Jeff Everett and his wife lisa have been putting on a night bike ride every month for the last four years. Typically, rides fall on the night of the full moon. But there are a couple special rides a year where the full-moon rule is bent a bit. The Festivus ride is one of them.
OTM asked Jeff a few questions about this yearly event.
WHAT IS THE FESTIVUS RIDE?
It is our go-to theme for the December Full Moon Fiasco. I encourage everyone to decorate their bikes and wear costumes. I give away prizes that have been donated by local and not-so-local folks. I do my best to come up with a venue that will accommodate that many people and the games that we like to play.
EXPLAIN THE EVENTS YOU HAVE DONE AT THE RIDE?
Long Distance Frame Toss, Slow Races, Obstacle Course, Bike Decorating Contest, etc. I try to have bike-related games at the destination bar, but not every large venue is set up so I can work that out.
WHAT’S THE RIDE DATE THIS YEAR?
I’m doing my best to have it on December 10th. Check the website for the final date—http://fbcspokane.blogspot.com
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF PLANNING A WINTER BIKE RIDE FOR 100-PLUS CYCLISTS?
Planning any ride has its issues. For the larger rides, I have to consider a destination that is large enough to hold everyone that shows up. During the winter, the turnout is smaller, so we can visit some otherwise overlooked places. However, I have to treat it like a summer ride when looking for a venue, [yet like] a winter ride when planning the route.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE RIDE?
All the great decorations that people put on their bikes is certainly a reason to show up, but my favorite bit is giving away prizes. The Good Doctor, a couple of Lifetime Members For Life, and I work really hard to get businesses to donate items for Festivus, and it’s fun to pass those out.
HOW MANY PEOPLE SHOWED UP AT LAST YEAR’S RIDE?
We had about 125 riders show up. It was around 20º, clear.
THIS WILL BE YOUR FIFTH FESTIVUS. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE YEAR?
I like them all, but I can’t help but remember how miserable the first one was—and how happy I was to be doing it. It was an awful night of slush, giant ice and freezing rain, but the eight of us went anyway. It was supposed to be a relaxing ride around the South Hill so we could look at Christmas lights. I didn’t have any prizes or games. It was just a bike ride. I guess if I had to pick, the first one was my favorite.
HOW MUCH SNOW IS TOO MUCH?
John, you know the answer to this. No snow is too much snow. We ride no matter the conditions. Though, I will admit that the length of the ride changes according to conditions. I don’t want to be out there any longer than I have to. It gets a little sketchy trying to move 100 riders through those conditions.
WHAT CAN A NEWBIE EXPECT?
Good question. I get new riders every month, and a fresh batch of questions. Anyone can participate in the FBC rides. It is handy to be over 21 [since] almost all of our destinations are bars. If you show up on a bike and participate, you are a Lifetime Member For Life. I design spoke cards for every ride, and I will shove one into your hand upon your arrival. I suggest a one-dollar donation for the card, but that is entirely up to you. I certainly don’t want to cut into anyone’s beer money. The donations go toward printing the next batch of cards, stickers, musical guests, etc.
YOU’RE GOING BE A DAD SOON. IS THE PASSING OF THE FBC TORCH IMMINENT?
[It’s] certainly a consideration. I have tried in the past to let others lead and organize specific rides with less than stellar results. It would be hard to take over something that has grown from two riders to 200. I have had the luxury of watching it grow and have developed better ways of organizing. I think that someone taking over in the future would have a hard time keeping it from turning into a Critical Mass, which would be my nightmare.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL FESTIVUS RIDE?
Wow—last year was pretty great. We had a great experience at The Swamp, as we always do. The weather cooperated and gave us clear skies and streets on which to meander, though it was stupid cold. And The Steam Plant was our best venue yet for this particular ride. On top of being a great place to go under normal circumstances, they made a special effort to accommodate all of our needs.
John Speare grew up and lives in Spokane. He rides his bike everywhere. This is his last Everyday Cyclist column. Check out his blog at http://cyclingspokane.blogspot.com.