After this weekend’s Flying Wheels event, the team of folks at Cascade Bicycle Club received a number of negative messages from residents in the communities along the route, particularly the cities of Carnation and Duvall.
It was not a good feeling.
We heard from area residents that some of our event participants were seen
-urinating on private property
-swearing at people
-flipping off drivers
-not riding SMART
The riders of our events are visitors and guests to the communities through which we ride. As guests, we should bring our best manners and thank our hosts for graciously welcoming us. The Snoqualmie Valley is a beautiful place to visit, explore, shop, dine and play. Many of our event riders come on Flying Wheels only to discover the beautiful communities through the ride and return later with friends and family.
We at Cascade Bicycle Club extend an apology for the unacceptable behavior by some of our event participants. Truly, what we’ve heard is not OK. While the vast majority of event participants ride respectfully and lawfully, it truly only takes a few bad apples interspersed throughout the group to ruin our collective reputation.
Flying Wheels, which is a fundraiser for our 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, has been happening for 27 years. Over the last five years, the event has held a steady number of riders, around 3,500. The event has also been on the second Saturday of June for many years. Though we do field a handful of complaints with any event, we asked ourselves what was different this year?
As every year, our event was issued road use and parade permits through King County and Carnation, and we have the required documents on file in Duvall and all other cities on the route. We hired police officers to direct traffic at intersections. To be clear: no cities or government agencies paid to support the event; Cascade Bicycle Club paid for any and all use fees and permits.
Though Flying Wheels has been held on this date for at least ten years, for the first time, the Mud Run at Remlinger Farms was held on the same date. We learned that the Mud Run brought over 4,500 participants, in their vehicles, to the valley, all converging on the Carnation area. The increased Mud Run car traffic added to the Flying Wheels riders caused quite a bit of congestion, which was frustrating for so many. We apologize for contributing to that issue.
While the majority of the event feedback has been extremely positive, we take the negative feedback seriously. Our event team is working with community contacts to determine what we can do for next year and beyond to make the experience better, especially for the Snoqualmie Valley residents, and to keep the event as safe as possible for riders. We would like to invite local community groups to get involved so they can use the Flying Wheels event as a fundraiser. Many of our other bicycling events like the STP and Chilly Hilly have partnerships with community groups who take advantage of this opportunity to great success.
Thank you for your support and cooperation as we work together to improve the event going forward.