The mystery of the missing bike shop has been solved

craig.hill@thenewstribune.comFebruary 23, 2014 

Answers to important questions nobody has asked me yet:

Where is Bonney Lake Bike Shop?

“Everywhere but Bonney Lake,” manager Paul Qualey said.

He’s joking, of course. The bike shop isn’t everywhere, but it hasn’t been in Bonney Lake since it moved down the hill to Sumner in 2006.

And, in as soon as a month, the shop will open a second location on Puyallup’s South Hill.

“We’ve been looking at it for a few years,” Qualey said. “There are a lot of folks up there and it seemed like something was missing.”

South Hill and Puyallup have a combined population of about 90,000, more than all but 11 cities in the state and every South Sound city except Tacoma.

Bike Tech, a South Sound chain owned by Dale Carlson, opened a small shop on South Hill in 1991. It lasted 21 years before it outgrew its 2,000-square-foot space and Meridian’s notorious traffic created perpetual access annoyances for customers.

When efforts to find a larger South Hill location failed, Carlson merged the store with his Tacoma location to create a palatial shop near the intersection of Tacoma Mall Boulevard and South 58th Street.

Nyer Brittain was the first to start filling the void left on South Hill. He opened Inspired Ride at 14712 Meridian Ave. E. in 2012, but geared his focus away from higher-end bikes. He calls Inspired Ride a “working-class bike shop.”

His shop hosts a weekly ride and, Brittain says, it can handle almost any repairs, but he doesn’t have the inventory of shops such as Bike Tech or Bonney Lake Bike Shop.

The new Bonney Lake Bike Shop will be near the corner of Meridian and 43rd Avenue Southeast.

Qualey says the remodeling of the 2,500-square-foot space between a UPS Store and a Vitamin Shoppe should be complete by March 1 and the store is scheduled to open at the end of March or early April.

Qualey says he hopes the new shop will carry over one of the traditions from the Sumner store: A weekly community bike ride.

“We’re looking forward to this,” Qualey said. “I think it’s a good fit.”

Half marathons have become one of the most popular distances for recreational running races, but they usually cost $65 or more. That’s more than a lift ticket. How can you spend an entire year running for free?

If you’re fast enough and/or lucky enough to win a Bakers Dozen Passport, you’ll get free entry into 13 half marathons in 2015.

The Bakers Dozen Half Marathon Series started this month in Hillsboro, Ore., and will continue with 12 more races across Oregon and Washington through Sept. 21. Next up is Whidbey Island on April 13.

Runners need to compete in just three of the races to be eligible to win one of the passes, but more races give runners extra entries in drawings for prizes.

The series was designed to promote marathons staged by local companies that use the events to support local charities.

Eight of the races are in Oregon and another two are just this side of the Columbia River (Vancouver and Camas). This is understandable since the series organizers are located in Beaverton, Ore.

But two of the races are in the South Sound.

The May 18 Capital City Half Marathon is the fourth race in the series. And the Sept. 14 Black Diamond Half Marathon is the 12th race.

Capital City will donate $15,000 to eight Thurston County high school running programs this year. Black Diamond also donates to local high school running programs.

Participants are automatically entered in the Baker’s Dozen standings and raffles after completing three of the races.

For more information, go to

What’s the most popular running event in Grays Harbor County?

It’s hardly the oldest race and it’s definitely not the cleanest, but when the Dirty Dash comes to McCleary on June 21, organizers expect to draw more than 6,000 runners.

Registration recently opened for the 5-kilometer run with obstacles that include a swamp, walls, a giant slide and mud cannons.

These mud runs are best done with friends and are rarely taken seriously (most participants wear costumes and many races, including the Dirty Dash, aren’t timed) and this seems to add to their appeal.

Race promoter Tracy Schug said last year’s event drew about 5,200 runners. Three of 15 waves already have sold out for this year’s race. For more information, go to

Craig Hill: 253-597-8497

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