Hundreds of WABA members joined us at the House of Sweden last Sunday for the 2015 Vasa Ride. Riders chose from a 59-mile, 31-mile, or 16-mile ride. Although the weather was windy and chilly, the sun came out as the day progressed and ride participants returned to the house of Sweden exhausted, but with smiles on their faces, to enjoy the warm blueberry soup.
A huge thank you to the House of Sweden and the Swedish Embassy for hosting our Swedish-themed ride event for the 9th year in a row. And thank you to District Cycle Works for providing bike maintenance to riders at the start, and to KIND Snacks for donating granola bars.
The Vasa Ride is named after Sweden’s famous Vasaloppet, the world’s longest running cross-country ski race. The Vasaloppet ski race honors the trial of a renegade Swedish king who, in the 16th century, led the rebellion to free the country after a long pursuit on skis. For nearly a century, blåbärssopp—warm blueberry soup—has been served during the Vasaloppet to keep riders warm.
WABA’s Vasa Ride brings together riders from D.C., Maryland and Virginia and is a fundraiser ride to help support WABA’s work. When people participate in our rides, they fuel WABA’s mission to make riding a bike safer and more accessible for all.
Check out photos from this year’s Vasa Ride below:
Riders checking in for Vasa 2013. Photo by district photo bomb on Flickr.
The weather never made good on its threat of rain last Sunday, but riders of the 2013 Vasa still braved cool temperatures and gray skies to come out for WABA’s sold-out first ride of the year.
Our Vasa ride is modeled on the Swedish Vasaloppet, the longest, oldest, and largest cross-country ski race in the world that’s held on the first Sunday of March; that Vasaloppet was first held in 1922 and was modeled on a route taken by King Gustav I in 1520. WABA’s own Vasa lets participants choose from 15-, 30-, and 60-mile routes that run through the District and Montgomery County.
Kind Snacks sponsored the event, and brand representatives were on hand to offer riders granola and bars. Bike ambassadors greeted riders at a surprise pit stop halfway through the route at Potomac Villages. And the House of Sweden provided a beautiful space for the ritualistic post-ride consumption of blueberry soup—or blåbärssoppa. Many thanks to Kind and House of Sweden for their support of our event, and to our crew of ride marshals for keeping riders safe.
We kept up with Vasa riders throughout the day on social media. Click here to see tweets and photos sent during the ride. For more recaps, check out the accounts of some local bike bloggers. Portajohn, Chasing Mailboxes, and A Few Spokes Shy of a Wheel all attended, and had very kind things to say about the blåbärssoppa. Several attendees also took some great photos.
Were you unable to participate in Vasa 2013? We hope to see you next year! Remember, WABA members get early access to registration for our events, so join today if you haven’t already. Your membership supports great events and great bike advocacy.
See photos from the Vasa Ride below the jump. More photos are on Flickr. Did you take any photos during the ride? Add them to our Flickr group!
The 2013 Vasa Ride is tomorrow!
We’ll see you at House of Sweden (2900 K St. NW) at 7:30 a.m. for check-in. The rides begin at the following times:
8 a.m.: 59-mile Vasa ride begins
8:30 a.m.: 31-mile Halv Vasa ride begins
9 a.m.: 15-mile Kort Vasa ride begins
11 a.m.-1 p.m. Blueberry soup served at the House of Sweden
You must arrive 25 to 30 minutes prior to the start of your ride to sign in and collect your cue sheet. Registration will be open until 9 a.m. Helmets are required, so don’t forget yours!
More information about the ride can be found here.
Vasa is sold out, so if you’re really jonesing for blueberry soup, we hope you’ll be able to join us next year.
Here are a few other things to remember:
- You must sign yourself and only yourself in. If you registered a friend as a guest, they are listed under their own name and must sign themselves in.
- There is no designated pit stop; you may stop wherever you want, whenever you want. Please prepare accordingly.
- Don’t forget to hydrate before, during, and after the ride. Bring the water you’ll need.
- We’ll have masking tape and markers for you to identify your lock, which you can lock at the start and retrieve at the end.
- Seriously, you need to wear a helmet.
Cyclists, racers, bike-lovers, fun-havers, families, friends, and blueberry-soup consumers: Registration for WABA’s 2013 Vasa Ride is officially open!
The ride is on Sun., March 17 and will, as always, start and end at the House of Sweden. Click here for full event information about the Vasa Ride.
Vasa is WABA’s annual bicycle-themed tribute to Sweden’s legendary Vasaloppet, the world’s longest-running cross country ski race. It’s our first organized bike ride of the season and a great chance to bid farewell to the winter months. Join 500 other cyclists of all ages and experience levels for an enjoyable ride traversing the roads of D.C. and Maryland. There are three ride distances:
- The 59-mile Vasaloppet
- The 30-mile Halv Vasan
- The 15-mile Korte Vasan
After the ride, all participants are invited to gather at the House of Sweden for traditional bowls of Swedish-style blueberry soup, courtesy of the Embassy of Sweden, Vasa’s gracious host.
Click here to register now. The Vasa Ride always sells out!
Check out some photos from last year’s Vasa below the jump: