Mark the date: Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016. That’s the date for Lutheran Community Services Northwest’s 18th annual 8 Lakes Legs Ache Bike Ride in Spokane. It’s an event that’s one of LSCNW’s most popular and unique fundraisers.
No matter your cycling level, there’s a ride for you. You can choose from courses of 15, 30, 45 or 75 miles. If you want to see all eight lakes, get in shape for the 70-mile ride. More than 650 riders braved the heat to participate in this year’s 17th annual ride Aug. 1.
“More riders would have turned out if we didn’t have a forecast of 100-degree temperatures,” said ride organizer Christie McKee. “Despite the heat, everybody had a wonderful time and we raised about $73,000 for a great program.”
The real winner is LCSNW’s Sexual Assault and Family Trauma (SAFeT) Response Center in Spokane. The center provides healing, hope and justice to victims who have experienced violent trauma or sexual assault. Of the more than 3,300 people helped annually by the center, many are children.
One of the 8 Lakes founders is LCSNW Spokane Regional Director Denny McGaughy. He leads the show that runs the bike ride. He rides every year with his family to support SAFeT.
“The Trauma Center is a voice for victims – it gives hope to victims, and offers healing to those who are hurting,” McGaughy said. “I’m really proud of our center’s work and for all those riders who raise funds for a great cause.”
The 8 Lakes Legs Aches rides starts bright and early, with the 75-mile riders leaving first at 7 a.m. The different routes have staggered start times that follow. Nearly everyone finishes by noon, before the heat really hits. Riders enjoy a pasta meal and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at the finish.