You might not realize it, but Woodinville hosts what is now considered to be the kickoff to the biking calendar for the Seattle area each year.
The 7th annual "Stinky Spoke" happens at Redhook Brewery Saturday, January 18. What started as a handful of people getting together for mountain biking on the statistically most rotten-weather day of the year, followed up by some beers in the warmth of Redhook, has now become a 1000-rider event and a significant fundraiser for Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center.
The whole idea of the ride is to collect playing cards at the support stops along the 18-mile route around the local trails, then hope to have a good enough poker hand to win a prize at the end.
Numerous Woodinville businesses donate prizes to put in the hands of the luckiest of the riders, including Woodinville Whiskey, Bill the Butcher, Woodinville Bicycle, Willows Lodge and The Herbfarm.
Local Woodinville resident, Wade Carter III, president and owner of Carter Subaru, brought in his company as the presenting sponsor years ago, accounting for tens of thousands of dollars for the event and for Little Bit.
Besides the Carter family being a tremendous supporter of Little Bit for years, this event is a natural fit with the "Subaru crowd," and it’s a way to give back to all those Subaru owners you’ll see out there with the bikes and bike racks on top.
Beyond the revenues from the sponsors and the rider registration fees, the biggest boost is now coming from individuals creating online fundraising pages. It’s totally optional, but a huge portion of the riders, plus a surprising number of non-riders are now looking at this event as their way to give back to the community each year.
The Stinky Spoke organizers hope to top last year’s $32,000 by hitting a mark somewhere between $40,000-$50,000 this year.
Keep your eye out for a huge group of cold, wet, but smiling riders between 9 a.m. and about noon on the Pipeline, Watershed, Powerline and Samammish River trails on Saturday the 18th. For more information, to register or to volunteer, go to http://stinkyspoke.org.