Spoke & Food Not Just for Cyclists"/>
A cyclist's wheels are integrated into the logo for Spoke & Food, but organizer Garett Slettebak says bikes aren't the focal point of the annual charitable event.
"It's more of a community event that happens to involve biking," says Slettebak, who last year launched the program as a way to connect neighbors with nearby restaurants and raise money for nonprofit agencies.
Spoke & Food is asking eaters to forgo their cars on Tuesday and bike to dinner at a participating restaurant. Those restaurants have pledged to donate 20 percent of their evening proceeds to Seattle Tilth's Children's Garden program--no matter how many diners arrive by bike.
Like last year's beneficiary, the Lettuce Link program at Solid Ground, Seattle Tilth was selected by Slettebak and his friends. He says they didn't consider any cycling programs when choosing a cause, but haven't ruled out collaborating with bike groups on future editions of the event. "In time, it's going to be interesting, the various nonprofits we'll get to work with," he says.
Slettebak is also looking forward to eventually working with restaurants in more neighborhoods. The event is designed to lure diners to restaurants within easy pedal distance--"It's really just getting people from the community out and having fun and seeing how easy it is," Slettebak says--but Spoke & Food wasn't able to recruit restaurants in neighborhoods including downtown, Georgetown, and Columbia City. "It is pretty North Seattle-centric," Slettebak admits. "That wasn't our intention."
Spoke & Food attracted a "small number of sponsors," affording event organizers more publicity opportunities. Slettebak predicts about 300 eaters will bike to dinner at a participating restaurant. "People don't have to wear bike clothes," he clarifies. "We don't own Spandex or anything like that. It's just a fun activity to do."