Rowing club to hold extreme bike ride

The Vashon Island Rowing Club (VIRC), will hold its first annual bike ride with a twist on Saturday, Sept. 17. The strenuous, 75-mile ride, called Passport to Pain, is not for the novice rider. The route connects 18 of Vashon’s must brutal hills, giving riders a total of 10,000 feet of vertical gain. 

Participants will be given a passport at the beginning of the ride, and at each hill they will earn a stamp at a designated checkpoint, as well as a $5 rebate on their $100 entry fee. Riders who complete the route will end up making a $10 donation to VIRC, while those who bail out sooner will make a more generous contribution to the club.

For those intimidated by a 75-mile ride, there will also be 48-mile and 30-mile options. 

The event is not a timed race, and no T-shirts will be given. Proceeds from the ride will be split between VIRC’s junior rowing program and the Vashon Maury Community Food Bank.

Bruce Morser, a master rower and the event organizer, said Passport to Pain offers a unique riding experience on Vashon, and he believes it could grow into a popular annual event both on the Island and in the Puget Sound region. 

“I think it has the potential of being a legendary ride,” he said.

The ride will begin at Jensen Point, with riders starting in small groups between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. The routes end back at the point, where a barbecue will begin at 2 p.m. Passports will be stamped until 4 p.m.

For more information or to sign up, contact Riders can register the day of the event.



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