Last Saturday promised rain, but the only thing unleashed that morning was a massive crowd of dirt-loving cyclists, hailing their friendly fury down on the trails and streets of Woodinville. All manner of mountain bike–from XC to big rig, plus the occasional ‘cross bike–were in attendance at Red Hook Brewery for the start of the Stinky Weather Poker Run. With two route options, riders gamboled and gambled their way along 16- and 18.5-mile loops, gathering playing cards at key checkpoints for a chance to win prizes, depending on the luck of their draw and the strength of their hand.
The course was almost all dirt trail, with flowy singletrack, thick gravel stretches, some asphalt and a few noteworthy hills that had riders pedaling squares or even pushing their bikes in spots. The scenery was also worthy of mention–not just the horses and cows doing double-takes at the train of riders passing through their backyard–but also the riders themselves. Some donned dress shirts, jackets and ties as if headed to corporate jobs on the East Side. Others wore underwear on their heads in “Old School”-style. Fortunately, I didn’t snap that photo.
Riders were well-hydrated and well-fed, with aide stations all along the way. One of the tents was set up beside Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, which received proceeds from the event. The organization provides equine-assisted therapies for children and adults with disabilities.
The rain miraculously held off until after the ride was over. By then, riders had made themselves comfortable in the huge tent set up on the Red Hook property. Live music, food, (beer of course) and good company awaited.
It was great time to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Randy clearly had a great time…
…Robert was just as pleased, if a bit more reserved…
…and my teammates, the Sturdy Bitches, shut the place down.
Here are directions from the Stinky Spoke website for those who might want to ride the course on their own:
From Redhook, south on the Sammamish River Trail, left up the Powerline Trail, over the hill on into Farrel McWhirter Park, out the other side and then EITHER head into the Tuscany Trails then Bear Creek road north OR go into the Redmond Watershed and then the connector trails from Trilogy. No matter what route you take, you end up on the Tolt Pipeline Trail. Take that back west to Redhook.
See you on the trail!
Angela Sucich, writer