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Glacier Park’s ‘Sun Road’ ready for motor vehicles

PARKS — Although bicyclists have been pedaling to Logan Pass on freshly plowed blacktop for three weeks, vehicle access from the west side to the top of Glacier National Park's Going to the Sun Road is set to open Friday, June 12.

The entire route through the Montana park should be open by June 19.

Following are details from a just-posted park media release:

WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Vehicle access to Logan Pass on the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the west side of Glacier National Park is anticipated to be available tomorrow morning, Thursday, June 11. Park road crews have finished snow removal, debris clean-up, guard rail installation, and facility preparation, as well as assessing snow conditions.  Vehicle access to Logan Pass from the east side of the park is scheduled to be available June 19 due to road rehabilitation work. 

Services at Logan Pass will include restroom facilities and potable water.  The Logan Pass Visitor Center will not be open until June 19.  At that time it will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., including a bookstore managed by the Glacier National Park Conservancy.  

There are two areas along the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road near Rim Rock, just below Oberlin Bend, that visitors will need to drive with caution.  Approximately 200 feet of masonry guard walls were destroyed by avalanches this past winter and temporary barriers have been installed creating a narrow two-lane roadway.

Through June 19, crews will be working near Triple Arches, located approximately two miles below Logan Pass on the west side.  One-lane traffic will be implemented during this time.  Flaggers will direct traffic during the day and traffic control lights will be used nights and weekends.  Crews will be completing some of the detail masonry work on the footing areas. 

Visitors will discover a snow-covered landscape at Logan Pass. Cold temperatures and wind, as well as icy conditions, may be encountered. Be aware of snow walls along the Going-to-the-Sun Road and hazardous snow bridges near the Big Drift. Standing or walking on snow along the road is strongly discouraged.

Trails near Logan Pass will be covered in snow and visitors should exercise caution when hiking. Be aware of unseen holes in the snow and snow bridges that exist. Avoid crossing steep, snow-covered slopes where a fall could be disastrous. Visitors should have the appropriate equipment and skills if hiking on snow.

The Highline Trail from Logan Pass is closed due to snow conditions.

Click here for current status reports on park trails.

Bike CdA organizing wide range of cycling activities

BICYCLING —  The group Bike CDA is raising the profile if bicycling in the Lake City, with a large number of bike rides and related activities organized through its Facebook page. June is Bike to Work Month, which is picking up the pace of events, many of which are supported by local groups or businesses

BikeCDA activities this week include:

Going to the Sun by bike, behind the Glacier Park plows

BICYCLING — Memorial Day weekend 2015 offered the rare opportunity to for cyclists to pedal all the way up Glacier National Park's Going to the Sun Road in the fourth weekend of May.

This year's low snowpack allowed crews to clear the snow off the road earlier than normal all the way to Logan Pass.

But bicyclists owned the road. Crews had not yet finished snow removal on top and on the east side of the pass, so motorized traffic was still prohibited.  Some cyclists were hauling skis and snowboards to make turns on the corn snow slopes near the pass.

Jim and Sandii Mellen of Sandpoint joined some friends and made the most of the holiday weekend opportunity, riding to the pass TWICE, not to mention day-hiking into Sperry Chalet.

Said Jim:

(Road) is plowed to the pass and beyond about 200 yards. Looks like they might only have about 100 yards to go to meet the east side.  I heard that Going to the Sun Road will not be open to vehicles for another 2 weeks. They still have a lot of guard rails to re-install.

Be sure to click all the way through Jim Mellen's photos (above) to see the wildlife treat at the end. 

Glacier Park rarely disappoints.

What did you do outdoors for your holiday getaway?

Mountain bikers going 24 Hours Round the Clock

CYCLING — They started at noon today — 9 hours ago — and they're not even half way finished.  A total of 675 riders in 109 teams plus a contingent of crazy solo riders are in the groove for the 24 Hours Round the Clock mountain bike race at the Seven Mile airstrip area of Riverside State Park.

In addition to a great race, it's a fine campout and all-night party for the teams and spectators.

Check it out Sunday.   The race ends at noon.

RAMROD — bike ride around Rainier lottery entry closes today

CYCLING —Today is the last day for very fit bicyclists to enter the lottery to become one of the 800 riders allowed to enter the annual RAMROD on July 30.

The Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day, a premiere ultra-marathon cycling event by the Redmond Cycling Club, challenges riders with 10,000 feet of climbing in 168 miles. Cost: $5 lottery fee, $90 if selected.

Snooze and lose on region’s most popular 2015 cycling events

CYCLING — Bicyclists can relax until spring before planning most of their 2015 cycling season, with help from The Spokesman-Review's 2015 Northwest Bicycling Events Calendar.

But the following popular winter, spring and summer rides come and go, or in a few cases, came and went, before you knew it. They're popularity causes them to sell out so quickly you have to be planning or making your application in February.

Act now on rides that still have openings.

Chilly Hilly: Feb. 22, COMPLETED, traditionally the region’s first notable cycling events of the season. The 42nd 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. Put it on your list to start the 2016 season. Organized by the Cascade Bicycle Club; cascade.org.

STOKR: Scenic Tour of the Kootenai River, May 9-10, SOLD OUT, has ride-length options ranging from 37 to 98 miles each day along the Kootenai River and Lake Koocanusa out of Libby, Mont., to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Registration open Feb. 14-28 for the lottery drawing to select 450 riders; libbymt.com/events.

Mazama Ride, June 20-21: SOLD OUT, runs 75 miles each day on North Cascades Highway from Marblemount to Mazama for the overnight and back, by Redmond Cycling Club. $145-$195; redmondcyclingclub.org.

RATPOD: Ride Around the Pioneers in One Day, June 27, STILL OPEN, the 14th annual one-day, 130-mile ride from Dillon, Mont., through the Big Hole Valley of southwestern Montana, along wilderness areas and above the Big Hole River, fundraiser to benefit Camp Mak-A-Dream. Online registration opened March 3 and will continue until cap of 650 riders is reached; ratpod.org.

STP: Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, July 11-12, SOLD OUT BUT OPTIONS POSSIBLE, the largest multiday bicycle event in the Northwest, has riders pedaling 200 miles from Seattle to Portland in one or two days. Registration opened in January Cascade Bicycle Club members; and in February for nonmembers. The 10,000-rider limit has been reached in February in the past, but it sold out this year on March 8. Check website on June 1 for possible reopening of registration to fill refunded spaces; cascade.org.

RAMROD: July 30, LOTTERY ENTRY CLOSES MARCH 31. Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day, a premiere one-day ultra-marathon cycling event by the Redmond Cycling Club, 10,000 feet of climbing in 168 miles. $95; redmondcyclingclub.org.

RSVP2:  Aug. 15-16, STILL OPEN, Cascade Bicycle Club ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party, 106 miles on day 1 and 82 miles on day 2 into Canada. Return by chartered bus. The RSVP1 leaves a day earlier, but is already sold out. $150; cascade.org.

Cycle Oregon: Sept. 12-19, STILL OPEN, billed as “the best bike ride in America,” the ultra-supported tour moves to a different route each year supported by local communities. A spin-off weekend event is set for July 10-12. The 2015 routes will be in the Hells Canyon-Wallowas area. Fills quickly; cycleoregon.com.

WaCanId Ride: Sept. 14-19, STILL OPEN, the annual international tour on paved roads encircling the Selkirk Mountains of Washington, Canada and Idaho. The six-day event covers 350 miles, North America’s longest free ferry ride and includes sag support and the services of seven Rotary Clubs. Space limited; (888) 823-2626, www.wacanid.org.

NW left out of Outside’s ‘Most Incredible Trips’ list

OUTDOOR TRAVEL —

Two spots in Montana have made Outside magazine's list of "The 30 Most Incredible Trips to Take in 2015."

Otherwise, the Northwest was virtually left out in favor of river trips in Fiji, islands in Bermuda, adventuring in Chile, road biking in California and food in Texas.

The exception is a Redmond-based bicycle travel company named "Best for outfitted trips for families." The write-up says:

Roughly 10 percent of Bicycle Adventures’ trips are now geared specifically toward families with preteens in tow. This year the Washington-based company launched three multi-day rides in Oregon, Idaho, and South Dakota that follow car-free bike paths and pass through kid-captivating areas like Mount Rushmore … with stops for ice cream, rafting, and swimming holes. Have younger kids? They’ll pedal tag-alongs hitched to adult bikes, and toddlers and infants can ride in provided trailers. From $2,295.

The Route of the Hiawatha on the Montana-Idaho border got residual praise by being one of the trips Bicycle Adventures features.

Meanwhile, Montana continued to get more attention than any single state with two mentions in the Top 30 list.

  • American Prairie Reserve in northcentral Montana is featured as "Best of the Wild West."
  • Mary May’s on 100 acres along Cottonwood Creek near Bozeman is ranked "Best Airbnb Property."

Outside's list was composed by its two veteran travel writers, Tim Neville and Stephanie Pearson, who scoured "the globe to uncover surprising new ideas."

The story recommends a range of activities at the American Prairie, from camping to mountain biking, wildlife watching and canoeing the nearby Missouri River.

“We’re glad to have Outside’s spotlight shine on all that we’ve accomplished so far," said Sean Gerrity, president of American Prairie Reserve, in a statement. "We hope it will result in more supporters for our ambitious project.”

Mary May's is touted by the Outside writers for the variety of options available from the door of the small studio that rents for $125 a night, such as skiing, a trip to Yellowstone National Park or hiking.

Bill to help get kids outside gets hearing in Olympia

OUTDOOR EDUCATION — A Senate committee will hold a hearing today, Feb. 11, at 1:30 p.m. on “No Child Left Inside,” a bipartisan bill (SB 5843) that provides $1.3 million for programs to get kids to away from their screens and back outdoors. 

A media release from the bill’s introduction by Sens. Ranker (D-Orcas Island) and Parlette (R-Wenatchee) note's that Washington’s NCLI has inspired federal legislation of the same name. 

Scheduled to testify at today's hearing are:

  • Oak Rankin of Darrington, whose community was devastated by the Oso landslide in 2014. This bill would enable funding for programs such as the Darrington Youth Outdoor STEM Pilot Project  which helps students learn about local natural resources.
  • Joshua Brandon, a veteran and program manager for Project Cohort, a program designed to support veterans’ mental health, in part through outdoor activities. The legislation’s grant program encourages funding for programs that tap veterans for program implementation or administration.
  • Courtney Aber who heads up YMCA’s BOLD & GOLD programs (Boys Outdoor Leadership Development & Girls Outdoor Leadership Development)
  • Martin LeBlanc of IslandWood, the Bainbridge Island-based outdoor education organization
  • Marc Berejka from REI

State Parks considers letting farmers use rail trails

PARKS — A proposal to allow farmers and ranchers to occasional use Washington rail trails will be considered by the State Parks and Recreation Commission at a regular meeting Jan. 29 in Tumwater.

The policy proposal would permit certain limited non-recreational motorized use of state park long-distance trail corridors, such as the John Wayne Trail.

The trail corridors are legally set aside for non-motorized recreation only.

"In the interest of being good neighbors, State Parks is seeking additional flexibility and consistency—for example, allowing farmers to use the trail right-of-way to access their fields," Parks officials say in a media release.

"The policy would set guidelines for permits and is intended to ensure agency responsiveness to such requests, while providing oversight to prevent adverse effects on recreationists and to recoup the cost of any trail damage from allowed motorized uses.

The meeting is set for 9 a.m., Jan. 29, in the Labor and Industries Auditorium, 7273 Linderson Way S.W., Tumwater.

According to the meeting agenda, the commission also will consider adoption of policy statements to provide direction for the agency’s real estate management activities in four areas: recreation business activities; enterprise lands; land transfers and exchanges with other government jurisdictions; and land leases from other jurisdictions.

State Parks manages approximately 124 developed parks, marine parks, heritage sites and properties, altogether totaling approximately 120,000 acres statewide. The agency manages leases on some properties, while holding others for future park and trail development.

In other business, the Commission will consider adoption of the 2015 director’s performance agreement, an annual work plan for the agency and director. Several reports will be presented, including reports on the agency’s Boating Programs, Interpretive Program, Discover Pass, current finances and 2015-17 budget requests and a legislative report.

Birding, fly fishing programs presented this week

 OUTGROUPS – Inland Northwest outdoors groups have drummed up some good stuff for their monthly free programs. Among this week’s offerings are:

• Trans-America touring and local bicycling programs will be discussed by three speakers, 6:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 10, at Riverview Retirement Center, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave., for Spokane Bicycle Club.

• Climate change impacts on Palouse Praire ecosystems, by Sanford Eigenbrode, professor in the University of Idaho's Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences program, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 11, at Lutheran Church of the Master, 4800 N. Ramsey Road in Coeur d’Alene, for Coeur d’Alene Audubon.

• Fly Auction, anglers donate hand-tied fly patterns for auction to benefit local fishing education and fisheries conservation programs, 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 12, at St. Francis School, 1104 W. Heroy, for Spokane Fly Fishers.

• "Exploring South America — The Bird Continent", by Lucila Castro and Peter Morrison of the Pacific Biodiversity Institute, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 12, at Riverview Retirement Center, for Spokane Audubon.

Video: mountain biker rocks on this ride

MOUNTAIN BIKING — A new flick, The Ridge, by mountain-biking trick rider Danny Macaskill is one of the most beautifully filmed to date.

Macaskill climbs aboard a mountain bike and returns to his native home of the Isle of Skye in Scotland to take on a death-defying ride along the notorious Cuillin Ridgeline.

The film defines Macaskill's bike as the ultimate all-terrain vehicle.
  

Centennial Trail temporarily rerouted around Sullivan Bridge

TRAILS — The Spokane River Centennial Trail at Sullivan Bridge is being closed during the daytime hours this week because of construction.

The closures started today,  7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and will continue through Friday, Spokane Valley engineers say.

Workers are building a protective trail covering beneath the northbound bridge. 

Signs are redirecting trail users via Indiana Avenue between the old Mission Avenue trailhead and the ramp located west of the bridge.

Bicycle needs a kickstand in the rear

CYCLING — So, why did the bicycle fall over?

Answer: Because it wast two-tired.

Re: Hating bike riders

Some people who can't stand cyclists don't seem to realize that most bike riders totally get it about certain cyclists being asshats. Hey, we've all seen them in action. They give all bike riders a bad name.

But is that fair?

How come automobilists are not tarred with a similar broad brush? God knows, there are enough unhinged people behind the wheel of cars to extrapolate that all drivers are a menace.

Outdoor groups revive monthly programs

OUTTEACH  – After a summer hiatus, Inland Northwest outdoors groups are reviving monthly free programs. Among this week’s offerings are:

  • Bicycling Trans-Washington, 6:30 p.m., Monday, at Riverview Retirement Center, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave., for Spokane Bicycle Club.
  • Audubon Adventures, birding and nature activities for kids grades 3-5, by Eula Hickam, 7 p.m., Tuesday, (Sept. 9) at Lutheran Church of the Master, 4800 N. Ramsey Road in Coeur d’Alene, for Coeur d’Alene Audubon.
  • Fishing Local Lakes, by Jeff Voigt, 7 p.m., Wednesday, at St. Francis School, 1104 W. Heroy, for Spokane Fly Fishers.
  • Washington Loons, by Ginger Gumm, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, at Riverview Retirement Center, for Spokane Audubon.

See map and directions to Riverview Retirement Center auditorium, which is  used by several groups for free monthly programs.

Pearl Jam skateboard nets $4,450 for Ferry County trail

TRAILS — Somebody made out like a bandit in an auction benefitting the Ferry County Rail Trail.

Eddie Vedder and the rock group Pearl Jam band members supported the 25-mile Ferry County Rail Trail in northeastern Washington by signing and donating a cool skateboard to an online auction that  ended Sunday night on eBay.

The winner out of 47 took the prize possession for $4,450.

But every little bit counts. Funds generated will be used to enhance the surface of the abandoned railway that connects four towns, two school complexes and meanders along miles of pristine waterfront, including Curlew Lake and the Kettle River.

The photos posted here show Vedder with the longboard and one of the major projects on the trail to reconstruct the trestle over the north end of Curlew Lake.

"Over the years, the Ferry County Rail Trail Partners have done well competing for state and federal development funds," said Bob Whittaker, president of the non-profit group, which is seeking more funding.

“We have 25 miles of donated property, much of it waterfront, along the Kettle river," he said. "We have a 770-foot trestle over Curlew Lake that was decked with $200,000 in bicycle/pedestrian safety funds, but we need surface improvements and we need them yesterday.

“An improved surface means more users, a healthier community, and happy, repeat visitors to the region.”

The "Longboard” style skate was signed by all the members of the band back stage before their sold out concert at the Spokane Arena last November. “It was a fun night- and all for a good cause," Whittaker said. "Ferry County even got a shout out from Eddie while on stage. How sweet is that!”

Sunny outlook for Bare As You Dare bike rides

BICYCLING — We're happy to report that none of the hundred or so participants in Missoula's recent Bare As You Dare bike ride was arrested, although some riders may have suffered sunburn — and severe chaffing.

See the Missoulian story and check out the photo gallery — if you dare.

  • Would any group, other than baristas, dare to be bare riding bikes in downtown Spokane?

Eddie Vedder skateboard auction benefits Ferry County rail trail

TRAILS — Eddie Vedder and the rock group Pearl Jam band members are rallying to support the 25-mile Ferry County Rail Trail in northeastern Washington by signing and donating a cool skateboard to an online auction that's underway on eBay.

At last look, the bids were in the $2,000 range.

The auction is set to close Sunday, Aug. 31, at 7:24 p.m. (PDT).

Funds generated will be used to enhance the surface of the abandoned railway that connects four towns, two school complexes and meanders along miles of pristine waterfront, including Curlew Lake and the Kettle River.

"Over the years, the Ferry County Rail Trail Partners have done well competing for state and federal development funds," said Bob Whittaker, president of the non-profit group, which is seeking more funding.

“We have 25 miles of donated property, much of it waterfront, along the Kettle river," he said. "We have a 770-foot trestle over Curlew Lake that was decked with $200,000 in bicycle/pedestrian safety funds, but we need surface improvements and we need them yesterday.

“An improved surface means more users, a healthier community, and happy, repeat visitors to the region.”

The "Longboard” style skate was signed by all the members of the band back stage before their sold out concert at the Spokane Arena last November. “It was a fun night- and all for a good cause," Whittaker said. "Ferry County even got a shout out from Eddie while on stage. How sweet is that!”

Included as part of this auction is an original photo taken by Bob Whittaker and signed by PJ frontman Eddie Vedder. The photo of Vedder on a canoe originally appeared in Vedder’s "Ukulele Songs" songbook. Vedder autographed a uke used in that recording and donated it to the Ferry County group for an auction that raised $17,000 for the trail.

The current auction is listed by Keith Bell, Vice President of Ferry County Rail Trail Partners. 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to this all-volunteer federally recognized non-profit organization.

The auction can be found by visiting FerryCountyRailTrail.com

SpokeFest among bounty of September cycling events

CYCLING — SpokeFest, one of the region's premier bicycling events with courses for every ability level based out of Spokane, is coming up Sept. 7

Register before Sept. 1 to avoid late fees and enter a drawing for a free bike from REI or a night at the Red Lion Inn at the Park..

But SpokeFest is just one of 18 bicycling events scheduled in the region during September, close to home as well as across nearby borders.

Here's a mere sampling:

  • Kootenai River Ride, Sept. 13: Ride 16, 60 or 100 kilometers near Kootenai River out of Bonners Ferry fairgrounds supported by Rotarians, followed by baked potato feed. $20.

    Blazing Saddles Bike Ride, Sept. 20: Combines 20, 40, 62 and 100-mile cycling routes out of Colville, Wash., with the Northwest International Chili Cook-Off and beer garden. Sponsored by Rotary Club. $60 (kids under 10 free), includes t-shirt and entry to chili festival.

    Valleyfest Trail Ride, Sept. 21: Family bike tour on the Centennial Trail starting at noon with other festivities at Mirabeau Point Park. Choice of 6.8-, 8.8- and 15.6-mile routes. $10 or $5 for kids under 11.

    Coeur d’Fondo, Sept. 27: The 3rd annual Gran Fondo style timed event begins and ens in Coeur d’Alene with competitive and non-competitive options. Choice of five distances: 15, 37, 47, 85 or 108 miles.

Check out the details in The Spokesman-Review's 2014 Northwest Bicycling Events Calendar for rides within 300 miles of Spokane.

Lentil Festival runs out of gas

BICYCLING — I'm getting this second hand, but some Spokane bicyclists who traveled to Pullman for the organized bike tour associated with the annual Lentil Festival came home, shall we say, deflated.

They said they were all geared up for a lentil burger to restore their energy after the ride, but there wasn't a lentil burger available from any of the vendors… just lentil ice cream.

Can that be true?

Does a cyclist have to pedal away from the lentil fields all the way to Boulder, Colo., Eugene, Oreg. — or Costco — to get a good lentil burger fix?

Adventure Cycling releases list of bike tours, learning experiences

CYCLING — If you're dreaming up a plan for a bicycle tour in 2015, check out the recently released list of 2015 early, epic, and educational tours from Adventure Cycling.

The Missoula-based bike touring association has a delicious schedule of group tours you can join as well — as well as educational sessions that teach riding/touring/camping skills for cyclists.

When I enrolled to be a leader for Bikecentennial TransAmerica bicycle tours in 1976, I took the group's leadership training course. (Bikecentennial later became Adventure Cycling).  That four-day course saved me months of trial and error learning and gave me skill set and confidence to make that summer a success that goes down as one of my most memorable adventures.

When my oldest daughter started planning a major bike tour, I suggested she enroll in one of the Adventure Cycling courses. She traveled to Denver for the course and she'd agree that the sessions such as on-the-road bike repair, camp cooking and logistics plus social and riding skills are worth the investment. 

Here's what Adventure Cycling is offering in 2015:

Educational Courses

If you're interested in joining a group for a bicycling trip, consider this wide range of options:

Epic Tours

Early Self Contained and Inn to Inn Tours

Early Fully Supported and Van Supported Tours

David Bond: Bicyclists Revisited

Last week's “zipper-head” rant in this space about the behaviours of certain out-of-state bicycle-trail riders touched a few nerves, as publicly evidenced by several letters to the editor at the News-Press last week, and by a particularly snarky remark from a cocktail waitress in Wallace Saturday night.

Normally a reporter (or editor) should refrain from getting in the last word, but apparently our subtle attempt at a humourous prod at the obnoxiousness of some of these individuals fell on its face, so a clarification is in order.

I've nothing against tourists, per se, even the gaunt and ridiculously-dressed trail-cyclists from out of state who spend nothing here. My beef is with their conspicuously rude minority who seem to think they're doing us a favour just by being here and that we should serve them and then get out of their bloody way, else our economy might collapse.

It's not that simple, folks. Irrespective of what some delusional leading lights in the Silver Valley have led themselves to believe, tourism is not our principal industry. We are a mining camp, plain and simple, with the added advantage that we are a showcase for how a heavy extractive industry like mining, and a great, beautiful, natural place for visitors, can co-exist. If you can't afford Paris, this is the best place in the world to live.

More below.

 Do you have any complaints about tourists in your town?

 

Whitefish mountain bike route a ‘model’ flow trail

CYCLING — A year after its completion, Whitefish Mountain Resort’s Kashmir Trail has been named a model “Flow Trail” by the International Mountain Biking Association.  The route is among 30 miles of downhill and cross-country trails at the Whitefish Bike Park.

Once a year, IMBA recognizes outstanding mountain bike trails and locations with the IMBA Model Trail awards which encompass Epics, Ride Centers, Flow Trails and Community Bike Parks.

Kashmir is one of four Flow Trails recognized this year. Others included trails in Karnten, Austria, Sun Valley, Idaho and the Czech Republic.

The winners were announced last week and will be recognized at the 2014 IMBA World Summit Aug. 20-21 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Whitefish Mountain Resort’s Events and Recreation Manager, Josh Knight will attend and accept the award.

“It’s an honor to see Kashmir be recognized by IMBA," said Josh Knight, the resort’s events and recreation manager. "As one of the first resorts in the west to provide lift-served mountain biking starting with the Summit Trail in 1996, it speaks volumes about the direction of the sport and the industry and what riders want.

“Kashmir has received many compliments over the past year from both experienced and intermediate riders progressing to the next level. Everyone involved in building the trail from our trail crew to Terraflow Trails was very proud of its creation. This award will help Whitefish continue to build on its reputation as a bicycling destination.” 

An IMBA media release said, “These are the trails worth traveling to; the best places to introduce someone to the sport we all love and are the facilities builders and advocates should look to for inspiration.”

Riders will have the opportunity to compete on Kashmir in two events set for September:

  • The Double Dip Downhill, Sept. 6-7 and will feature a course on Kashmir for Saturday’s race day.
  • Ender Enduro, Sept. 13, Whitefish Bike Park’s second enduro race of the season.

The Whitefish Bike Park lift-served downhill and cross-country trails are open daily mid-June to Labor Day and Friday-Sunday in September.

Kashmir Trail info:

  • Level - Black Diamond
  • Length - 2.54 Miles
  • Elevation Loss – 1,684 Vertical Feet
  • Description - The area's backbone flow trail running along the west ridge of the mountain toward the lower pod of downhill trails. It intersects with the Summit Trail six times so you can start small and work your way up to more advanced sections of trail.

 

Huge variety of bicycling events coming up

CYCLING — Whether you want to stay close to Spokane or travel across borders to new terrain, August and September offer a huge assortment of organized bicycling events to pique your interest in pedaling.

Of note coming up:

  • Tour de Lentil metric century, Aug. 23: has 50K and 100K courses with pit stops through rolling Palouse hills based out of Pullman. Post ride BBQ. Email: cycling@wsu.edu. About $35.
  • Great Northwest Fall Tour , Aug. 31: Ride 15, 30, 50 or 85-mile routes beginning at Newport City Park. Benefits Newport/Priest River Rotary Club. $30 ($75 per family).

Check out the details in my 2014 Northwest Bicycling Events Calendar for rides within 300 miles of Spokane.

Poster reminds dog owners to bag it

PUBLIC LANDS — Looks like Spokane isn't the only city in the USA where people think it's OK to let their dogs leave calling cards wherever the urge strikes.

Sign-up for SpokeFest now for chance to win bike

BICYCLING — The annual SpokeFest event, with bike rides and activities for the whole family based out of Spokane's Riverfront Park and into Riverside State Park, isn't until Sept. 7.

But if you register before Monday, June 30, your name will be entered in drawing for an adult bicycle from REI.

  • SpokeFest is well represented on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for fun facts, community stories and tips on improving your ride!   

Last day to buy tickets for Brews Cruise!


Bikes, beers, and bands. What more could you really want?

How about beavers?

Tomorrow is the 4th Annual Brews Cruise, brought to you buy The Lands CouncilThe route is an accessible bike ride along the Spokane River, starting in East Central and heading through downtown Spokane. They will visit important areas of interest, showcasing their efforts in river toxics outreach, urban ecology, education and restoration.

Check in starts at Ramblin' Road Craft Brewery (730 N Columbus St). Then you'll embark on a route to Perry Street Brewing - food trucks will be present - where you will receive a dollar off your first brew. The ride continue to the Saranac Public House rooftop for their all-day Sunday Happy Hour, and afterwards return to Ramblin’ Road where there will be live music and $3 for your first beer!

​Buy your tickets HERE.

Centennial Trail nets $30,000 from Spokane Bike Swap

TRAILS — The numbers are in for the third annual Spokane Bike Swap and the checks are written — including a $30,000 boost for the Friends of the Centennial Trail.

“Spokane Bike Swap has become the largest supporter of our Trail Builder’s Fund,” said Loreen McFaul, the friends group's executive director. Proceeds from the April 12-13 Bike Swap are designated for expansion of the popular trail along the Spokane River, completion and maintenance, she said.
 
"Our funding priorities include advocating for funding and construction plans for the Mission Street gap, supporting the construction of two Trail extensions – from Bridge to Boone Avenue and from Sontag Park to the Nine Mile Recreation Area at Lake Spokane, finalizing a gap completion plan for Argonne Road, improving directional and safety signs on the Trail and keeping printed maps, our Google map and Trail posters updated as gaps are completed.”
 
More than 3,000 people attended the 2014 Spokane Bike Swap on at the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, which featured 53 exhibitors and nearly 750 used bikes registered to sell.
 
“We tripled the amount of used bikes sold from our first year in the bike corral, selling 549 bikes,” said LeAnn Yamamoto, swap event director. To boost cycling safety, 173 children age 14 and younger who bought a bike in the bike corral received a free Bell helmet and helmet fitting, she said.

State of the Trails program updates a dozen prized areas

TRAILS — The Inland Northwest Trails Coalition has rounded up more than a dozen local leaders in trails-related efforts for the annual “state of the trails” presentations Thursday, June 12,  starting at 5:30 p.m. at Mountain Gear Headquarters, 6021 E. Mansfield Ave. in Spokane Valley. 

“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.” 

Trail users can hear the status of trail issues and learn where they can get involved in trail projects.

Natural areas will be covered, including updates on Spokane County Conservation Futures areas – a new Antoine Peak trail and access plan is developing – and progress on the proposed Dream Trail corridor heading north from the Dishman Hills.

Popular paved routes and rail-trails, such as the Centennial Trail, the Ben Burr Trail and Fish Lake Trail, will be reviewed, including efforts to connect them.

Two Washington State Parks that provide roughly 200 miles of trail opportunities – Mount Spokane and Riverside – will be represented by park rangers.

The useful Spokane River Water Trail website will be updated and the Washington Trails Association will detail this season’s trails maintenance projects from Spokane County to the Salmo-Priest Wilderness.

The Beacon Hill mountain biking trail system and terrain park will be covered.

Geological routes through the region’s Channeled Scablands will be summarized by the Ice Age Floods Instutue and local U.S. Bureau of Land Management managers will highlight plans for new trails in the Fishtrap Lake area.

Haught said the consortium of outdoor recreation and conservation groups has pulled together to encourage city and county governments to engage in regional trail planning.

The group’s vision, she said, “is a system of paths, trails and open space corridors that connect neighborhoods, community and regional parks and conservation land in our region to engage people in muscle-powered recreational and conservation opportunities, promote active transportation and preserve open space to enhance our region’s quality of life.”