ARLINGTON — Several hundred bicyclists are expected to tour north Snohomish County this weekend.
The 35th annual McClinchy Mile Bike Ride is set for Sunday, with routes starting in Arlington and winding toward Stanwood, Granite Falls and up into Skagit County. This is the ride’s 10th year being based in Arlington. It starts at 7:30 a.m. in Haller Park.
The theme this year is Barns, Burgers and Brews. New additions include a 44-mile route to Lake McMurray in Skagit County. There also will be a celebration, with burgers and beer, in Arlington after the ride.
Popular routes are returning this year. There’s a 28-mile loop to and from Granite Falls and a 33-mile ride to Stanwood and back. A century ride, totaling more than 100 miles, can be done by combining the loops. The cost for the main ride is $45. There’s also a free family ride on the Centennial Trail.
The McClinchy Mile started in October 1982 in Monroe. It is named for Stuart McClinchy, a founder of the B.I.K.E.S. club who died before the first ride was held. That year, there were 43 cyclists who paid $5 each.
Patty Garrett, of Arlington, joined the club in 1985. She did the ride her first year, and has volunteered since. She’ll be handing out snacks at Haller Park on Sunday. There also are food stops in Granite Falls and Stanwood.
Snohomish County is one of the best cycling destinations in the country, Garrett said. She hopes riders gain an appreciation for the beauty.
She cautions participants to come prepared with helmets and warm clothes.
“Never leave home without your rain gear,” Garrett said. “In past years, there have been people who have shown up in T-shirts and they were sure sorry when the downpour started.”
For most of its years, the event has been scheduled around St. Patrick’s Day in March, but it was postponed this year so the club could support the Ride to Remember Oso.
An added benefit, organizers say, is that the weather likely will be nicer this weekend than it would have been last month.
The routes offer views of historic barns seated on stretches of farmland. On a clear day, the mountains can be breathtaking.
Volunteers work hard to make the ride a good experience, Garrett said.
“Most people come back year after year,” she said. “It’s good to see them.”
Proceeds from the ride go toward bicycling advocacy and grants provided by B.I.K.E.S Club of Snohomish County.
For more information, go to bikesclub.org/mcclinchy.
Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; email@example.com.