The Beginnings of RedSpoke

Tom Radley #2In 1983 I joined the Redmond Rotary Club.  It was a great group and I enjoyed being in the club.  I was enthusiastic and volunteered for various committees.  I was elected to the Board of Directors as the Internal Vice President in 1987.  The president that year was Fred Clark.  The three previous years we had held an auction each year as our major fundraiser. They were all successful, but the general feeling was that needed to find a new fundraiser.  I suggested a Bike Tour across Washington State.  It would be like a “Fun Run”, where the riders would raise money to ride across the state.  The objection was that it sounded good, but no one knew how to organize and run such an event.  I told them that I had some knowledge from participating in such events and would lead the committee.  It was voted on by the Board and accepted to be our next fundraiser in the Summer 1988.  The president at that time was Tim Arnold.

Tom Radley #1I became a serious cyclist in 1980, when I did the Seattle to Portland Double Century ride.  My wife and I were instantly hooked on cycling and continued doing the STP for 10 more times.  We started taking longer self contained bicycle tours with friends.  In 1987 I went on the RAGBRAI Bike Ride, an annual bike ride across the state of Iowa.  That was my inspiration for starting a cross state bike ride in Washington.

We set the route and the overnight camping locations.  We recruited local nonprofits to provide breakfast and dinner at the camping locations.  We had 25 riders and three of them were Redmond Rotarians.  I recruited a reporter from the Bellevue Journal American to accompany us on the ride and report back each day to his readers, which was great publicity. The ride was a financial success and a fun event for the riders and club members. The thing that I was most proud of over the years was the number of Rotarians and their children that became cyclists and continued for many years. My own three children rode with me on a tandem and by themselves for many years.  They were some of my best memories. We decided to continue for future years and now it has been 30 years.