For the last 25 years, Rotary Club of Redmond has sponsored a 300-mile bike ride from Redmond to Spokane to help raise funds for charity.
This morning, 130 cyclists registered for the grueling event at the —a huge increase from last year's 66 riders.
This year's proceeds from the Redspoke ride will go to and Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center. Organizers aim for the event to raise around $80,000, but the total actual amount of money brought in has not yet been calculated.
Cyclist Peggy Fjetland from the Tacoma Wheelman's Bicycling Club registered for the event because she "like(s) that it supports Little Bit," she said. "If you can't ride a bike, ride a horse."
Jerry Woolverton flew hundreds of miles to participate in the ride. "We have about 20 riders from Tyler Junior College in Tyler, Texas," he said.
The president of the college used to work in Washington and encouraged about 25 riders from the college to register for the event. Woolverton, who is an avid bike rider and a banker, jumped in to join the Texan team.
The cyclists have five days to complete the ride. They'll bike roughly 60 miles each day, said Steve Bozick, one of the event organizers. (Click here to see an interactive map of their route.)
The organizers will also provide the bikers with breakfast and dinner from local businesses at every pit stop, said William Miller, chairman of event. "Redspoke helps small towns every mile of the way," he said.
Event organizers also enlisted the help of the Overlake Civil Air Patrol, which loaded trucks and guarded the bicycles as the riders ate breakfast and prepared for their journey.