What and when?

13th Annual Willy Nilly ride: Cancelled due to COVID-19

The Willy Nilly is an individual and free-form version of an annual season-opening bicycling spin that normally happens during the last Sunday of February, on Vashon Island, WA

PLEASE NOTE: We urge everyone who rides their bike, whether on Willy Nilly day or any other, to know and follow all relevant COVID-19 safety requirements and recommendations.

Willy Nilly Basics

> Registration/fees: None (this is definitely not an organized ride; this is a ride that some of us do sometimes)
> "Ride your ride": We spontaneously select our routes/distances, ride paces...maybe some road, gravel, or single track (there are trails on Vashon)...
> Typical start: Outside (south side) of Beveridge Place Pub in West Seattle
> Typical finish: Beveridge Place Pub (we believe in post-ride re-hydration)
> BPP to Fauntleroy dock: map
> One of many Vashon routes (a "standard"): map

Scroll down to view hastily-scribed blurb posts about past Willy Nillys...

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Willy Nilly Gear

> Willy Nilly t-shirts (100% of price mark-up goes to kids' cancer): view/purchase

Willy Nilly History

In January 2009 a handful of cycling friends (or drinking colleagues, depending on your perspective) were discussing options for a wintery group road bike ride to kick off a new season. None of us were game for the iconic Chilly Hilly on Bainbridge Island. While the Chilly Hilly does an amazing job of inspiring thousands of riders to register and ride the beautiful designated route, this kind of ride just wasn't our cup of tea. To each their own, right? We decided to ride a more personalized and free-form ride on the same day as the Chilly Hilly, in solidarity with the herd to the north of us, and thus the present-day Willy Nilly was born.

The name "Willy Nilly" was originally a nickname for a one-time ride that happened on Vashon Island in February, 1993 following the first inauguration of President William "Willy" Clinton. During the 2009 discussion referenced above, someone (let's call him "Brad") related the story of participating in the 1993 ride. We loved the name. We loved riding on Vashon. Willy Nilly rhyming with Chilly Hilly seemed an obvious sign of encouragement. Shazam.

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v11: 2019: Soggy Bottom riders

Winter Willy Nilly
February 24, 2019

(Soggy Bottom Boys)

(cue banjo) "I...am a man...of constant sorrow..." - Now hang on there just a goldarn minute...there's no need for sorrow here. Quite the opposite, in fact...
It's all a matter of perspective.  
While some riders evidently wimped out this year due to weather forecast, a respectable number - including the first showing of the Alki Velo Club - turned out for classic Willy Nilly conditions... 
A mix rain, snow, and almost-sun combined with the beauty and hospitality of Vashon...
...including roadside view points for "candid" photo ops...
...some Willy Nilly riders finished with sofaside pints and pizza at the Beveridge Place Pub, which were arguably all the more enjoyable with a thawing and soggy bottom.