6th Annual Passport to Pain on Vashon Island
The toughest, most fun ride in the Puget Sound region
On Saturday, Sept 10th, 2016 in beautiful weather, hundreds of cyclists from all over the U.S. made the journey to Washington state for the vertically challenging but fun 6th Annual Passport to Pain cycle challenge.
Situated on beautiful Vashon Island, Passport To Pain (or P2P) is an extraordinary cycling challenge that offers 3 levels of vertical climb -- the 80-mile Idiot ride with a climb of 10,000 vertical feet, the 50-mile Weasel ride (6,500 vertical ft.), or the 30-mile Weenie ride (3,400 vertical ft.).
What makes P2P different from other rides? Despite 10,000 vertical feet to climb, P2P organizers prided themselves on making the experience feel like a party on wheels. A dedicated team of event staffers regaled riders at each of the 18 checkpoints. Wearing outlandish costumes and providing comedic relief, they stood at the ready to collect clothing, stamp passports and provide refreshments.
Whether riders completed the Idiot, the Weasel, or the Weenie, they all combined for a fun-filled party at the finish line and an over-the-top pile of BBQ to devour!
P2P was started by the Vashon Island Rowing Club (VIRC), a non-profit organization that supports more than 100 island youth and adults each year by offering a competitive rowing program. VIRC has consistently trained world-class champion rowers in our junior crew program and produced over $1.2 million in college scholarships earned by Vashon rowers in just the past 4 years. The VIRC program is year-round. PASSPORT TO PAIN was founded as a way to help raise funds and have fun at the same time. The funds raised by P2P support the VIRC in purchasing new equipment, offering financial aid to many young rowers, and making improvements to their facility and boats.
In addition to its 10,000 vertical feet, P2P also gains a uniquely fun and outlandish flavor from its location – beautiful Vashon Island, just 20-minutes west of Seattle by ferry boat. Long populated by artists, small organic farmers, and those who seek a rural lifestyle close to the Seattle metropolis, Vashon adopted its slogan “Keep Vashon Weird” many years ago. P2P prides itself on creating a fun and wacky ride – checkpoint volunteers dress in costumes or decorate their checkpoint booths in themes.
This year saw Big Bird and Groucho motivate the riders!
P2P is a ride for fun, not a race. Organizers do not keep times? So there are only winners, no losers (a very Vashon tradition).
Elle Dub who rode commented "The Weasel P2P wasn't originally in my 2016 cycling schedule, but today happened. I dug deep mentally and knew I could do it. Powered through 60 miles of ?? pumping, breathtaking, gear grinding, quad burning, steep HILLS on Vashon Island. Glad its over and happy to have this decorated passport! Thanks Patrick McQueen for encouraging me to ride outside of my comfort zone."
Emily Rae said "We were Weasels, not Idiots. Tough, but great ride with lots of very steep climbs!"
For more information on Passport to Pain, please visit - http://passport2pain.org