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KWL
05-14-2015, 05:27 PM
What!? A BTWD pit stop at Columbia Island? I didn't know that (waiting for Tim's response). I'm glad they put the signs up. Now I'm up to 5 pit stops to hit tomorrow morning. Del Ray, Crystal City (for the jersey), Columbia Island, Rosslyn & Georgetown. I think I need to call in late(r) to work.

PotomacCyclist
05-14-2015, 07:52 PM
I saw the sign too. Are there that many people going to the marina early on weekday mornings? Maybe so.

KWL
05-15-2015, 07:38 AM
I am sooo disappointed. Stopped by the marina and all that was there were the signs. I do see it is not listed on the official pit stops map.

Emm
05-15-2015, 07:55 AM
Same thing :( i checked it out after you gave me the tip at crystal city. Maybe it's an evening pit stop?

PotomacCyclist
05-15-2015, 08:36 AM
Completely false advertising. I thought the NPS had a rule against signs on the MVT too. I think the Columbia Island Marina vendor posted the signs on their own. They aren't connected with Bike to Work Day. They didn't sponsor a pit stop. They are just riding on the coattails to drum up some business, by posting signs that are likely unauthorized.

It's like all those (questionable) South of the Border signs you see on the highway in the Southeast, heading to the North Carolina/South Carolina border. (Are those still there?) 114 miles to go to South of the Border. 43 miles to South of the Border. Then when you get there, all you find is a junky store filled with $1 plastic trinkets and T-shirts with rude phrases, and a mediocre diner.

KWL
05-15-2015, 08:52 AM
I thought seriously about flattening all the signs as I left to prevent any others from venturing down there, but then realized I really wasn't too sure what the situation was. Not until I checked the pit stop map did I realize it was bogus.

KWL
05-15-2015, 08:54 AM
Same thing :( i checked it out after you gave me the tip at crystal city. Maybe it's an evening pit stop?I am truly sorry for giving you that false information. The ride through the grove is pretty, though.

PotomacCyclist
05-15-2015, 09:19 AM
If you hadn't posted the photo, I would have anyway. All the blame lies with the restaurant/bar operator at the marina. I never go there anyway, but I might have in the future. I will avoid that place now.

Tim Kelley
05-15-2015, 09:38 AM
What!? A BTWD pit stop at Columbia Island? I didn't know that (waiting for Tim's response).

That's okay--it's not in Arlington so we weren't promoting it. I'm not offended. :p

Emm
05-15-2015, 09:42 AM
I am truly sorry for giving you that false information. The ride through the grove is pretty, though.

No need to be sorry. It was a pleasant detour :)

PotomacCyclist
05-15-2015, 09:43 AM
But it was close enough to Arlington that many/most of the people who got roped in were likely Arlington residents.

I would imagine that NPS will receive some complaints about this. NPS might complain themselves, if those signs were unauthorized. The restaurant/bar operator is under contract with NPS. They can't really afford to flout NPS regulations. If they get NPS angry enough, they could lose their contract. (Unless someone at NPS really likes the operator.)

dasgeh
05-15-2015, 09:43 AM
Completely false advertising. I thought the NPS had a rule against signs on the MVT too. I think the Columbia Island Marina vendor posted the signs on their own. They aren't connected with Bike to Work Day. They didn't sponsor a pit stop. They are just riding on the coattails to drum up some business, by posting signs that are likely unauthorized.

It's like all those (questionable) South of the Border signs you see on the highway in the Southeast, heading to the North Carolina/South Carolina border. (Are those still there?) 114 miles to go to South of the Border. 43 miles to South of the Border. Then when you get there, all you find is a junky store filled with $1 plastic trinkets and T-shirts with rude phrases, and a mediocre diner.
You did not just insult SoB.

PotomacCyclist
05-15-2015, 09:44 AM
The detour is nice, but I would have had more time to get to other, actual pit stops if I hadn't taken that side route to the marina. So that's kind of annoying.

CaseyKane50
05-15-2015, 09:53 AM
I too got hooked by this, except I got to help two new riders find their way to Memorial Bridge.

PotomacCyclist
05-15-2015, 09:54 AM
You did not just insult SoB.

It's not just because of the trinkets. It's because of the signs. I would imagine that some people would have issues with the caricature of Mexicans in some of the signs.

Aside from that, I never found it that interesting, even as a kid. I thought there would be some spectacular attraction after all those signs. Then when you get there, you find some fireworks, some mini-statues with thermometers (which probably had mercury in them), some cheesy T-shirts and diner food. It's like getting excited about a tourist shop in DC that sells T-shirts made in Bangladesh that say "Witness Protection Program" or whatever. I'm not against tourism or tourist activities, but I'd like it to be interesting. Especially when there is so much advertising for it. So in that way, I see it as similar to the Grand and Great Columbia Island Marina bar Bike to Work Day false-advertising Scam of 2015. If not for the scam, I might have been able to secure an extra bagel at the Georgetown pit stop. That puts me out about 30 cents!

mstone
05-15-2015, 10:37 AM
It's not just because of the trinkets. It's because of the signs. I would imagine that some people would have issues with the caricature of Mexicans in some of the signs

It's a tradition. Like Thanksgiving--there's no real reason for us to eat ourselves into a stupor and fall asleep on the couch but we do it anyway because tradition. SOB? Tradition. Didn't you see fiddler on the roof? Cue show tune.

DismalScientist
05-15-2015, 10:46 AM
Only 1552 miles to Wall Drug.

PotomacCyclist
05-15-2015, 11:15 AM
It's a tradition. Like Thanksgiving--there's no real reason for us to eat ourselves into a stupor and fall asleep on the couch but we do it anyway because tradition. SOB? Tradition. Didn't you see fiddler on the roof? Cue show tune.

At least with Thanksgiving, there are family gatherings, so it's often more than just eating a lot. For people whose extended families are scattered about the country, that makes it more than just a regular big dinner. Plus last Thanksgiving also had the Cranksgiving charity bike scavenger hunt/ride. I might change my tune if South of the Border sponsored, say, a century ride in the Carolinas or a large community fun ride. Maybe they do already, but I doubt it.

mstone
05-15-2015, 11:25 AM
Traveling for thanksgiving just makes it more ridiculous! Why travel on the busiest day of the year instead of, say, a random weekend in march? Tradition.

PotomacCyclist
05-15-2015, 11:33 AM
Not everyone has the same off-days or free weekends. That's not to say that everyone is free over Thanksgiving, or they may have two or more potential travel locations. The bottom line is that it's different from South of the Border. The signs are more interesting than that store. So I'll say that the highway signs are sort of a tradition or kitschy landmark.

mstone
05-15-2015, 11:46 AM
So I'll say that the highway signs are sort of a tradition or kitschy landmark.

That's it exactly. There used to be a great tradition of interesting story-telling highway signs that made it more fun to drive endless miles. They've mostly died out, replaced by generic and uninteresting billboards about booze (up north) or XXX shops (down south). I suspect it may be because most places these days don't last long enough to make it worth planning and installing such a project, and because everything is franchised pap without a quirky proprietor to put up such signs.

PotomacCyclist
05-15-2015, 11:50 AM
But it's the signs, not the store itself. They could actually have the signs and no store and the kitschy attraction would still be there. It might even be better that way, because people could make up stories about what the store was like in the good old days. They could describe it as the savior of countless weary parents on cross-country drives (especially in the days before portable DVD players, and tablets and laptops with online or downloaded videos), bringing sanity to the land.

I think Burma Shave introduced the concept of highway advertising or a series of highway billboards, with a punchline at the end. Apparently the highway signs were discontinued on the advice of counsel, possibly because of the possibility of distracting drivers and inducing crashes. So it wasn't so much franchising that ended the Burma Shave billboard campaign as it was safety and liability concerns.

Kolohe
05-15-2015, 03:51 PM
You did not just insult SoB.


It's not like it's Wall Drug ;)

dasgeh
05-15-2015, 04:44 PM
It's not just because of the trinkets. It's because of the signs. I would imagine that some people would have issues with the caricature of Mexicans in some of the signs.

Aside from that, I never found it that interesting, even as a kid. I thought there would be some spectacular attraction after all those signs. Then when you get there, you find some fireworks, some mini-statues with thermometers (which probably had mercury in them), some cheesy T-shirts and diner food. It's like getting excited about a tourist shop in DC that sells T-shirts made in Bangladesh that say "Witness Protection Program" or whatever. I'm not against tourism or tourist activities, but I'd like it to be interesting. Especially when there is so much advertising for it. So in that way, I see it as similar to the Grand and Great Columbia Island Marina bar Bike to Work Day false-advertising Scam of 2015. If not for the scam, I might have been able to secure an extra bagel at the Georgetown pit stop. That puts me out about 30 cents!
But that's what it is. There's no false advertising. They never say that there will be anything other than a glorified truck stop. Btw, there's also a motel, restaurant, gas station and mini golf. It's all horrible. But it is exactly the horrible you expect from the horrible billboards (and the fact that it's in South Carolina).

There's more there than in Wall Drug, though Wall definitely has better candy.

dasgeh
05-15-2015, 04:45 PM
At least with Thanksgiving, there are family gatherings, so it's often more than just eating a lot. For people whose extended families are scattered about the country, that makes it more than just a regular big dinner. Plus last Thanksgiving also had the Cranksgiving charity bike scavenger hunt/ride. I might change my tune if South of the Border sponsored, say, a century ride in the Carolinas or a large community fun ride. Maybe they do already, but I doubt it.
I've seen people stop there on ms rides to the beach.

Raymo853
05-15-2015, 06:46 PM
I went by the marina bar and the place looked closed. Gave me reason to neb around the place though.

KLizotte
05-15-2015, 07:41 PM
I went by the marina bar and the place looked closed. Gave me reason to neb around the place though.

Given that they have probably the best spot to offer a pit stop, the signs without an actual offering is mystifying.

Anyway, last summer they were offering happy hour specials and a calypso band on Wednesday nights. The band was good and sitting by the water is nice so not a bad place to hang out (all of this was observed from the bike, I never actually stopped.) Might make a good place to have a bike forum happy hour if they bring back the band and specials presuming people don't harbor too much bad will after their BTWD disappearing act.

PotomacCyclist
05-15-2015, 07:44 PM
But that's what it is. There's no false advertising. They never say that there will be anything other than a glorified truck stop. Btw, there's also a motel, restaurant, gas station and mini golf. It's all horrible. But it is exactly the horrible you expect from the horrible billboards (and the fact that it's in South Carolina).

There's more there than in Wall Drug, though Wall definitely has better candy.

I guess to a kid, their billboards seemed to promise something 1,000 times better than Walt Disney World. So to me, that was false advertising. Or at least a massive letdown. I will never forgive them, LOL.

PotomacCyclist
05-15-2015, 07:45 PM
Given that they have probably the best spot to offer a pit stop, the signs without an actual offering is mystifying.

Anyway, last summer they were offering happy hour specials and a calypso band on Wednesday nights. The band was good and sitting by the water is nice so not a bad place to hang out (all of this was observed from the bike, I never actually stopped.) Might make a good place to have a bike forum happy hour if they bring back the band and specials presuming people don't harbor too much bad will after their BTWD disappearing act.

I refuse to patronize that cafe ever. At least until I forget why I was angry at them in the first place. I estimate that will be a couple months. But they still need to have a real BTWD pit stop next year and it should be the best one ever.

chris_s
05-18-2015, 05:59 AM
You did not just insult SoB.

Anyone stopping at South of the Border is required to buy me Blenheim Pink Cap Gingerale while they're there.

PotomacCyclist
06-02-2015, 12:58 AM
Seen at the convention center this weekend, during the Awesome Con convention (which actually was quite awesome):

8762