PDA

View Full Version : Potomac Pedalers Back Roads Century



consularrider
09-09-2014, 07:39 PM
It's that time of year again and PPTC has sent around their annual annoying reminder that all of us scofflaws can't be trusted as well as giving incorrect legal and dangerous riding advice. I just about ready to just write off my registration fee and find someplace friendlier to ride that day. I will also not be renewing my PPTC membership (and I have been the leader in their annual Order of the Cast Iron Crotch for three of the last four years - but won't submit my entry this year). Basta ya! :mad:

mcfarton
09-09-2014, 07:53 PM
Hmm interesting. I was considering joining them. Is it just this ride that bothers you?

Raymo853
09-10-2014, 07:52 AM
I do not know anything about this specif ride, but the few PPTC rides I went on 6 years ago were insane hammer fests. Way faster than their ratings. Once I did a BB and people were flying, refusing to help each other with flats, mechanical, and considered my riding next to them or with them an challenge and took off. The worse, I stopped to help a woman and guy with her dropped chain. When I offered to help, he said something about how I could be saddled with helping her and took off to chase some perceived rival.

sethpo
09-10-2014, 08:45 AM
It's that time of year again and PPTC has sent around their annual annoying reminder that all of us scofflaws can't be trusted as well as giving incorrect legal and dangerous riding advice. I just about ready to just write off my registration fee and find someplace friendlier to ride that day. I will also not be renewing my PPTC membership (and I have been the leader in their annual Order of the Cast Iron Crotch for three of the last four years - but won't submit my entry this year). Basta ya! :mad:

I had the same reaction to that email. Why on Earth would I want to drive out there and ride on roads where we are obviously so unwelcome?

Subby
09-10-2014, 08:49 AM
I do not know anything about this specif ride, but the few PPTC rides I went on 6 years ago were insane hammer fests. Way faster than their ratings. Once I did a BB and people were flying, refusing to help each other with flats, mechanical, and considered my riding next to them or with them an challenge and took off. The worse, I stopped to help a woman and guy with her dropped chain. When I offered to help, he said something about how I could be saddled with helping her and took off to chase some perceived rival.
What you describe is 180 degrees from Backroads Century. It's a huge, self-paced ride with lots of stops and lots of support.

I assume the email is just a CYA kind of thing in order to get permitting/cooperation from the localities where the rides take place. I didn't see a single police car last year and probably less scofflaw behavior. It's on a Sunday so you could probably count the number of cars you come across in the the low double digits.

jabberwocky
09-10-2014, 08:55 AM
What did this email say? I did the backroads century a few years ago. It was ok. My experience with PPTC rides mirrors Raymos though.

rcannon100
09-10-2014, 09:07 AM
The PP listserv is lit up about this as well. If it is the same letter ~ is was posted to the listerv. I must say, I agree with Chris, I would never ever ride on a ride that had that type of tone - and colludes with law enforcement to incorrectly state the law. If they are having those type of problems, they need to organizationally address them. But telling their membership that they have basically agreed with law enforcement that cyclists can be tossed in jail......

culimerc
09-10-2014, 09:09 AM
Terrain and stop wise, the BackRoads century is one of my favorites in the area. I've never ridden with PPTC directly, and I do have mixed feelings about riding in Loudoun and Fauquier Co.s because of their treatment of cyclists. I've know more than one person who has been ticketed for not putting a foot down at stop signs. Usually I go ride there, then leave and rest and refuel closer to home.

sethpo
09-10-2014, 09:17 AM
I do not know anything about this specif ride, but the few PPTC rides I went on 6 years ago were insane hammer fests. Way faster than their ratings. Once I did a BB and people were flying, refusing to help each other with flats, mechanical, and considered my riding next to them or with them an challenge and took off. The worse, I stopped to help a woman and guy with her dropped chain. When I offered to help, he said something about how I could be saddled with helping her and took off to chase some perceived rival.

I regularly ride with a PPTC group out of Wootton High School and have the complete opposite experience. The people have been great and super helpful. I suspect that each PPTC ride has a unique culture which isn't a surprise given the diffused and diverse structure.

sethpo
09-10-2014, 09:19 AM
What did this email say? I did the backroads century a few years ago. It was ok. My experience with PPTC rides mirrors Raymos though.

Here's the email I received:


Clarke County's Zero Tolerance Policy

Welcome to the 2014 Backroads Century hosted by Potomac Pedaler's Touring Club. This year we have had a few changes with the starting point and the rest stops. The high school and Burwell Mill are out and the Fairgrounds and Powhatan School are in. I believe both will prove to be an asset to our ride.

We have more than 2100 riders this year with over half doing the full 100 miles. With such a large crowd, safety becomes an issue we must all address. No one has ever been seriously hurt on our ride and I want to keep it that way. This year has seen a number of crashes within our club and to close friends. Some were hit-and-runs; others were just accidents that come with the territory. I myself woke up in an ambulance a few weeks ago. I was lucky and have no permanent injuries, others however were not so lucky. With so many riders on the roads for this event, everyday tactics and routines become dangerous. We have seasoned veterans and casual riders, all trying to enjoy the beautiful country roads of northern Virginia. While we are having a good time on our bikes we must remember that we are riding in an area where others live, work and enjoy the same scenery as us. Seeing large groups of bike riders on the road is not something they are used to dealing with and unfortunately some do not welcome.

With every large group there are those that do not think the rules apply to them. We have been riding our century in Clarke County for many years now and every year the antics of a few taint the whole group to the locals. Simple things that shouldn't happen like throwing your Gu packet on the ground, to relieving yourself on the side of the road, to riding two and three abreast have all been complained about to the Clarke County officials. I am writing this letter to tell you the residents of Clarke County have been heard loud and clear.

I have met with Sherriff Roper of Clarke County and Chief White of Berryville along with other county and city officials to discuss this year's ride and the changes we could make to help foster goodwill among the community and county residents. The number one action we can take towards this goal is to not ride down the road like we own it. We don't; nobody does. Cars are bigger, they take up more room, and they hurt when they hit you. Don't make them try to pass you in the other lane. Ride to the right of the road; don't ride two abreast when cars are behind you. Don't run stop signs, even when no cars are around. Don't ride over into the oncoming lane. If there are cars behind you, even far behind, ride single file. Be courteous to drivers at all times. You are responsible for knowing and obeying the rules of the road.

And now I come to the main point of this letter. Sherriff Roper and Chief White have informed me that this year they will be observing a ZERO TOLERANCE policy toward riders who break the law. This includes all laws, not just some. This includes everybody- not just everybody else. You break the law, you will get a ticket. If you do not have your identification on you, you could possibly go to jail and your bike could be impounded. Do not test this. We will not bail you out. You are responsible for your own behavior. I could go on with the "don'ts" but I won't. Know the law and obey the law.

Sherriff Roper and his deputies will be at out at the ride start to talk with our riders about what is expected of them and to clarify any fine points of the law you may wish to discuss. His job is to provide for everyone's safety, residents and guests, drivers and riders alike.

I do not want this year's ride to descend into a battle of us versus them. Just like anywhere we ride, we should be working towards having the driving populous wish they were riding with us instead of driving their cars. The best way to do that is to enjoy the ride and obey the law.

Chris White
Century Manager

Geoff
09-10-2014, 09:33 AM
If PPTC is getting heat from local law enforcement, that might be a reason to "ride someplace friendlier" that day, but not a reason to be upset with PPTC.

Crickey7
09-10-2014, 10:01 AM
Sounds like local law enforcement has been breathing down their necks. If the alternatives are that the ride does a little more self enforcement, or the po-po step up their enforcement, then this letter, harsh tone and all, is a reasonable compromise. And have some sympathy, because being an organizer for a big ride is hard work.

cyclingfool
09-10-2014, 10:33 AM
I don't really care since I wasn't planning on riding this event and am only tangentially familiar with the PPTC, but I do want to take issue with the assertion from the sheriff that those who violate traffic laws but do not have ID could be arrested and their bikes impounded. There is no legal requirement in the US to carry ID with you, even when riding a bike. A bike is not a motorized vehicle. Operation of one does not require special license like for a car. This threat from the chief pig of Clarke County is sickening. Likewise, the warning about not taking the lane is also problematic at best and could have been stated in a way that doesn't resemble an ultimatum.

Small town LEO yahoo making his own laws. Not cool.

Zero tolerance? Enforcement for all road users? I wonder how many motorists will be ticketed for violations that day???

cephas
09-10-2014, 10:37 AM
I don't really care since I wasn't planning on riding this event and am only tangentially familiar with the PPTC, but I do want to take issue with the assertion from the sheriff that those who violate traffic laws but do not have ID could be arrested and their bikes impounded. There is no legal requirement in the US to carry ID with you, even when riding a bike. A bike is not a motorized vehicle. Operation of one does not require special license like for a car. This threat from the chief pig of Clarke County is sickening. Likewise, the warning about not taking the lane is also problematic at best and could have been stated in a way that doesn't resemble an ultimatum.

Small town LEO yahoo making his own laws. Not cool.

Zero tolerance? Enforcement for all road users? I wonder how many motorists will be ticketed for violations that day???

Sounds like my law office could pick up some work that day! Ignorant police can be good in my business... Of course I'd rather it not come to that, but I'm trying to see the sunshine.

jabberwocky
09-10-2014, 11:24 AM
The number one action we can take towards this goal is to not ride down the road like we own it. We don't; nobody does. Cars are bigger, they take up more room, and they hurt when they hit you. Don't make them try to pass you in the other lane. Ride to the right of the road; don't ride two abreast when cars are behind you. Don't run stop signs, even when no cars are around. Don't ride over into the oncoming lane. If there are cars behind you, even far behind, ride single file. Be courteous to drivers at all times. You are responsible for knowing and obeying the rules of the road.

The bolded part is weird to me. I rode the backroads century in 2012, and most of those roads are of the the narrow out-in-the-boonies with no shoulder variety. Its basically impossible to pass even a lone cyclist without going into the other lane if you are giving them the legally mandated 3'-0" of clearance.

And yeah, cyclists don't own the road, but neither do motorists. Both have equal rights to the road. It perpetually annoys me when motorists make the "you act like you own the road!" argument when cyclists actually use them. What they are really saying is "I have an imaginary right not to be held up by anything".


And now I come to the main point of this letter. Sherriff Roper and Chief White have informed me that this year they will be observing a ZERO TOLERANCE policy toward riders who break the law. This includes all laws, not just some. This includes everybody- not just everybody else. You break the law, you will get a ticket. If you do not have your identification on you, you could possibly go to jail and your bike could be impounded. Do not test this. We will not bail you out. You are responsible for your own behavior. I could go on with the "don'ts" but I won't. Know the law and obey the law.

There is no legal requirement for a cyclist to carry ID.

mstone
09-10-2014, 11:39 AM
I hope the sheriff understands that cyclists will be asking how many 3 foot tickets are given to motorists that day

Chriscom
09-10-2014, 12:04 PM
The Back Roads is my favorite local event and I always considered it first-class. This is the third year I've signed up for it. We always get these messages and it does sort of vaguely feel like their tone becomes more harsh each time, so I assume it's getting harder to arrange. In contrast to the message, my experience of the event itself is one that is friendly, very well-supported and in general very nicely low-key considering all the work and logistics involved. I have seen police cruisers but -- this is just me -- I've only seen them stationed at dangerous crossings. Some of the most beautiful rolling hills I've ever ridden are in the Back Roads.

One reason I bike it is that I assume it won't always be there, and I consider this latest note a flare in that direction. Remember Bike DC, anyone?

sjclaeys
09-10-2014, 09:11 PM
It's that time of year again and PPTC has sent around their annual annoying reminder that all of us scofflaws can't be trusted as well as giving incorrect legal and dangerous riding advice. I just about ready to just write off my registration fee and find someplace friendlier to ride that day. I will also not be renewing my PPTC membership (and I have been the leader in their annual Order of the Cast Iron Crotch for three of the last four years - but won't submit my entry this year). Basta ya! :mad:

I completely agree. While littering and public urination should not be condoned, I've experienced aggressive drivers during past Back Roads Centuries, let PPTC know about it, and have gotten no response.

sjclaeys
09-10-2014, 09:21 PM
The PP listserv is lit up about this as well. If it is the same letter ~ is was posted to the listerv. I must say, I agree with Chris, I would never ever ride on a ride that had that type of tone - and colludes with law enforcement to incorrectly state the law. If they are having those type of problems, they need to organizationally address them. But telling their membership that they have basically agreed with law enforcement that cyclists can be tossed in jail......

I'm a PPTC member but don't see the listserv on their website.

KS1G
09-10-2014, 10:08 PM
The list serve is on google groups (look for "pedalers") and is unofficial (PPTC does not formally sponsor it).

My take is local law enforcement is responding to their perception of safety concerns and more likely, some vocal comments from folks who don't want to see any bikes on "their" roads, ever. Let alone 2,100 for one day. So the county sheriff says he'll doe something about it, PPTC doesn't want to see the ride canceled, upshot is the "yall be careful out there (and you're now warned of the chance of zealous enforcement)" email. I don't think they had a choice in the matter.

I've ridden Backroads several times and it is my favorite in this region. One thing I've noted in past years is most of the locals and police seem to be OK if not openly friendly for us being there for the day. It is beautiful riding and very low vehicle traffic. In contrast, Civil War and Reston centuries have to deal with less welcoming communities, particularly Reston in western Loudon and Leesburg. Seagull seems to be an exception - the area gets a lot of business from 7,000 riders + their friends/families on what is otherwise an out of season weekend, and they welcome it.

Geoff
09-11-2014, 07:19 AM
There is no legal requirement for a cyclist to carry ID.
I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. But I believe that the cops cannot give you a ticket if you don't have ID, because they can't be certain who they are giving the ticket to. So they would jail you instead of giving you a ticket.

sethpo
09-11-2014, 07:58 AM
I've ridden Backroads several times and it is my favorite in this region. One thing I've noted in past years is most of the locals and police seem to be OK if not openly friendly for us being there for the day. It is beautiful riding and very low vehicle traffic. In contrast, Civil War and Reston centuries have to deal with less welcoming communities, particularly Reston in western Loudon and Leesburg. Seagull seems to be an exception - the area gets a lot of business from 7,000 riders + their friends/families on what is otherwise an out of season weekend, and they welcome it.

Reports like this are why I'm still considering giving it a try.

And FWIW, the Civil War Century had no issues I saw. In fact, there were a few great interactions with locals providing water along the route. Several people had put water and/or ice in their yards with signs instructing cyclists to help themselves. I also stopped at a yard sale and got some water and had a friendly chat with the folks who were curious about the event. #evidencebyanecdote

jrenaut
09-11-2014, 08:13 AM
I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. But I believe that the cops cannot give you a ticket if you don't have ID, because they can't be certain who they are giving the ticket to. So they would jail you instead of giving you a ticket.
I'm not a lawyer either, but my understanding is that you must provide name and address when they ask, but you are never required to have ID. You have to have a drivers license when you're driving, but that's not entirely for identification, it's for proving you're legally able to operate the car. That it happens to be the primary form of ID is really a reflection of how much of our lives revolve around cars.

jabberwocky
09-11-2014, 08:34 AM
I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. But I believe that the cops cannot give you a ticket if you don't have ID, because they can't be certain who they are giving the ticket to. So they would jail you instead of giving you a ticket.

What jrenaut said. You can be required to identify yourself (and they can keep you there until they verify your identity) if they catch you doing something against the law, but you don't actually need to carry an identification card with you.

See:
http://www.knowmyrights.org/knowledgebase/faq/police-encounters/when-do-i-have-to-show-id

Raymo853
09-11-2014, 09:12 AM
There is no legal requirement for a cyclist to carry ID.

That still does not mean a sheriff or police officer may not consider you a vagrant and take you into custody. Yes you would be vindicated via the legal system, but it might cost you a lot of money.

Rockford10
09-11-2014, 09:18 AM
I am a lawyer and I play one on tv. I think I know the answer and it's about what jabberwocky says. All that aside, seriously, if anyone gets arrested or ticketed for causing a car to pass them in the other lane, I will represent you pro-bono. Don't call me if it's for public urination or littering though.

Raymo853
09-11-2014, 09:21 AM
I regularly ride with a PPTC group out of Wootton High School and have the complete opposite experience. The people have been great and super helpful. I suspect that each PPTC ride has a unique culture which isn't a surprise given the diffused and diverse structure.

I did three or so B/BB rides with PPTC that year and all were similar, when I tired A and C rides, they were much better. I am hopeful things have gotten better. There was a lot of talk in the org about the insane pace on B/BB rides. On one A ride I did, most agreed the A rides were easier than B's while be tougher, if that makes sense. They pace overall was faster, the competitiveness at times was way more intense and race like but the A's lacked that whole attack at evey moment BS that plagues so many group rides.

rcannon100
09-11-2014, 09:50 AM
* Judge rules unconstitutional NYC Transit’s law requiring straphangers to carry ID (http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/judge-nixes-nyc-transit-straphanger-id-requirement-article-1.1296229)
* When do I have to show ID? (http://www.knowmyrights.org/knowledgebase/faq/police-encounters/when-do-i-have-to-show-id) there is no law requiring citizens to carry identification of any kind.
* Kolender v. Lawson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolender_v._Lawson) Kolender v. Lawson, 461 U.S. 352 (1983), is a United States Supreme Court case concerning the constitutionality of laws that allow police to demand that “loiterers” and “wanderers” provide identification. Using the construction of the California appellate court in Solomon, the Court held that the law was unconstitutionally vague because it gave excessive discretion to the police (in the absence of probable cause to arrest) whether to stop and interrogate a suspect or leave him alone.[3] The Court hinted that the California statute compromised the constitutional right to freedom of movement.
* NYCLU Victory Preserves Right to Walk Around Without ID, Take Photos on NYC Subway (http://www.nyclu.org/news/nyclu-victory-preserves-right-walk-around-without-id-take-photos-nyc-subway) A federal judge has ruled that a New York City Transit Authority rule requiring people using the city’s transit system to carry ID is unconstitutional.
* Am I Required to Carry an ID? (http://www.illinoislegalaid.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.dsp_content&contentid=6926) Q: I’ve been told that the law requires everyone to carry some kind of legal ID. Is that true? If so, what kind of ID satisfies that requirement?

A: No, it’s not true. Neither Illinois nor U.S. law requires anyone to have an ID card, let alone carry one at all times. An ID can be required if you want to do certain things, like buy alcohol, but you’re never required to simply carry one with you.

sethpo
09-11-2014, 09:58 AM
New plan:

1) Run stop sign (safely)
2) Not have ID
3) Get arrested by idiot sheriff
4) Sue sheriff for various civil rights violations
5) Use proceeds to pay for ticket and buy new bike

Steve
09-11-2014, 10:50 AM
Don't call me if it's for public urination

Oh c'mon!

jrenaut
09-11-2014, 10:51 AM
New plan:

1) Run stop sign (safely)
2) Not have ID
3) Get arrested by idiot sheriff
4) Sue sheriff for various civil rights violations
5) Use proceeds to pay for ticket and buy new bike

Again, I am not a lawyer, but I would strongly advise you not to do this.

consularrider
09-11-2014, 11:59 AM
I actually have really enjoyed the four times I have ridden the PPTC Back Roads Century and found the actual event well organized, I just didn't like the tone of the emails they send each year, and what I considered bad advice (riding two abreast is legal most of the time, and riding in a position that allows a car to pass without changing lanes can easily get you killed). I have been a PPTC member for seven years now and did a few of their rides when we first moved back to the area in 2007. Since then I have found other groups which match my riding style better so I do only two or three a year now (including the Back Roads and Hains Point New Years).

Raymo853
09-11-2014, 02:32 PM
New plan:

1) Run stop sign (safely)
2) Not have ID
3) Get arrested by idiot sheriff
4) Sue sheriff for various civil rights violations
5) Use proceeds to pay for ticket and buy new bike

1. Have the sheriff break your jaw for telling him your plan
2. Sue and get a huge payout that almost covers your medical bills and rehab
3. See the sheriff get away with just having to quit and then become a consultant back to the next sheriff
4. Learn it is better to be happy than right

Sorry but you can not expect for cops on the sheriff to know nor follow the law. And you put yourself in great risk of physical harm by crossing paths with them in a confrontational manner.

Steve O
09-11-2014, 02:58 PM
1. Have the sheriff break your jaw for telling him your plan
2. Sue and get a huge payout that almost covers your medical bills and rehab
3. See the sheriff get away with just having to quit and then become a consultant back to the next sheriff
4. Learn it is better to be happy than right

Sorry but you can not expect for cops on the sheriff to know nor follow the law. And you put yourself in great risk of physical harm by crossing paths with them in a confrontational manner.

I love this country!

Raymo853
09-11-2014, 03:23 PM
I love this country!

We still enjoy more freedoms than the far majority of people alive today or alive at any time in the past.

Subby
09-22-2014, 11:12 AM
Did the ride, got the t-shirt, ate the steak burrito at the end. And the tomato sandwich and salted steamed potato in the middle.

Pretty much the PERFECT day for riding a century on country backroads. Seriously. I could not have asked for better. Clarke County police officers were out and about and to my untrained eye, it saw at least two cyclists getting tickets (one for sure). Interestingly, the stupid mouthbreather that buzzed me at about 45 mph did NOT get a ticket. HMMMM.

Anyway, the first half of the ride (in West Virginia) was breathtaking. The second half was pretty incredible, too, although Clark and Warren Counties seemed a little more trafficy this year. The best pitstop ever award goes to the one at mile 78 - tomato sandwiches, bluegrass band, bikenetic work tent. Could have stayed there for a while.

Anyway, I would give the ride a solid A.

dasgeh
09-22-2014, 11:19 AM
Pretty much the PERFECT day for riding a century on country backroads. Seriously. I could not have asked for better. Clarke County police officers were out and about and to my untrained eye, it saw at least two cyclists getting tickets (one for sure). Interestingly, the stupid mouthbreather that buzzed me at about 45 mph did NOT get a ticket. HMMMM.


You could always write the police and organizers thanking them for the wonderful ride, but pointing out the dangerous situation caused by that motorist and asking them to perhaps enforce Virginia's new 3-foot passing law...

mvk20
09-22-2014, 11:46 AM
You could always write the police and organizers thanking them for the wonderful ride, but pointing out the dangerous situation caused by that motorist and asking them to perhaps enforce Virginia's new 3-foot passing law...

I had a great ride, but it was not thanks to Clarke County "law enforcement". I use quotation marks because their enforcement was selective at best. I was signed up for one of the group rides (which went out way, way too fast, dropped almost the entire group, and threatened to end my day prematurely). Our ride began with the Clarke County sheriff delivering a menacing message that we would be ticketed for anything and everything we did wrong, and even for a few things that aren't always wrong, like riding double file. He informed us that people had places to go in their cars that day and not to hold them up. No welcome to Clarke County, no have a nice ride, and certainly no we'll try to keep the roads safe for you.

I saw police hiding at about one of every four stop signs. I saw four cyclists given tickets for slowing to an absolute crawl (1-2 mph) but not coming to a complete stop. I heard reports of many more of these at rest stops. I'd be willing to bet there were no 3ft passing tickets given that day, nor many if any speeding tickets considering the vast majority of their officers were hiding at stop signs.

Yes, I saw a few GU wrappers on 100 miles of road. Maybe 10. For over 2000 cyclists, that's not bad. I guarantee I saw 10 beer cans (most likely not from cyclists) for every GU wrapper. I saw nothing else other than a bunch of cyclists respectfully enjoying a beautiful day out on the roads.

It's beautiful country out there, and it's a nice ride. At the same time, I wonder if maybe that ride has run its course. I didn't feel welcome at all, and that's really a shame.

Subby
09-22-2014, 11:55 AM
Yes, I saw a few GU wrappers on 100 miles of road. Maybe 10. For over 2000 cyclists, that's not bad. I guarantee I saw 10 beer cans (most likely not from cyclists) for every GU wrapper.
Heh.

Clarke County was definitely not all that welcoming, but in my limited non-scientific subjective sample size it felt like WV drivers were super-cautious and respectful. No honks in WV vs. 3 in VA.

sethpo
09-22-2014, 11:56 AM
It's beautiful country out there, and it's a nice ride. At the same time, I wonder if maybe that ride has run its course. I didn't feel welcome at all, and that's really a shame.

I'm with you. I won't be doing this ride again.

The course was very lovely, but honestly it wasn't *that* special compared to the rides I've done in Northern Maryland and no tomato sandwich is going to make up for the awful situation with selective police enforcement.

I'm also going to whine for a second about very long lines for water at several stops. I appreciate the effort that must go into organizing something like this and the volunteers are amazing human beings...but I get grumpy waiting 10-15 minutes to fill water bottles. That's me. Grumpy.

dasgeh
09-22-2014, 12:10 PM
It's beautiful country out there, and it's a nice ride. At the same time, I wonder if maybe that ride has run its course. I didn't feel welcome at all, and that's really a shame.

I take it back: I kindly worded letter to Clarke County politicians about how you will no longer be visiting and spending money in their beautiful county might be in order. What a shame.

sjclaeys
09-22-2014, 12:49 PM
Overall, I had a great day riding the Back Roads Century. The weather was perfect and the scenery continues to be awesome. I purposely did not listen to the sheriff's speech, knowing that it would put me in a bad mood. Yes, there were deputies hiding at various stops signs, including the first stop sign on the century route, and they were handing out tickets. This included ticketing where the route crossed Rt. 50 and a deputy told me while passing in the opposite direction to stop at the stop sign, which would have not allowed me to see traffic in either direction. On the other hand, I heard reports of several motorists getting ticketed in downtown Berryville for not coming to a complete stop. I agree that the ride has gotten too big for PPTC to handle. The lines to just get water and the diminishing selection of food each year attest to that. However, my sense is that PPTC leadership is not too open to any criticism, constructive or otherwise. I think that it is because very few PPTC members volunteer to help run the organization, so those left to do so feel put out. Regarding the good citizens of Clarke County, while I understand the inconvenience of sharing the roads with a bike ride one Sunday a year, I am frankly getting tired of sharing the roads of Arlington County with them every work day as they commute to and from DC.

Rootchopper
09-22-2014, 12:53 PM
I only saw a couple of goo packets and much more trash that clearly was flung from cars. Local law enforcement was obnoxious (I saw four couples getting ticketed or talked to). The century course is absolutely fantastic, even for a plodder like me.

Two thoughts come to mind about Clarke County. Does the county get anything out of the ride other than a lot of people getting delayed going to their important Sunday morning business? You'd think the fact that this happens only once a year would make the locals a little more tolerant and welcoming.

The sheriff could have been much more helpful if he directed traffic rather than jumping out and playing "Gotcha!" Was he ever asked if he would be willing to be paid for directing traffic? I was buzzed by countless cars during the event. Clearly the 3 foot law is not enforced in Clarke County. Not to get personal, but the sheriff looked like something out of central casting.

Other than a couple of smiles from kids, everybody I saw not riding a bike in Clarke County looked miserable. This was not true of Jefferson County.

Often communities welcome big cycling events like Seagull or Bike Virginia. Does anybody in Clarke County want this event? If so, why aren't they speaking up?

mvk20
09-22-2014, 01:05 PM
Two thoughts come to mind about Clarke County. Does the county get anything out of the ride other than a lot of people getting delayed going to their important Sunday morning business? You'd think the fact that this happens only once a year would make the locals a little more tolerant and welcoming.

Other than a couple of smiles from kids, everybody I saw not riding a bike in Clarke County looked miserable. This was not true of Jefferson County.

Often communities welcome big cycling events like Seagull or Bike Virginia. Does anybody in Clarke County want this event? If so, why aren't they speaking up?

Some great points here. What does the county get out of the ride? I paid my registration fee, bought the shirt and jersey, and unless I'm mistaken that's the sum total of the money I spent on the event. Did any of that money go to the county or to any businesses in the county? If so, why are they so surly about it? If not, maybe that's something that should be considered - having it be a bit more of a cash cow to the area. I for one would be perfectly willing to pay an extra $20 registration that went to local businesses providing stuff for the ride, especially if it made the ride a big party for the county rather than something they seem to wish would go away.

Agreed that things seemed perceptibly better in Jefferson County. I certainly did not see law enforcement harassing cyclists that weren't doing anyone any harm, or hiding out in the hopes of doing so.

This was my first cycling event. I'm proud of myself for completing it, but I have to say the open hostility towards the event leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I'd love to hear about events that are more welcoming and give one of those a try!

americancyclo
09-22-2014, 01:30 PM
I for one would be perfectly willing to pay an extra $20 registration that went to local businesses providing stuff for the ride, especially if it made the ride a big party for the county rather than something they seem to wish would go away.

I would think that any business that wanted to support cyclists with a table, in kind donations, or sponsoring a water stop would make all their money back from all the cyclists, since they could be known as "The Only Best Bicycle Friendly Business in Clarke County"

TwoWheelsDC
09-22-2014, 02:04 PM
You all should come do the Tour of Richmond next year instead (or this year, it's in two weeks)...police actually stop traffic at intersections to let bikes ride through unimpeded, and the lead group (which is like Cat 1 pace) gets a police escort the whole way. And you get to ride your bike on a NASCAR track!

consularrider
09-22-2014, 06:14 PM
You all should come do the Tour of Richmond next year instead (or this year, it's in two weeks)...police actually stop traffic at intersections to let bikes ride through unimpeded, and the lead group (which is like Cat 1 pace) gets a police escort the whole way. And you get to ride your bike on a NASCAR track!
Well, you do pay about three times as much for the services. But I'll be doing it for the second time this year.

TwoWheelsDC
09-22-2014, 07:50 PM
Well, you do pay about three times as much for the services. But I'll be doing it for the second time this year.

But you get a medal and beer glass!

Rootchopper
09-22-2014, 09:42 PM
Never heard of it but it certainly sounds like it's wortj a trip

consularrider
09-23-2014, 12:20 PM
Never heard of it but it certainly sounds like it's wortj a trip
I think this is only the third year and this year's route is quite different, spends more time in the northeast of the city.

TwoWheelsDC
09-23-2014, 03:21 PM
I think this is only the third year and this year's route is quite different, spends more time in the northeast of the city.

Looked dramatically flatter as well...not that it was ever a hilly course.

jrenaut
09-23-2014, 03:42 PM
But you get a ... beer glass!
Full of beer? Good beer?

dasgeh
09-23-2014, 04:19 PM
Speaking of beer, BAC Happy Hour tonight @ Chevy's in Pentagon City. 6:30pm-8:30pm. Be there or be... lame.

Tim Kelley
09-23-2014, 04:21 PM
Speaking of beer, BAC Happy Hour tonight @ Chevy's in Pentagon City. 6:30pm-8:30pm. Be there or be... lame.

See you there!

Oldtowner
09-27-2014, 06:50 PM
Have to agree the WV part was noticeably nicer as far as the welcome went. The cars were respectful and the people were friendly and waving. Even the guy running in street clothes with an axe (I didn't ask) was saying hi to everyone as we passed.
I agree PP needs to figure out a way to get the community more invested. Is there some local charity the ride could support? I bet if the ride was to raise money for the local police fund we might get a better welcome from the Sheriff. Are there some local vendors who can sell food or other wares at the end? It just takes some imagination and leadership to get the locals involved and this ride back on track.

BTW to my riding partner from State - thanks for the company!

consularrider
02-02-2015, 07:01 PM
Even though I am no longer a PPTC member I got an email today where they are recruiting a professional event manager (http://www.potomacpedalers.org/news/213966/Event-Manager-Needed.htm) for the 2015 Back Roads Century. Guess it's gotten to be too big a job for a volunteer to handle, especially with all the negativity from last year (including mine).