As mountain bikers roll through the Stinky Spoke ride, they’ll face some challenges and have a blast along the way.
Rotary Club of Redmond President Tony Brooks is a runner, not a rider, but he’s seen the action first hand since the club sponsors one of the stops each year along the 19-plus-mile route through the city.
This year, the club is sponsoring the entire ride, which is usually held on a day with the “stinkiest” weather of the year. That day this time out will be Feb. 9 and riders will begin spinning their wheels from the Redmond City Hall campus. When the miles have been knocked off, the after party will rev up on the campus underneath a big tent with Postdoc Brewing suds and the sounds of the Massy Ferguson band.
Last year’s ride in January featured more than 500 riders, but a Facebook notice in the fall noted that the ride would be discontinued because the founder/producer Todd Cowles had a new business opportunity on tap.
Redmond Rotary stepped in and saved the ride. The club, which ended its own 300-mile RedSpoke fundraising ride in 2018 after more than 30 years for logistical reasons, was searching for a Redmond-centric charity event to sponsor and decided to go the Stinky Spoke route. They took over the ride about a month ago, and all proceeds will assist the club to provide significant support to nonprofit efforts at home and abroad.
Brooks discussed hearing of the Stinky Spoke’s situation and giving it new life.
“We said, ‘You know what, this could be our shot,’” he noted. “I think it’s really in line with how our club operates. We like to have a lot of fun.”
The ride will feature “Heart Attack Hill,” a 300-foot climb along the Tolt Pipeline, and
the poker ride, where participants collect cards at stops along the route and hope to notch a prize-winning poker hand.
For 11 years, Cowles was dedicated to making the race a fun time for everyone involved, said Redmond Rotary member and this year’s ride manager AJ Taylor.
“What makes it a really unique ride is the time of year it takes place,” Taylor said. “They have fun going out and getting muddy or dirty in the hobby or recreation they love.”
Taylor added that energy abounds on ride day and the event brings the community of riders together.
Registration is $45 through Jan. 21, and $55 thereafter. Registration and more information is available at http://stinkyspoke.net. Riders will receive a Stinky Spoke beanie, pint glass and drink ticket.