Bike Riders Get Triple Treat: Blue Skies, Natural Beauty, and Pie
Chloe Perkins liked just about everything about Sunday’s Sea, Trees, & Pie Bike Ride.
Surrounded by family and friends, she completed a 5-mile loop around Crockett Lake — quite a feat for the 7-year-old from Freeland.
“I liked being with my friends and I liked being outdoors,” Chloe said. “And I saw three different butterflies. One was white. One was purple and black and one was orange and black.”
Chloe was one of the youngest of 91 riders who participated in the fourth annual event. The ride is organized by the Whidbey Camano Land Trust, a nonprofit nature conservation organization that protects natural areas and working farms and provides public access to beaches and trails.
Sunshine and blue skies provided an idyllic setting for riders who embarked on routes of 5, 10, or 20 miles through scenic central Whidbey Island.
The bike ride showcases more than 30 properties permanently protected by the Land Trust, including Crockett Lake Preserve, the island’s largest wetland system.
“We’re just glad there is a ride on the island that everybody can enjoy,” said Nancy Merickel, who rode with her husband Mike on a tandem bicycle. “It’s not too difficult. It’s just right.”
The Merickels, from Oak Harbor, have participated in the ride all four years. This time they were accompanied by Daisy and Duke, two miniature dachshunds who took in the scenery from their pet trailer.
“They go everywhere with us,” Nancy said.
Participants enjoyed riding through some of the island’s most breathtaking landscapes, including farmlands, beaches, wetlands, and woods with incredible views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound.
“We’re just learning the island and we know a little bit about the land trust,” said Lynette Seebohm of Freeland. “We thought, ‘We’ll get a good ride in, burn a good 20-miler on a beautiful day and support the land trust.”
At the end of the ride, participants enjoyed a slice of pie donated by event sponsor Whidbey Pies. Other event sponsors included Skagit Cycle, Bayview Bicycles, Island Athletic Club, Mainspring Wealth Advisors, Penn Cove Taproom, and Prairie Center Red Apple Market.
Most riders eat a slice of pie and mingle on the State Parks birding platform along the Keystone Spit after the ride.
“We’re kind of new to biking and hadn’t ridden out here yet,” said Neva Patterson of Oak Harbor, who participated in the ride with friend Clint Perez. “Really, the selling point was that it was non competitive, just like ‘Everyone bring your bikes out’ and we were like, ‘We can do that.'”