I've been giving event rides some thought lately. Part of me really likes them and part of me does not.
Let me explain.
When you sign up for an event ride there are a lot of pretty cool things about it. Usually there are several routes to choose from. A lot of the time the courses are well marked. Although not always. The Blackberry Bramble in Eugene a couple of years ago comes to mind as a pretty poorly marked route...
The ride back into town had us meander all over the place in an effort to put more miles in. Which in and of itself seems dumb to me. I guess the first time you do 62 miles (I refuse to call it a metric century. It's 62 miles...) or a 100 miles or even a 200 miles (Or 3.2, 62 mile rides in succession.) it's worth making sure you've done the complete mileage. But other than those times. Why is it such a big deal?
"OMG! The course is only 61.1!? I have to get my metric in today!" I mean really... Who the hell cares!?
Back to my Bramble story...
Anyway, we were zigging back and forth on the multi-use paths along the slew and creek. Trying to follow their markers. In an effort to be more "green" (It is Eugene after all.) they used sticker arrows instead of marker paint. And someone thought it would be hilarious to pull them up completely or, even better in my opinion, switched the directions around.
I went to University in Eugene. So I knew something was wrong and re-directed our group back to the start/finish area and told the person in charge what had happened. And they went and fixed the problem. But it was still a giant mess.
But like I was saying before I went off on a tangent. There are a lot of good things about event rides in general. The routes are usually well marked. There is safety in the numbers of cyclists out on the streets. They have water and food stops. Mechanical help for those who need it. Sometimes even cops or flaggers at heavy traffic intersections. And a lot of the times there are specific charities that benefit from these rides.
But there are a lot of detractors about them too.
That many cyclists of all different skill levels on the road at one time causing havoc and usually making the non-cyclist road users pretty pissed off at us. There is also that mob mentality that cyclists get that I've talked about before. You could go blind from all the neon yellow jackets and helmet mirrors...
And why do we always seem to have to ride for a charity? Please! Don't clog my email inbox with hate mail. Just hear me out. I think rides that are for charities are great. I really do. You get to ride. They raise some money for a worthy cause. A win/win situation. But it seems like now a days if you don't have a charity connected to an event ride some how its inferior. Or at least not looked at in the same light. Why do all these event rides feel the need to justify themselves, or even identify themselves with a charity? Why can't we ride and event for the love of riding? Or why can't we ride for the love of... beer!?
And what if I wanted to go to multiple breweries? With friends (And new friends. I like new friends.)?
So I've decided to try and figure out a route that goes to at least three different brewers in the area. Gilgamesh Brewery is a must stop. Seven Brides Brewing is also another thought. But what do you all think? Where else should we go? Pale Horse is an option. The RAM Big Horn Brewery and Mcminnumin's are also a possibility. But I know there are a couple more breweries in the Corvallis and Albany areas too. Or should we just make an epic day ride and finish at one of these places?
Let me know your thoughts.
I'd really like this thing to happen. Preferably in the summer when it's sunny and warm. And we can all show our street cred with uber cycling tan lines. I'm excited. Lets do this thing!
Let's do a Big E's Beer Run!
Rubber side down,