After a strong ride with a weekly group, Janet and David Merriman pedaled home, with a detour to check on a friend’s house they were watching. As dusk gathered, they turned left on 16th, east of Sullivan in the Valley, taking it easy after the 25-mile run out of Wheel Sport East. They saw deer grazing off to the right as a car approached. Suddenly a fawn darted from the left into the path of the car.
A Pittsburgh woman has an ace in the hold of her bike for keeping up with her hardcore cyclist husband on a 100-mile-a-day ride across the U.S. Cathy Rogers, 57, who describes herself as “a casual cyclist,” left Redmond on Monday and plans to ride into Spokane today with 13 other cyclists in The Big Ride Across America fundraiser for the American Lung Association.
OUTGOING – The Inland Northwest Trails Coalition has rounded up a dozen local leaders in trails-related efforts for the annual “State of the Trails” presentations Thursday starting at 5:30 p.m. at Mountain Gear Headquarters, 6021 E. Mansfield Ave. “Every year the coalition invites land managers to give a report on what is happening with our hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, biking, kayaking, canoeing outdoor adventure areas,” said Lunell Haught, INTC coordinator. “We all come together in one big meeting so that you do not need to go to 10 different meetings to find out the latest news.”
Try as I might, and I admit to not trying too hard, I can’t remember anything from the time my butt lifted off my bicycle seat and I knew the inevitable was about to happen, until I was sitting on my rear on the side of a Spokane Valley street. That was last September and the only other thing I fail to remember was a few days later when I was knocked out in the operating room so Dr. Jonathan Keeve could insert a plate to stabilize my left collarbone.
Mountain bikers from across the Pacific Northwest converged on the Beacon Hill/Camp Sekani Park trail complex on Upriver Drive last weekend. They were there to kick off the spring riding season with two days of racing known as the Hub-A-Palooza. The main draw was the Double Down Hoe Down, a downhill race that has become a featured event on the regional circuit. The Double Down Hoe Down starts at the top of a ridge above Camp Sekani and drops about 450 vertical feet over a mile of cliffs, basalt rock gardens, kickers and a bobsled run of banked chicanes at the finish. The signature feature on the course is known as “Girfmoor,” a heart-stopping plunge from a 15-foot cliff over a 15-foot gap.
Bicycling events are like spring wildflowers, sprouting here and there in February and March before bursting into full bloom from April into fall. More than 100 events are scheduled in the region with something for every style of rider – short- or long-distance, family-friendly or hard-core, mountain bike or road bike.
PHOTOGRAPHY – A free clinic on using a GoPro camera to capture outdoor adventure action is being offered by REI at 7 p.m. on Thursday. The program will focus on the popular camera’s user interface, video capture, image settings and accessories.
Bicyclists can relax until spring before planning most of their 2014 cycling season. But the following popular spring and summer rides sell out so quickly, you have to be planning and making your application now. Chilly Hilly: Feb. 23, traditionally the region’s first notable cycling events of the season. The 41st annual event starts with an early-morning ferry ride from Seattle before unleashing cyclists on a 33-mile route around Bainbridge Island that bags 2,675 feet of cumulative elevation. Organized by the Cascade Bicycle Club, registration for nonmembers opens Tuesday; cascade.org.
Snooze and you lose in the quest to bunk in a Forest Service cabin along the St. Joe River, float a prized Idaho wilderness river or backpack through wildly popular parks and wilderness areas. Winter is the season for thinking ahead to summer adventures that require a special permit or reservations.
An update to the 2008 Spokane County Regional Trails Plan will help integrate routes for walkers, runners, skaters, cyclists and equestrians into planning and development as the population grows, officials say. The draft plan, up for county approval this month, identifies 677 miles of routes ranging from single tracks to the 12-foot-wide Centennial Trail, said Parks Department planner Paul Knowles.
Mount Spokane State Park rangers and volunteers are busy as the fall colors begin to show in the foliage and a hint of the coming winter season is in the air. Tuesday is the last day for driving to the top of the mountain this year as the 3-mile Summit Road will be closed for the season at dusk.
New efforts to accommodate mountain biking are included in a Mount Spokane State Park revised trails plan recently released for public comment. The plan identifies 76 miles of multi-use trails in the 14,000-acre park.
Northern pike have bared their teeth in Lake Roosevelt this year, bringing to mind the early 2000s, when the non-native predators first showed up in significant numbers in the Pend Oreille River. Fishermen have been catching some whoppers near Kettle Falls.