Today's post was written by guest blogger Kristin Kinnamon of Marysville. Kristin is a member of the RAPSody organizing committee, BIKES of Snohomish County and the Bicycle Alliance.
|Photo by Carla Gramlich|
Not all people who ride bicycles consider themselves bicyclists. Not all bicyclists participate in bicycle events. Yet it seems everyone who sees me on a bike asks, “Did you do the STP?”
Yes, I have ridden the Seattle to Portland, and it is indeed the quintessential Northwest bicycle ride. But just as I only read even the best books only once, I have moved on from STP to enjoy the many other wonderful bicycle events hosted around the state.
Bicycle events provide a festive atmosphere, food stops, safety in numbers (from cars – but watch out for fellow riders!) and a chance to ride somewhere you’ve never been on routes organized by people who have your enjoyment in mind. In addition to the social aspect of events, there’s also a degree of competition – whether it’s against your own limits (can I ride 100 miles in a day?) or to catch up with that person in the pink jersey or pull the peloton up the next hill.
Bicycle events are organized to raise money for children’s charities (Courage Classic and 8 Lakes Leg Aches), to support local bicycle clubs (TRYBR by Capital Bicycling Club, Tour de Kitsap by West Sound Cycling Club) and, appropriately enough, as a fundraiser for the Bicycle Alliance of Washington (Ride Around Pugest Sound -RAPSody).
Bicycle events – like parades, car rallies, and certain family vacations – rely on free and safe access to public roads. The Bicycle Alliance maintains essential relationships with the Washington State Department of Transportation, our state legislature and local jurisdictions to ensure we all can ride on public roads and highways – whether by ones, twos or occasionally twenties.
If you’ve done STP this year, 10 times, or never, I encourage you to consider riding some of the other events that bring bicyclists – and people who ride bicycles – together for summer fun. And eat a bagel for me.
Check the Bicycle Alliance ride calendar to see all rides that support our advocacy and education efforts.