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SpokeFest participants celebrate improvements in Spokane’s biking amenities

SpokeFest speaks to the state of bicycling in Spokane, and the energy and camaraderie on display Sunday for the eighth year of the event was a strong indication that the cycling culture is thriving.

Just to confirm, we gathered testimonials from a few of the 1,650 people who pedaled the 50-mile, 21-mile, 9-mile or 1-mile courses. Here is how they finished this sentence: “Bicycling in Spokane is …”

• “An unblazened trail. An untapped adventure.” – Amy Poston, Spokane

• “My way to enjoy the city.” – Robby Jamison, Spokane

• “Growing. The bike lanes are making it a lot easier to get from point A to point B without running through neighborhoods or being afraid of getting run over by a semi. It’s improving dramatically in the last few years.” – Dave Kovac, Spokane Fire Department lieutenant and Ped-Med volunteer at SpokeFest

• “Great. I just started doing this last summer. I go all over. This is the first time I did SpokeFest. It’s a major accomplishment for me. I’m happy with myself.” – Everett Neal, Spokane Valley, after completing the 50-miler

• “A thrill and a pleasure. I enjoy it, but sometimes it is much more exciting than you would expect. And it’s really improved in the 20 years since I moved here.” – Steve Peck, Spokane, a rider in all SpokeFests to date

• “Relaxing exercise in a wonderful environment.” – Steve Peterson, Liberty Lake mayor

• “Almost like biking in a magic kingdom.” – Charmaine Peterson, Liberty Lake

• “Good for the community.” – Jeff Hayward, Spokane, medical volunteer for SpokeFest

• “Getting better every year. There are more and more safe places to ride every year with the bike paths, trails, traffic calming. I don’t like to ride next to cars, but there’s more ways to ride that are not next to cars.” – Bruce Gallaher, Spokane Valley

• “Wonderful, great, fantastic.” – Tami Johnson, Tri-Cities, riding a fat-tired eBike

• “Amazing and always different.” – Denise Reid, Spokane

• “A lot of fun but sometimes a little scary. With a large family people yell things sometimes. We get a lot of thumbs-up and stuff, too. But to me it seems like people are a little more aggressive on the road. We try and not do as much road riding, because having a large crew, distractions can be more dangerous. ” – Sharon Carter, Hillyard, who rode in SpokeFest with her husband, Joe, and their six children, ages 9 years to 7 months

• “Fun, exhilarating. It’s a good time.” – Tina Hoffmann, Mead

• “An adventure. It is evolving and getting better.” – David Cowin, Spokane Valley

• “Improving. The bike lanes, the bike paths, just the bicycle infrastructure in general. … We’ve got a ways to go to be a Portland or a Seattle. But we certainly have the kind of city that would lend itself to that. We’re about using bikes for urban transportation. It just makes sense.” – Donald Gibson, owner of Monkeyboy Bicycles and a member of the Spokane Bicycle Advisory Board

• “Like reading a book I can’t put down. There are just so many routes I don’t know and there’s always something new to see.” – Emily Goodstein-Tom, Gonzaga University nursing student


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