The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

1,200 ride in support of animal hospital

Posted by on September 8th, 2008 at 3:09 pm

(Photos: Good Sport Promotion)

It’s no secret that Portlanders love dogs and bikes. So, it might come as no surprise that Sunday’s inaugural Tour de Lab bike ride was a huge success.

Ayleen Crotty with Good Sport Promotion (the company that put on the ride) says 1,200 people came out to enjoy a day of biking around Portland and to support Dove Lewis (along with 120 volunteers). The ride was a benefit for the non-profit, 24-hour emergency animal hospital and the pet theme wasn’t lost on ride organizers.

Rider Darren and his buddy Tyson
at the finish line.

Crotty said most of the riders were, “All dogged up with ears and tails as they rode through the city.”

The ride took participants on a tour of three Lucky Labrador Brewpubs in Southeast, Northwest and Southwest Portland. So many people wanted to do the ride that Crotty says some were turned away.

Those who registered in time and made the tough climb up to the Lucky Lab in Multnomah Village enjoyed a finish line party that included food, music, drinks, and plenty of the riders’ four-legged companions.

Here are a few more fun photos (courtesy of Ayleen Crotty):

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  • solid gold September 8, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    yeesh, a benefit for an expensive animal hospital, in a town where literally, dogs receive better treatment than the homeless. can\’t wait till they open another \”doggy daycare/pet therapist clinic\” in SE.

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  • leftcoaster September 8, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    If it makes the first commenter feel any better, they served hot dogs at the end, so probably they ended up killing more animals than they saved on this ride.

    That said, it shouldn\’t be a contest. There should be enough resources for people AND animals.

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  • Charlie September 8, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Overall the event seemed like a big success, both for the riders and Dove Lewis. I hope next year they will choose a more accessible route. I know climbing a few hills up to the SW locations is unavoidable, but they crammed in quite a bit of elevation on a relatively short ride. I don\’t mind the hills myself, but I know that many people struggled on what should have been a fun charity ride.

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  • dennetmint September 8, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    I think this is a great event, and being a transplant, it made me better-understand Portlanders and their love for their pets. Too bad they ran out of tails b/c I would have loved to be a giraffe on wheels for a day.
    My only real issue is that the Big Dog ride was somewhat of a struggle. From my ride and what I overheard during the event, there were many people who were caught between the Puppy and Big Dog routes–who could do the distance, but not necessarily two successive segments of steep hills.

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  • tonya September 8, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    I did the Big Dog and it was awesome! I had a lot of fun climbing all those hills. The view from the top of council crest was so rewarding after getting up there on my own power. And coming down was an adventure too!

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  • devon September 9, 2008 at 12:48 am

    I was a volunteer for the ride, and although I thought it was very fun and a great idea, I was one of those people inbetween the Puppy and the Big Dog. I can do distance and some hills, but it really seemed like they packed the hills in that route. I ended up switching to the Puppy at one stop. Charity fun rides should not be a struggle!

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  • Jason September 9, 2008 at 12:57 am

    Fun ride, great weather, always enjoy a stop at the Lucky Lab. I did the Big Dog route… enjoyed the punishment from the cemetery.

    The one aspect that could have been better was the route signage. Towards the end of the first leg, I met up with a pack of 50+ riders who were stopped trying to figure out which way to go. The start of the second leg was hard to follow as well… saw more than a few riders scattered. I ended up taking Barbur to the NW stop instead. Last leg was fine.

    Enjoyed the Bavarian ale they had… will be going back for more of that one.

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  • Laura September 9, 2008 at 8:25 am

    I did the Big Dog and loved it!

    I agree that there were some signage issues, including a need for better advance warning about the gravel path.

    While charity rides shouldn\’t be a struggle, I applaude Good Sport for offering fun and challenge for more fit/advanced riders. They published the maps and elevation profiles online in the week before the ride, with warnings about lots of big hills on the Big Dog. Riders who are complaining were should have known what they were getting into.

    I know several folks who, after reading the map/profile, chose the Puppy for leg 1 and the Big Dog for leg two (or vice versa), making only one segment of big hills. There was nothing stopping others from making that choice.

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  • Charlie September 9, 2008 at 10:42 am

    @ #8- \”Riders who are complaining were should have known what they were getting into.\”

    18 miles (the Puppy) is awfully short for a $25+ ride. I\’m just suggesting that a ride with slightly less elevation might be more appropriate next year. Wouldn\’t it be best if friends and family could join in on the ride? I\’ll save Riverview Cemetery>Boones Ferry>Council Crest for part of my training rides.

    Also, the \”Big Dog\” was billed as a 40 mile ride. The actual distance and elevation maps weren\’t posted online until shortly before the ride (for those of us who signed up in advance).

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  • steve September 9, 2008 at 11:03 am

    God forbid getting some exercise.

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  • John September 9, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    I rode the Big Dog route and loved it. And the support at the rest stops was excellent. As for Charlie\’s (#9) complaint about the cost, other short rides like Worst Day, Hottest Day and Night Ride have a similar cost, but without the good food at each stop.

    I can\’t comment on the Puppy dog ride but it looks like it took a reasonable route considering there\’s no way to avoid hills on the west side.

    Looking forward to riding this one again next year.

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  • E September 9, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Personally I am thrilled that this ride was so popular and generally successful. I could not participate due to a previous commitment, but I look forward to next year – hopefully with some of the bugs worked out. 🙂
    Yay for Tour de Lab!

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  • coral September 9, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    We pre-registered, and I was disappointed that the route info wasn\’t available until right before the race. I like to know what I\’m getting into! The distance was fine, but I assumed that the \”puppy\” route would be an easier route, and that\’s really all I was capable of.

    I\’m still pretty new to Portland, and had never been to Multnomah Village, so I didn\’t realize the hills I would have to climb. I made it…but it was pretty hard on me and my knees. I\’m still recovering today. Had I known/realized, I may have opted not to do the ride after all.

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  • Jennie September 10, 2008 at 10:28 am

    I saw the info on the website a while ago. It wasn\’t maps and such, but there was a description and the description said hills on the \”Puppy\”. I knew I was in for some climbing!

    I am really surprised that people were so put off that the Big Dog had climbing instead of distance! I appreciate that the organizers mixed things up a little. Why not have a climbing ride instead of distance? Do we have to have every ride be the same style? If you don\’t like big climbs, do the \”Puppy\”. If that\’s not enough riding for you, then maybe this isn\’t the ride for you.

    Really, people, come ON! I think there are so many petty comments here. I ate two veggie dogs at the finish, had a great time with my crew of friends, supported a non-profit organization, watched people of all ages having fun on their bikes while wearing dog ears, drank a couple-three pints of beer, took home an etched glass commemorative pint glass, ate pizza, drank a smoothie, got a work out, met a few new people, sat in the sunshine and had a SUPER GREAT day!!!!

    I\’m from Portland and I\’ve lived elsewhere but came back here because it\’s a relaxed city. Apparently, though, Bikeportland readers are not so relaxed! You all need to learn to apprecaite life, and that not every ride is going to be perfect AND NO ONE IS GOING TO HOLD YOUR HAND! To Coral – you could have called the people who put on the ride, I\’m sure they would have talked to you about the route! I called with a questions and got a real human who spent 10 minutes on the phone with me – very friendly too.

    To charlie- too expensive? Really? How does the non-profit get a donation then? Rides cost money to put on (permits, equipment, insurance, that food isn\’t free, staff time, the wrist bands and dog gear most of us got) and there needs to be extra money in the coffers to have enough to give to Dove Lewis.

    If you don\’t like paying for rides, go out on your own. But for me, I love it! I met so many nice people.

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