(Photos: Jim Parsons)
The Worst Day of the Year Ride shoves off for the 10th year in a row this Sunday and organizers expect a record turnout of 4,000 participants. We caught up with Ayleen Crotty from Good Sport Promotion to share more about the event.
Crotty says the ride started as a way to challenge people to ride through winter. The ironic thing is that the weather has historically been far from the “worst” over the years. Also, given Portland’s huge growth in bike ridership in the past decade, Crotty says riding in winter, “Isn’t so much of a farfetched concept these days, but it’s equally fun!”
“If it’s part of my job description to wear a penguin costume in front of 4,000 bikers I’d be a fool not to love my job.”
— Ayleen Crotty, Good Sport Promotions
The fun factor is likely what has led this ride from its humble beginnings of 250 participants to the 3,500 that took part last year. Far more than just a ride, the Worst Day of the Year Ride has become a Portland institution, and a major fundraiser for the Community Cycling Center.
“When this ride started,” recalls Crotty, “the Community Cycling Center was a smaller organization with big dreams. Now, 10 years later they’ve been able to realize many of those dreams and they continue to progress as a strong organization. It has been exciting to watch both the ride and the organization grow over all these years.”
Crotty has been to all 10 Worst Day rides and this year she’ll be sporting the official penguin mascot costume on stage at the starting line. “I’m not so sure what I think of that, except to say that if it’s part of my job description to wear a penguin costume in front of 4,000 bikers I’d be a fool not to love my job.”
At least Crotty won’t be alone — this ride attracts all sorts of interesting and creatively costumed riders.
Online registration is closed, but you can still show up to Lucky Lab on SE Hawthorne Sunday morning to take part. Learn more at WorstDayRide.com.