The Ride From Seattle To Vancouver, BC & Party (RSVP) was born of calamity! In 1980, the eruption of Mount St. Helens interrupted Cascade's marquee event, the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic. With uncertain road conditions in southwest Washington, an alternative double century was needed.
Thus, Seattle to Vancouver was born. While the current route bears little resemblance to the original bike tour, much credit goes to Jon Jacobson and Dennis Noson for the concept and route scouting in 1980 and 1981. Approximately 40 people participated in the inaugural three-day ride, from Seattle to Bellingham to Vancouver then to the Tswassen ferry to Sidney and down Vancouver Island to Victoria and home on the Princess Marguarite.
Seattle to Vancouver lapsed in 1982, until it was re-engineered by Dan Lund and Sue Hensley into STV (Seattle To Vancouver), which they coordinated from 1983 to 1985. This route included an extended (third day, 40 mile) ride to Sydney via the Tswassen ferry and down Vancouver Island to Victoria, B.C. Riders returned home on the Princess Marguarite ferry
Because of logistical challenges presented by The World's Fair (EXPO) in Vancouver, the ride was canceled in 1986. With a major route overhaul by Bruce Tiebout in 1987, the event became Ride From Seattle To Vancouver, BC & Party (RSVP). Bruce also directed the ride in 1988 and 1989.
In 1990, BC Government cancelled the third day and popular return boat ride from Victoria. Gary Dodson and Rita Jensen took over on short notice and found a new finish line at the University of British Columbia. The frequently changing route shifted again in 1991, with Barbara Gillespie and Kathy Saunders as talented co-coordinators. In 1992, David Swendt assumed leadership of the ride and directed it successfully for the next six years.
In 1999, Larry Sepulveda took on the challenge of directing RSVP. This year, the baggage truck driver was stopped to unload the truck at the border. After going through all of the riders' bags, customs personnel find a knife and took it. Then, the driver had to put all the bags back into the truck. Needless to say, the truck did not arrive at the finish line until about 4 pm that day. As a result, Larry and Chuck Ayers, managing director, were interviewed by KIRO 710's Steve Knight, who had participated in the ride.
In 2011, RSVP 2 was created by David Douglas to meet an overwhelming demand and to give another 1,400 riders per year the experience of riding one of the most scenic two day rides in the country. Both ride are limited to 1,400 riders.