View Full Version : The Best Worst Day Ride Ever

02-11-2007, 09:12 PM

Today I got to spend time at the Worst Day of the Year Ride (http://www.communitycyclingcenter.org/wdyr.html). This is not only a wonderful ride and benefit for the Community Cycling Center (http://www.communitycyclingcenter.org/index.html), but it's also a great time to connect with the greater bicycling community. 1500 people (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60961560@N00/387598566/) came by to be a part of this ride which is the largest turnout ever. As is the tradition with the Worst Day ride, it was beautiful (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60961560@N00/387581453/) and only partly cloudy for the whole morning. Only the afternoon riders saw a little rain towards the end. So many amazing people came by from all parts of Portland, including Marilyn (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60961560@N00/387590644/) who came out from Beaverton to ride today. Of course the regular CCC folks were there. Neal was working hard and making sure everyone had what they needed. Tom and Ayleen were helping with logistics. There were dozens of volunteers contributing in many ways to make sure the ride went smoothly. I talked to a couple of folks who came by on hand-cycles which allow the lesser-abled (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60961560@N00/387581454/) to enjoy physical activity. I truly respect these people because they don't let themselves become crippled, they simply find a different way to be active and enjoy life. I also talked with one of the salesman from Showers Pass who had an easy time selling this guy (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60961560@N00/387561616/) on a jacket. But of course the excitement really centered around the costumes. There were more amazing costumes (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60961560@N00/387581465/) than you could count. From cows (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60961560@N00/387604640/), to bears, to beas (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60961560@N00/387598554/), to zombies (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60961560@N00/387604641/). The innovation in these costumes was really incredible. Of course my excitement didn't stop with the people and costumes. There were also amazing bikes (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60961560@N00/387561627/), trikes, tandems (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60961560@N00/387540652/), bakfiets (http://www.flickr.com/photos/60961560@N00/387598561/), and velomobiles (http://innovativetransport.blogspot.com/2007/02/today-i-met-up-with-mitch-schultz-who.html). I respect everyone's choice in riding what's comfortable for them, and the plethora of machines out on the course today was just amazing. The ride was also great and explored all of the interesting parts of Portland. Riders got to see all of Portland from the outer east side and Hollywood all the way to Hillsboro. There were plenty of ambassaders and flaggers to help everyone on the way (although I did hear about one near crash because a couple of guys spent too much time staring at some female flaggers :).

02-12-2007, 11:42 AM
This was my first time doing Worst Day of the Year. I had a ball. I really enjoyed the festive atmosphere. I'll be doing this one next year too.

02-12-2007, 04:20 PM
I was gonna do it. Never got around to signing up. Stupid.

Next year.

02-12-2007, 07:21 PM
I did WDYR last year, and this year was even better than last. And I like that they took out the trails/foot bridges in Beaverton, which I really didn't like last year. Very nice to see that removed.
In addition, the route was very well marked, GREAT volunteers!!! Great aid stations, everything was very good.

02-14-2007, 12:58 PM
Great weather, nice routes, great stops, long line for chili...
Had a good ride, cut it short, skipping the urban route due to the impending storm on the horizon. Hey, I had rain gear but when the shortest route to beer and food says skip the long way and avoid the bad weather, you do it, no questions asked.

However, lots of people doing some very discourteous things along the route that could've caused some serious complications:

1) Not alot of folks were saying "On your left!" before passing. Some close calls, especially along some of the narrower stretches like the bike paths, Kingston in Wash Park and going up Thompson.

2) Some riders proceeding through red lights on Walker and Cornell, right in front of stopped auto traffic. Bad politics, this only serves to re-inforce stereotypes of all riders being "above the law".

3) This was the worst offense. PASSING ON THE RIGHT!!!
Especially without any verbal warning. Just plain stupid and the fellow with the mallard decoys on his rack who did it as Walker narrowed nearly caused a multi- bike accident.

These social rides ARE NOT the Tour de France, folks. Basic common sense and courteousy are necessary to maintain safety and pleasure for all involved.
Don't let your personal impatience ruin a perfectly fine afternoon for others. I saw two rider go down because of speed, RR tracks and lack of warning along Water Ave., less than 15 minutes into the ride. Try and realize that you are not the only rider with skills and speed in these group rides & you may be among riders who are novices to these events, especially the ones in Portland. Alert others to potential dangers, ride at a safe speed in crowds and verbalize your intention to pass on the left always. It saves alot from injury and frustration.

02-14-2007, 03:25 PM
We did get passed on the right on N Williams. I asked if they had done much group riding. They said no. I explained. All was good.

Face it, many of the WDYR participants are NOT group riders. Model correct group riding behavior. Ride defensively :-) POLITELY describe safe group riding etiquette. Be an example and an ambassador.

02-15-2007, 04:01 AM
I did say "Please..." numerous times. I suppose that since I am a big guy, even if I use a courteous tone and language, I get a gruff response. Or am told to be even more courteous. Stupid is as stupid does, as the saying goes. Nobody likes to be accused of stupidity or transgressions, no matter how courteous or constructive the comment.
Mostly got glares, muffled epithets or "Huh, who, me?" responses.
Not once did I chastise or berate others openly. I was as courteous and communicative in tone as could be.

These were experienced riders but were convinced they did not have to be courteous, diplomatic or contrite.

Only one, the fellow dressed as The Hulk said, "Sorry, I was looking down".

I am a veteran of over thirty years of bike commuting in Portland, a seven time participant on Cycle Oregon and have done many rides in this state among others. The further from urban riding, the more courteous the riders seem to be, from my experience. I no longer do Bridge Pedal because of the crowds of people such as those I have spoken of. They are not all novices, many know better but choose to act as they do despite the obvious animosity it elicits. Maybe I'll refrain from urban group rides and just do those rides that are further afield.

That is ultimately frustrating because we who choose to follow safe guidelines still receive rebuke from automobile operators because someone else's transgressions. Especially like the fellow with his toddler in the Burley who ran a red downtown in front of police and traffic during last year's Bridge Pedal. A driver yelled at the rest of the people waiting at the red, not the oblivious dad.

So, sorry for the rant. I am just trying to spread some facts. Car vs. bike in a collision= Car wins everytime.
Majority of auto drivers perceptions vs. majority of good bicyclists etiquette= Car wins everytime.
We are making gains but actions like these inhibit progress.