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Stopping the “cycle” of abuse

Courtesy photo Cyclists from across the state will participate in the three-day 172-mile 2007 Courage Classic Bicycle Tour that travels through Snoqualmie, Stevens and Blewett passes. The ride begins today.  - Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo Cyclists from across the state will participate in the three-day 172-mile 2007 Courage Classic Bicycle Tour that travels through Snoqualmie, Stevens and Blewett passes. The ride begins today.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Fresh air paired with 172 miles of majestic views of mountain summits, spewing waterfalls and lush pastures will make up the scenery of the 2007 Courage Classic Bicycle Tour beginning today.

Adorned in helmets, jerseys and riding shoes, the three-day event begins today and lasts through Monday. It was created as a fund-raising ride to support the Rotary Endowment for the Intervention and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. All proceeds go toward the Children’s Trust Foundation and Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.

Winding through Snoqualmie, Stevens and Blewett Mountain passes in three days, two Silverdale cyclists biked up to the challenge to participate in the ride to help raise money and awareness against child abuse.

“I’ve never missed a year,” said Leonard Penner, 13-year veteran of the fund-raising event. “The first year I started riding, I did this (event) ... It’s a very good cause.”

With bicycle and rider service stations every 15-20 miles, the ride is meant for enjoyment, not a race. Breakfasts, summit lunches and dinners are provided by various Rotary groups each day of the ride with campsites and free gear transportation as well.

Day one begins at Snoqualmie Ridge just off Interstate 90. Riders will park, check in and then begin the adventure through the first pass. Climbing 3,022 feet in elevation, riders will conglomerate at Denny Creek to stop for lunch, and then it’s off to finish the first leg in Cle Elum. With Suncadia Resort the final destination, riders will be able to kick back, stretch sore muscles and relax under the stars while enjoying the Suncadia outdoor cinema.

“(The event) is an easy one-day ride,” Penner said with a laugh. “But it’s great because it’s spread over three days and it allows so many more people to participate and raise more money for a good cause.”

Silverdale cyclist Jamey Adcock, first-time rider of the Courage Classic, said he saw the race was for the kids and decided to do it.

“I’m suffering from a slight bit of insanity,” he said with a laugh. “For me, it’s a challenge to see if I can do it ... I like doing things to benefit kids.”

The second day of the ride gains more elevation than the first, but is one of the more beautiful legs of the event. Riders depart from their Cle Elum resting point with a leisurely pedal along the Teanaway River past golden wheat fields, rustic farm houses and aromatic orchards. After a quick rest and a bite to eat, riders will charge 4,102 feet up Blewett Pass. After an exhilarating descent, and a quick stop to refuel again, there’s only a few miles of rolling through back roads of apple orchards before finishing in Leavenworth. Riders can enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening swimming and lounging on the river before dinner and refreshments from the Courage Classic Beer Garden hosted by New Belgium Brewing Company.

Penner added that he does the ride to help fund-raise because he could never do the job of the doctors and nurses who work with abused children every day.

“A few years ago they had one of the people (from one of the abuse relief organizations) speak, there wasn’t a dry eye in there,” Penner added regarding the leg that stopped in Leavenworth. “You could put a face to it ... until then, it was an abstract concept.”

During the third and final day of the trip, riders will begin pedaling through scenic Chumstick Canyon toward Plain. Before beginning the steady climb to the summit of Stevens pass, riders will be welcomed to a festive refueling stop at the Nason Creek rest area. After climbing 4,061 feet, riders will be welcomed to their final summit lunch at the Stevens Pass Ski Resort. On the way down to the finish line in Skykomish, riders are encouraged to take pictures of the winding views of nature’s beauty along the Old Cascade Highway.

Throughout the three-day ride, a total of 7,068 feet in elevation is gained.

Each cyclist has to pay a minimum of $400 to participate in the three-day ride. A majority of the fees are donated to the two organizations, and riders can fund-raise as much money as they want.

“I first asked people to ride with me,” Adcock said with a laugh. “Then I asked if they would contribute on my behalf.”

Family members and friends are encouraged to send off riders at the beginning of the first leg of the race and to cheer them on to the finish line at the last leg of the third day.

“(The ride) will definitely be a challenge,” Adcock said with a laugh. “I’m not looking forward to any (certain) part, but all of it.”

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