Cyclists complete ultimate test: Vashon’s hills

A few riders make their way up Gold Beach Drive, one of 27 hills on the 78-mile Passport to Pain course. - David Weller Photo
A few riders make their way up Gold Beach Drive, one of 27 hills on the 78-mile Passport to Pain course.
— image credit: David Weller Photo

The second annual Passport to Pain (P2P) bike ride exploded in popularity this year, drawing nearly three times as many cyclists than participated last year and raising thousands of dollars for the Vashon Island Rowing Club.

On Saturday morning, 124 riders set out on Passport to Pain’s unique course, which strings together 27 of the Island’s steepest hills for a total of 78 miles and 10,000 feet of elevation gain. In the end, 80 cyclists completed the ride and earned back their $100 registration fee, said event organizer Bruce Morser. Half of riders, he said, donated their fee to the club anyway.

Morser said that this year P2P drew cyclists from Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and New York. Organizers themselves were a bit surprised at the large response, he said, but credit the ride’s poularity to its unique challenge as the toughest ride in Puget Sound and the touch of humor presented in promotional materials.

“A bunch of us have done a lot of riding over the years, and I think what makes this unique is that this ride has an attitude about it that people like,” he said.

Several more sponsors participated in the event as well this year, Morser said, and the club brought in more than $9,000.


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