An annual early season bicycle ride in Snohomish County has been renamed the McClinchy Mile Oso Strong Ride as a memorial to people and communities affected by last year’s tragic Oso landslide.
The bike ride is Sunday, March 15, 2015, and comprises 34- or 56-mile options from Arlington to Darrington and back along the Stillaguamish River.
In addition to hosting the McClinchy Mile Oso Strong Ride, the B.I.K.E.S. Club of Snohomish County also will offer a free family ride along the Centennial Trail.
The club is donating $5 of every registration to the Centennial Trail Coalition and Washington Bikes, who are using the money to improve the Whitehorse Trail. That rail-trail runs intermittently along the Stillaguamish River between Arlington and Darrington. A portion of it was washed out by the Oso landslide.
B.I.K.E.S. is encouraging bicyclists to make a weekend of the ride. They suggest coming up on Saturday to ride the 30-mile Centennial Trail (finished last year), have dinner and spend the night, then heading out on the McClinchy Mile ride on Sunday.
The area was hit hard by the Oso mudslide that struck on March 22, 2014. Forty-three people lost their lives in the landslide that tore through a community about 4 miles east of the town of Oso.
In addition to the tragic loss of life, the town of Darrington was virtually cut off until State Route 530 could be reopened months after the event.
Washington Bikes and other bicycling advocates have been promoting that rural part of Snohomish County as a scenic bicycling destination to help boost the economy through bicycle tourism dollars.
The Washington Bikes website has more than a dozen bicycle rides listed for Snohomish County as its website: Snohomish County Bikes.
My book, Best Bike Rides Seattle: Great Recreational Rides in the Metro Area (Best Bike Rides Series), also has four bike rides in the county — Snohomish-Monroe Loop, Centennial Trail, Snohomish – Granite Falls Loop, and Paradise Valley Conservation Area (mountain biking).
You’ll also find Snohomish County rides in 75 Classic Rides Washington and Biking Puget Sound: 60 Rides from Olympia to the San Juans.