All the Bad Things on One Page
This is a lovely ride with great scenery, fun people, wonderful volunteers...
But I can guarantee you that one or two people are going to have a terrible time.
You see, we expect about 50 cyclists, and on every ride we do there is a consistent one- or two percent of our fellow cyclists that have a really bad time of it.
When things go wrong for one of our fine cyclists we scrape them up off the trail with a spatula and then we often hear them say, “But no one told me that...”
And so here is -- all the bad stuff on one page. For 99 percent of you this stuff doesn’t matter one bit -- you are going to have a blast. But if you would like to avoid being in that unhappy one percent (or if you just like to read cranky stuff), this is worth taking a look.
You must wear a hard bike helmet at all times on the ride. No helmet/no ride/no exceptions.
Oh yeah, and while we’re being mean, no earphones, blasting radios, or cell phones while you’re pedaling either. If you break these rules, we will kick you off the ride and everyone will laugh at you. No refunds.
Whiners will be dealt with in the harshest possible manner.
Our Incredibly Unfair Refund Policy
Once you register, there are no refunds.
Of any kind.
For ANY reason.
You CAN often get a credit that you can use for another ride. Just as soon as you can and let us know you can’t attend the ride.
Your credit will be valid through whatever the last event is that we run in 2022, but after that your credit is GONE and NOTHING can bring it back.
Your credit is not for One Free Ride -- it is for a dollar amount. How much credit will you receive? That has NOTHING to do with the reason WHY you are canceling -- it ONLY depends on WHEN you tell us that you can’t make it:
15 Days or More Notice Before Event Day: 100% credit
10-14 Days Notice: 50% credit
5-9 Days Notice: 25% credit
Less than 5 days notice: No credit
This is still the most generous refund policy of any ride I know of in the NY/NJ/CT area (much to the annoyance of our Evil Marketing Department).
I believe that the refund policy offered by most local rides is:
Obscure Trivia Note
I’ve been putting on swell rides for more than 23 years now -- it’s my full-time job, and I expect to do this for another 200 years. But if my poor little company ever goes broke or I die in a horrible ice-cream-and-pie related accident, all ride credits will have zero value, OK? OK.
A Brief Word About Illness, Accidents, Death, and Cake
We get lots of emails right before the ride: "Even though you have a no-refund policy, I need a refund. I can’t ride because I am sick and I have a note from my doctor to prove it -- would you like a copy of the note?"
No, I would not.
We believe you (and your doctor) but it's like this:
Suppose I'm a baker and you order a 10-foot tall cake that states Happy Birthday Melvin on it.
Then something terrible happens. Melvin gets the flu. Melvin falls down a flight of stairs. Melvin gets drunk and cracks a tooth on a coffee table.
We understand why you no longer want the cake.
But when you placed your order, I purchased perishable ingredients. I added extra staff. I bought Cake Insurance (OK... just go along with me here...)
I don't need a note from Melvin's doctor.
I believe you.
Fate has dealt a nice person like you a completely unfair hand for no good reason at all.
But one of us is about to lose the price of the cake, and it's going to be you or me.
And me being the poor and cranky guy I am... it's going to be you. (There must be a MUCH nicer way to say that, but nothing comes to mind just at this moment...)
Now imagine that I have 50 people who EACH order a cake that states Happy Birthday Melvin on it and you get the idea.
Thanks for understanding.
Sell or Give Your Ride Registration to Someone Else
All you need to do to transfer your spot in the ride to another person is give your name to the new rider. The new rider MUST check in with us in NYC or Pittsburgh before we start pedalnig.
Because if they get eaten by a giant chipmunk and they are wearing a numbered wristband that our records show belongs to you, we won’t know the difference (because them chomped on and you chompeld on look pretty much the same...) and we will call YOUR family and tell them that YOU are DEAD, DEAD, DEAD! (Try explaining THAT ONE at Thanksgiving dinner!)
When the new rider checks in, they simply say, “I’m riding for Jim Smith, but my name is...” and they'll be all set.
S.A.G. (Bike Rescue) -- What it Can and Can Not Do
This event is a bit different -- you are in the woods. There is really no way for us to fetch you. If you get a flat or a minor mechanical issue help is available. If you want a lift that is absolutely fine, but you need to get yourself to pavement first. If at all possible, try to get a street address including the name of the town. ("I'm in front of a house at 394 West Main Street in West Newton.")
Our S.A.G. drivers are wonderful people, but most of them are NOT bike mechanics. When they pick you up, they will usually not be able to fix your bike. Instead, they will take you to either the next rest stop where you can get additional help, or to the finish line.
S.A.G. is not a taxi service.
S.A.G. can not take you to a movie.
S.A.G. can not take you to Thai food take-out.
S.A.G. can not drop you off at grandma’s house.
Weather & Route Conditions
If it is hot out you may be hot.
If it is cold out you may be cold.
If it is raining you may get wet.
Yeah, this is painfully obvious to 99 percent of you, but we DO get emails...
The only time we cancel the ride is if the weather is so bad that we believe that your life would be in danger out on the route. (Lightning, tsunami...) We do not issue refunds if we have to cancel the ride. (Why? See above under Our Incredibly Unfair Refund Policy).
Fill up your bottles before you start the day. That will probably be enough water for the entire day, but we will meet up with you around the half-way mark and you can refill with us there.
WARNING: Our free mixed nuts butter may contain nuts. (Duh!)
Transporting Your Bike
We are cyclists with expensive bikes too, and we are gentle with all of the bikes, but even under the best circumstances, bad stuff can happen to you unfairly, so please heed this warning carefully: DURING THIS EVENT YOUR BIKE MAY BE SCRATCHED, DENTED, BROKEN, BENT, OR DESTROYED. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR BIKE -- LARGE OR SMALL -- AND WE DO NOT PAY FOR BIKE DAMAGE.
In other words, if you see one of our staff jumping up and down on your bike we promise to kill them, and we will pay for damage to your bike. But if your bike gets a flat tire, scratched, banged, dented, bent, broken, or destroyed accidentally, we can not be responsible, and we can not reimburse you. This may be the wrong ride to bring your one-of-a-kind, Dura Ace 40th Anniversary Edition, custom-painted-by-Ernesto Colnago-himself-bicycle.
Why the hard line on bike damage?
Years ago I was the tour director of a ride where a cyclist swore that we scratched the paint on the bottom of his bike. (You know -- the bottom -- where you can’t see it...) The solution that he proposed was that we pay to have all of the components removed from his bike, have the bare frame shipped to Italy where it would be hand-painted, then shipped back to the U.S. and reassembled. Estimated price way back then: $3,000. Were we responsible for that scratch in his paint? I don’t think so, but who knows?
So rather than risk bankrupting our little company every time we ride, we just put this mean policy in place instead.
I’m reminded of our high school drug dealer youth-group leader. He was the first person I ever knew who had a custom-built bike. He had a dream that he dropped the bike and scratched it, and he never rode that bike again.
You are on an adult adventure and adult adventures involve risk.