Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Seattle Century

I received a nifty little flyer in the last issue of the Cascade Courier announcing the “Seattle Century.” They have a great web page for the event, and I plan to attend. When looking up the event on a great website/blog BikingBis, I discovered the Seattle Century (organized by a Portland group) is taking place on the same day as Tour de Peaks. Indeed, the TdP is taking place over what looks like some of the same roads in Fall City and Snoqualmie. That’s not really a Big Deal™ but I can describe my last attendance at the Tour de Peaks. While the route is very, very nice, the last time we rode that event, we had a bit of an unpleasant surprise. The “Tour de Feast” as the TdP calls themselves, ran out of food at the finish line. And not just late in the day, either. We got back to the finish line after a metric century. Fairly, we went a little slowly on the course – we had two flat tires, and were delayed a bit changing out the tubes. (Note there was no on the road SAG support. We also discovered no SAG support of any kind at the rest stops. No one even bothered to bring a floor pump.) We completed the ride at about 2pm, and got back to the starting pavilion to discover the organizers packing up everything to go home. When we asked about being fed, they said “we ran out of food. Sorry.” I do think they genuinely were sorry, but no one really was overly concerned about doing anything about it. What was at least as disconcerting was that we were hardly the last ones in to the finish. We passed *lots* of people out on the course. None of them got anything to eat either. We feasted on gels and powerbars from the car (kept right next to our floor pump.) Yum!

I wrote to the organizers afterwards and did receive a response. They blamed the lack of sufficient food on the attendees. Here’s their response:

... [W]e appreciate your comments, and am very sorry you weren't able to experience the food at Tour de Peaks. Unfortunately we not only underestimated the number of participants ( last year we had 340; this year 567 ), but also the huge appetites of the people who did eat. I heard stories of riders taking huge portions and three or four trips down the line. We are trying to come up with a solution for next year.

We will also better ride support next year, and our start/finish location will be different in 2007. As soon as we have the new venue confirmed we will post it on our website and send out emails to all previous riders. Keep checking back starting the first of the year.

Thanks again for riding and for taking the time to send us your thoughts, as so many other riders wrote to say how much they enjoyed it. We do appreciate your efforts and hope you will come see what Tour de Peaks has in store for you next year!

We’re looking forward to the “Seattle Century” this year.

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