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2014 Island Fever Recap

After several years running the successful Café-to-Café Grand Tour each spring and summer, in 2012 Sound RIDER! was looking for a grand tour that could be played in the fall and winter. The Cabin Fever GT was born inciting riders to spend fall and winter nights at state park cabins. Doink - with only one entry - we hailed it a flop.

Believing there are a number of riders out there who believe riding season is year-around, a re-tool was in order. Riders don't and can't ride all over the Northwest easily during the fall/winter months when you consider things like snow closures and cold temps. But surely riders are willing to snag one of those rare sunny days in the Northwest, and with a reason to ride, they do.

With that in mind, the Island Fever Grand Tour was created.

For the inaugural year, registration was about 1/4th of what is seen during the spring/summer Café to Café event. Actually a pretty remarkable ratio when you consider how many people park their bikes during the colder months.

But as we know from demographic studies, SR! readers don't rest on their laurels during the fall and winter, instead clocking an average number of annual miles far greater than the 4k average the Motorcycle Industry Council tabulates nationally.

So, in November, 21 riders registered with the intent of hitting at least 10 islands around the Puget Sound region.

Things started off a little bumpy as we realized we'd included a few private islands, and several inaccessible islands, unless you're a member of the Makah tribe. And unless you were serving a sentence, you probably weren't going to tag McNeil island …

We sorted that all out, provided updates and riders continued to rack up points, one island at a time.

In the end, eleven riders completed the task, all receiving a certificate of completion to note the effort.

The awards were doled out Sunday, April 6, at The Island Crust Café on Mercer Island.

Michael Mraz managed to pull off every Washington state island, a total of 30. Turns out Michael is a first year rider and nailed all the locations on a Suzuki Bergman Scooter. He was also the only rider to hit Puget Island on the Columbia River, which he did during the winter on the way to California. We probably should have had an award for the Most Hard Core First Year rider we've ever met.

Bonus awards also went to the riders who had the highest and lowest population averages for the islands they visited. In other words, we'd take the population cumulative for each island they visited, then divide by the number of islands they hit to arrive at the average.

Jim and Ellen Palms won the highest average which was 8,045. We're rewarding them each with registrations to the 2014 Café-to-Café Grand tour. Ellen is thrilled they have their certificate from the Island Fever GT to adorn their hallway. We're going to see to it they can adorn their kitchen and dining areas as well.

Ted Landers and David Robson duked it out for the low average and in the end Robson won on his trusty Triumph Thunderbird.

The final bonus award went to Leroy Pattison for the Craziest Photo. Pattison actually submitted three photos and each one had us grinning.

Question is should this be an annual event, or be a little broader, changing themes each winter. After all, there are only 37 doable islands. That could get a little boring? What do you think?

 SR! Staff/April 2014

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