Chef Chad White is raising money for a three-day, 300-mile charity bicycle ride on the East Coast by organizing a shorter ride here in Spokane.
He’s been training for the Chefs Cycle ride since spring. The ride takes place at the end of September.
Chefs Cycle benefits No Kid Hungry, which helps fight childhood hunger. The goal is to raise $1.3 million.
So far, just over $185,000 in all has been raised through the ride, or 14 percent of the goal.
On his profile page for Chefs Cycle, White wrote, “If you know me then you know just how passionate I am about helping provide a safe and healthy life for the many unfortunate hungry children by working and volunteering my time with local food banks, shelters and non-profits. No child in America should grow up hungry. But too many kids in our country don’t have the food they need to thrive.”
White’s personal goal is $7,500. So far, he’s raised just over $1,500.
“There should be no reason any child goes hungry in America,” he said. “Since my job is feeding people, my focus is feeding people who can’t feed themselves.”
To garner more support, White’s helping lead the Bike 4 Hunger, co-hosted by Wheel Sport Bicycle Shops and his downtown Spokane ceviche restaurant Zona Blanca. Of the entry fee, $30 goes directly to Chefs Cycle for the No Kid Hungry campaign, White said.
The 24-mile ride departs Wheel Sport South and ends at Zona Blanca, where a post-ride celebration includes raffles, prizes, pork rib quesadillas and a drink ticket from Steel Barrel Taproom, located in the same building as White’s ceviche restaurant.
White was a contestant on season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” He moved back to Spokane in late 2015 after 14 years out of the area, mostly in San Diego. He’s a partner in the Spokane-based spice company Spiceology and is also a partner in restaurants in San Diego and Tijuana as well as owner of Zona Blanca.
White was invited to participate in Chefs Cycle while cooking at fundraising dinner for No Kid Hungry earlier this year in Washington, D.C.
“I’ve been supporting No Kid Hungry for six years now,” he said. “Maybe even longer than that.”
And, “I thought it would be really cool to be part of this bike thing. I spent over $4,000 just to get outfitted properly,” he said, noting his bicycle alone “was $3,000.”
The rest of his cost went to gloves, glasses, a helmet, riding attire and more.
Until he started training for this ride, he said, “I’d never rode a road bike. I’ve been on bikes before. In San Diego, we rode beach cruisers.”
But, since moving back to Spokane nearly three years ago, White said he’s gone downhill mountain biking at Schweitzer Mountain once – and that was about it until he started training.
In the beginning, he said, “just riding 8 miles was a complete chore.” Now, he’s averaging 150 miles per week, completing 50- or 60-mile rides. “And I’m actually enjoying it,” he said.
These days, White aims to ride about four times per week. One of his favorite routes is the Centennial Trail from CenterPlace in Spokane Valley to Coeur d’Alene and back.
White’s also been riding Wednesday nights with Wheel Sport South, taking part in the shop’s group road ride. He’s also participating in Bike Hub’s Humpday Road Ride.
“I have a lot more confidence riding on the road now,” he said.
His Bike 4 Hunger is meant for adult riders of all levels. Part of the route encompasses the same route as Bloomsday, Spokane’s 12-kilometer road race founded in 1977 and held on the first Sunday of May.
“The Doomsday Hill is the hardest part,” White said.
Doomsday Hill is the nickname for North Pettet Drive, which gains 120 feet in elevation from the T.J. Meenach Bridge to the top of the hill, or just under three-quarters of a mile.
“I want to get the biggest turnout possible,” White said. “If it’s a great turnout, I’ll do it even bigger next year, maybe in spring.”
Chefs Cycle has organized three-day, 300-mile charity rides for chefs and other members of the culinary community in support of No Kid Hungry for three years now. The fall 2018 ride takes place in Charlottesville, Virginia, Sept. 25 to 27. The spring ride takes place in Santa Rosa, California, in May 2019. The goal for that event is $2 million.
White, who’s participating in Chefs Cycle for the first time this fall, is already hoping to participate in the spring 2019 ride “because it’s closer,” he said. “It’s a West Coast thing.”
Meantime, he’s training and also working on leading a Spin-A-Thon fundraiser Sept. 13, the day after his local charity bike ride. Details for that event are still being worked out. But plans call for it to take place at the Union, 121 W. Pacific Ave., Suite 400, in downtown Spokane.
“If people don’t want to ride,” in the Bike 4 Hunger or Spin-A-Thon, “they can donate directly,” he said.
White has been promoting his ride and documenting his training progress on his Instagram account at www.instagram.com/chefchadwhite.