCS says:

    WOW!!! Zorro realy did his home work on Roker. Anyone who jumps on Roker’s bandwagon needs to have their head examined. This guy has more stories then Reader’s Digest. Hopefully someone from the city and county is doing their home work and will not spend the taxpayer’s money supporting this guy.

  11. Eric says:

    I have been following Roker since the 1980 and when he bounced the prize purse checks on Greg Hill and others and then fled to the Virgin Islands. Unfortunately for the sport, if Roker Jag BMX track does become a reality, it will end up like Zorro has clearly demonstrated. Roker’s reputation proceeds him where ever he goes. My advice is that anyone who wants to participate in the Roker Jag Bmx FL track think twice about it. This guy doesn’t have a very good reputation but he is a great B.S. artist.

  12. HighFlyer says:

    I found this post from Roker in 2007 was found on The University Of BMX website. The “Note by Gerrit of the University of BMX” exposes Roker for what he is, a LIAR.

    Good Morning

    Below please find the link to the BMX highlight video. There are many exciting things happening with BMX now, since it has been accepted into the Olympics. Coming soon, information on the $ 100,000 Pro JAG BMX World Championship Final in an exiting location! Look for the exiting TV Series on Versus TV Network (81 million homes weekly), Internet TV and worldwide TV with more than 300 million homes worldwide. Enjoy the 3 minute video. More info soon to come.

    Renny Roker Executive Producer

    Note by Gerrit Does:
    On special request of the NBL – USA at the time, the “link” was removed from this site. According to the NBL, RR (Renny Roker) was acting illegal not sanctioned by NBL or ABA and therefore a non UCI member. 

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