About Whiskers & Wheels
Whiskers & Wheels (formerly The Tulip Ride) began in 2001, when a team at Microsoft was working incredibly hard to ship the first Xbox. That spring and summer were pretty intense, with a lot of hard work.
About a dozen riders decided to play hookey one Friday to get out and enjoy the sunshine on our motorcycles. We rode up to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, about 90 minutes north of Seattle. It’s a good place to ride to via backroads along Puget Sound, and walk through the colorful fields, buy some flowers, enjoy some beautiful farmland, and have lunch.
It was such a great day that we all agreed to do it again the following year.
And so we did. Each year, we picked a date in April and rode up to the Tulip Festival. There would be a few new faces every year. It started out with people from other Microsoft divisions joining in. Then some folks from Boeing. A gang from the Pacific Northwest Riders Association. Women’s riding clubs. Local businesses. Motorcycle dealerships. We had businesses sponsoring the ride, and we had so many bikes that we took over significant parts of ferries crossing Puget Sound.
Before we knew it, our small pack of Tulip Riders had grown to hundreds of motorcylces coming from all parts of Washington to enjoy a spring ride…
The ride continued to grow so we connected with Roozengaarde Tulip Farm, a local tulip farm that loves bikers, loves charities, and has graciously blocked off perfect parking for our bikes and given us discounted admission to their attractions, along with a soccer field to enjoy a BBQ lunch.
While our numbers vary with the weather, a few things have remained true every year: a wonderful group of riders from every part of the region get together on every conceivable type of two-wheeled vehicles (and sometimes trikes!) to head north to the Tulip Festival.
Bikers are some of the most charitable people on the planet, so we decided to do some fundraising for Northwest charities around the ride. We’ve partnered with Seattle Humane to ensure that every year’s Tulip Ride proceeds go to help animals in need - in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
In 2023, we came out of a COVID-induced haitus ready to go bigger and better with our fundraising for Seattle Humane. The Tulip Ride was reborn as a festival. Our venue migrated to Redmond’s Marymoor Park, where we enjoy live music, local food trucks, and a larger motorcycle- and car-enthusiast community. Along with the new format, we renamed the event “Whiskers & Wheels” to reflect that the event is the destination, and everyone is welcome to join.
You have a standing invitation to join us however you can. If you ride, spend some time checking out our website for details on our next event. Even if you don’t ride, we’d love to have you support Seattle Humane by making a donation via a ticket purchase! With your help, we hope to break our record of $55,000 raised in support of Seattle Humane.