Oct. 3 residents of Davis will attempt to set a record for the longest single line of bikes.
The event, titled the “world’s greatest bike parade”, is being organized by the Davis Odd Fellows, a local fraternal organization, to raise money for the Davis Schools Foundation. If at least 1,000 bicyclists participate, the city of Davis will create and hold a Guinness world record.
The present record for most participants in any cycling event is 48,615, set by Udine, Italy in 2000.
“It was a lengthy process, but we were going for the record of largest parade of bicycles, just a cluster of bikes,” said Dave Rosenberg, a Davis Odd Fellow and member of the bike parade committee.
After discovering the record was higher than originally thought, Rosenberg went into negotiations with Guinness to create the new, attainable category, he said.
“Every year we receive around 60,000 claims to break or set new records via our website,” said Sara Wilcox, public relations and marketing assistant for Guinness World Records, in an e-mail. “I’m not sure how many new categories are added each year, however, around 80 to 90 percent of new record category claims are actually rejected.”
Despite having no present record holder, there is still a minimum requirement for Davis to beat. At least 1,000 individual bicycles must be moving in a single file line, with no more than a two-bike size gap between each cyclist. The first cyclist will cross the Second Street starting line at 10:03 a.m. and follow a set route downtown.
“They have a whole series of rules,” Rosenberg said. “It requires witnesses and press reports and photographs. It’s like jumping on a pogo stick – – got to do it a certain way.”
Participants will pay a fee to participate in the parade, though most of the fundraising will come from donations. To date, the Davis Enterprise is the only sponsor to donate $5,000 or more. There is no monetary prize for setting a record.
“You get published in the Guinness Book of World Records, they give you a plaque and you can claim you are the holder,” Rosenberg said. “We may end up doing this every year. It just seems appropriate that the city of bikes hold the record.”
This is not the first bicycle-related record attempted by residents of Davis. In 2007 the UC Davis Aggie Pack arranged and successfully set the record for the longest bike parade with 822 bicycles, according to the Aggie Pack website. Before it could be published, the record was reset to 1,901 by Taipei, Taiwan. Another parade was organized in 2008, but did not beat the record.
“We did break the record [the first time], and they confirmed that, but it wasn’t long after that that the record had been re-broken,” said Ian Ramsay, ’08 alumnus and co-organizer of the Aggie Pack bike parades. “We wanted to break the record, but it was also to encourage people to come to the basketball game so it was a duael purpose event.”
Both the 2007 and 2008 events had similar rules to the Odd Fellow’s parade, Ramsay said. Participants were required to be on a two-wheel bicycles and had to ride in a relatively single-file line.
Nonetheless, it will be tried again.
“It’s non-political, non-sectarian fun,” Rosenberg said. “And on top of that, we might just set a world record. In fact, we will – – as long as we can get at least 1,000 bikes.”
BECKY PETERSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.