This year, for the fourth year running, Point83—a group of Seattle cyclists that overlaps more with Critical Mass than the Cascade Bicycle Club—is holding the Fucking Hills Race on Bainbridge Island starting at 9 am on February 22. If that date and location sound familiar, that's because Cascade—a 10,000-member-plus group that lobbies for cycling infrastructure and hosts rides and classes—holds its own ride, the long-established Chilly Hilly, at that exact time and location. If the stereotypical Cascade member is a white guy in Spandex who drives his bike to club events in his Subaru, the stereotypical Point83 member is a beer-swilling dude on a custom-built fixed-gear with an axe to grind against weekend warriors.

The Point83 riders say they aren't trying to screw with Cascade's ride. Derrick Ito, who puts together the race and arranges sponsorships and prizes, says Point83 members "do our best to make sure everyone is out there riding safe and helping out if any problems occur." On Point83 and Cascade's message boards, Point83 members point out that the streets are open to anybody, whether or not they paid for a bib that allows them to participate in Cascade's ride.

Cascade members, unsurprisingly, see it differently. They note that the ride is a fundraiser for Cascade's education and advocacy group—so every rider who takes part without paying $30, eats Cascade's food, or uses the group's Port-a-Potties and roadside assistance is costing the group money without contributing to the organization. "We put a lot of work into it and it is a fundraiser for our advocacy work and education work," Cascade advocacy director David Hiller says. And, Hiller notes, the group occasionally has to "scrape [someone from Point83] up off the asphalt, and we've got a system for doing that."

Point83 members say they ride safely and don't need Cascade's assistance. However, two years ago, one of Point83's "pirate" rider had a bad crash while speeding down a hill. The rider used an ambulance provided by Cascade to get to the hospital. After the race, a heated debate ensued on Cascade's message board, with Point83 riders insisting they'd done nothing wrong, and Cascade members accusing them of being "leeches."

"Your guy got in a wreck while riding 'within' a cascade bike club event and enjoyed the medical help they provided that would not have normally been there if you weren't being a parasite to their ride.... and you can't see the value of paying your fair share for the benefits???" one wrote. Another added: "The guy who wrecked didn't pay any fees to CBC but certainly didn't turn away the emergency help when it came his way. It was there because CBC, thru their organization (which costs money to maintain) secured people who could provide medical help if needed." Two years later, the debate over the rival ride is still going on; on Point83's message board, for example, one rider suggests that driving around the race course "would get less bitching from cascaders for doing that rather than riding."

My take: Point83's ride seems like a (mostly) harmless prank. And they have beer and prizes, an obvious plus. On the other hand, Cascade does good, important work—lobbying for better bike laws in Olympia, pushing the city to increase spending on bike lanes, and doing tons of great educational programs for adults and kids. That work isn't free. If you're gonna latch onto their ride for a stunt, why not be a good sport and pay for it?