What and when?

Next Willy Nilly: v15 - Sunday, February 26, 2023

The Willy Nilly is an individual and free-form version of an annual season-opening bicycling spin that happens on beautifully weird Vashon Island.

Willy Nilly Basics

> Registration/fees: None (for the record: this is not a ride that is in any way intended to be organized for, or by, anyone...it should be considered solely as, um, performance art...yeah, that's it...)
> "Ride your ride": Willy Nilly riders choose their ride details...start time, route, distance, pace...lycra, wool, or denim...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

 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...

...on Willy Nilly day, one should be prepared for anything, such as a mix rain, snow, and almost-sun combined with the beauty and hospitality of Vashon.


 And 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...  

...with many roadside view points that offer "candid" photo ops...

And per usual, some Willy Nilly riders opted to finish with pints and pizza at the Beveridge Place Pub...which was arguably all the more enjoyable with a thawing and soggy bottom.