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Spokane Bicycle Club is the wheel deal

OUTPEDAL – Last Sunday’s Outdoors feature on regional bicycling events included a list of regional bicycling groups.

Unfortunately, an editing error omitted the venerable Spokane Bicycle Club, which was at the top of the list.

“We've been an active biking club for over 35 years with a membership of around 200,” said Don Carlton, club president.  The group has adopted mile 31 of the Centennial Trail and provide reliable support for all things related to bikes in the area.

“We offer seven rides a week in various skill levels. We host the bike coral for Bloomsday, bike sitting for over 200 bikers, as well as the registration for SpokeFest.”

Spokane Bike swap a one-stop deal for buying, selling

BICYCLING — The second annual Spokane Bike Swap — a one-stop shop for people interested in buying or selling a bicycle — is set for April 13-14, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m both days, at Spokane County Fair & Expo Center.

There's no better time or place to make a deal on a bike, and the 5 percent consignment fee supports a cycling gem — the Spokane River Centennial Trail.

The event will feature a wide range of used bikes in the bike corral and seven local bike shops with new bikes and accessories.

Admission: $5 or kids under 13 free.

Sellers: check in bikes April 12 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Sellers are urged to pre-register online.

“The goal of the Bike Swap is to enhance Spokane County's biking community by providing affordable bikes for transportation, recreation and fitness,” said LeAnn Yamamoto, event director.

DONATIONS AND FREEBIES

Free bike helmets:  a limit number will be available April 13 for kids ages 3-16 in families of financial hardship through the Kiwanis Paint-A-Helmet program.

 Donate a bike: You can donate a bike to sell for the total benefit of the Centennial Trail.  The Friends of the Centennial Trail will store the bike if you want to bring it in days before the event.  Call (509) 624-7188. 

Bicycles rule North Cascades Highway behind plows

BICYCLING — Bicyclists are in that brief once-a-year window of opportunity when the North Cascades Highway west of Winthrop is all theirs — save fore a few snow plows and Washington Department of Transportation vehicles plowing the pass.

“This is that one time of the year when Highway 20 is a trail,” the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association reminds us in a post.
 
WSDOT crews have begun clearing the snow and they are moving fast, says the Bicycle Alliance of Washington.
  • Click here to follow the work to clear the road up and over Washington and Rainy passes.
And if you miss this opportunity, there's always the premier chance to ride behind the plows on the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park starting in late April and sometimes running into June.

Tonight: Trails groups update region’s growing routes

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 tonight (March 21) starting at 6 p.m. at Mountain Gear Headquarters, 6021 E. Mansfield Ave. in Spokane Valley. 

This is the place for trail users to learn where they can get involved in trail projects.

Natural areas will be covered, including the Dishman Hills, Palisades Park and Spokane County Conservation Futures areas.

The Centennial Trail, Trolley Trail and Fish Lake Trail will be reviewed as well as the expanding hiking, biking and nordic ski trail systems at Mount Spokane.

Progress on the Spokane River water trail will be updated and the Washington Trails Association will detail this season’s trails maintenance projects from Spokane County to the Salmo-Priest Wilderness.

Lunell Haught, INTC coordinator, 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.”

Entrants needed by April 1 for Pedal Around a Glacier, Eh! bike tour

BICYCLING — As I compile bicycling events for The Spokesman-Review's 2013 Cycling Events Calendar, I came across this troubling message from  Lorne Westnedge, organizer for the venerable Pedal Around a Glacier, Eh! bicycle tour, sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Nelson, British Columbia.

We are hoping to host another Pedal Around a Glacier, Eh! (P.A.G.E.) ride on June 1 & 2, 2013.  However, we need a minimum number of riders to sign up by April 1st in order for us to continue.  The minimum number is 20, and we are not there yet.

PAGE starts in Nelson for a two-day,140-mile ride along Kokanee and Slocan Lakes and twice across the spine of the Selkirk Mountains to loop around Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. Overnight in New Denver along Slocan Lake.  Cost: $95.

San Juans Islands, Glacier Park on Lonely Planet’s list

OUTDOOR TRAVEL — Two premier outdoor recreation areas within a day’s access from Spokane are listed among the Lonely Planet's Top 10 U.S. Destinations for 2013.

The San Juan Islands are No. 3 on the list and dubbed “The Gourmet Archipelago.” The writer notes the three main islands – San Juan, Orcas and Lopez – support two vineyards, a lavender farm, an alpaca ranch and weekend farmers’ markets that ply everything from artichokes to marionberries.”

From the outdoor recreation angle, the islands are standouts for bicycling, sailing and sea kayaking. “Hop on a bike, explore the beaches and enjoy the scenery, but be sure to eat!” the author says, noting several fine restaurants.

Glacier National Park is ranked No. 10 — perhaps a little low from a outdoor enthusiast's point of view, but that’s just as well, considering the Lonely Planet’s top 10 list is viewed by 12 million people a year.

“A relatively new shuttle system offers an eco-friendly alternative. But go soon,” the author warns. “The park’s 25 glaciers are melting – and could be gone altogether by 2030 if current climate changes continue!”

Here's full list of Lonely Planet's Top 10 U.S. Destinations for 2013:

  1. Louisville, KY
  2. Fairbanks, AK
  3. San Juan Islands, WA
  4. Philadelphia, PA
  5. American Samoa
  6. Eastern Sierras, CA
  7. Northern Maine, ME
  8. Twin Cities, MN (Minneapolis and St. Paul)
  9. Verde Valley, AZ
  10. Glacier National Park, MT

Spokane Valley plans trail in city core

TRAILS — A proposed bike-pedestrian trail through the heart of Spokane Valley will be discussed at a community workshop Monday, March 11, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Spokane Valley City Hall, 11707 E. Sprague, Suite 101. 

The proposed 12-foot wide trail would run about 2.2 miles down the old Milwaukee right-of-way, between University Road and Evergreen Road and between Sprague and 4thAvenue. Future extensions would be possible.

City of Spokane Valley Public Works staff members and design planning consultants will be on hand to introduce the project, review maps, and help gather input from the community.

Info: Steve Worley, project manager, 720-5014, email sworley@spokanevalley.org.

Hunters use muscle power to get out their game

HUNTING — Three of my friends this season showed how muscle power can be a workable alternative to horsepower when it's time to pack out big game from the  mountains. 

  • Click continue reading to check out all three photos:

Kyle Hanson and his father, Dan, use a canoe to paddle out a whitetail buck they bagged along a northeastern Washington stream.

Jim Kujala uses a game cart to help me haul out the elk I shot in early November in the Blue Mountains. We boned out the meat and loaded it into four bags along with the hide, proof of sex and spike antlers. We pulled the cart briefly cross-country to closed logging roads for two miles out to a main road.

Pat Behm has a new twist on a “bicycle rack” as he pedals out of the mountains on his  mountain bike.  Behm and his hunting partner, John Karpenko, boned out the meat, stuffed it into their packs and carried it all out down a gated road to a main road.

“The hunting area was open to all, you just have to work a little smarter to get there,” Karpenko said.

Two Wheel Transit moves to South Perry

CYCLING — Spokane's venerable Two Wheel Transit bicycle shop has moved to the South Perry Neighborhood from its former location on First Avenue at the west end of downtown.

See the S-R story.

Repairs temporarily close Centennial Trail segment near Barker Road

TRAILS — The Spokane River Centennial Trail is closed between miles 7 and 9 through Nov. 24 as workers  repair the erosion damage to the trail west of Barker, reports Kaye Turner of the Friends of the Centennial Trail.

The detour flows from the Walt Worthy building bollards (near the basalt water fountain; east of Sullivan and Krispy Kreme) out onto Indiana Parkway.

Progress east through the new round-about onto Flora going north until it curves right, east, onto Montgomery. 

At the “T” intersection of Montgomery and Riverway, turn right heading slightly south then east to the “T” intersection with Barker. 

Turn left, north, onto Barker. The Barker Trail Head is on the right before the bridge.

Road hazards — Northwest style

Almost wiped out on my bike this morning when taking a turn on a stretch of road covered with about an inch of pine needles.

Reminded me of a Nov.1st years ago when my friend John Kafentzis said driving to work had been made challenging that morning by a smashed-pumpkins glaze on the roads.  

Hiawatha rail trail closing for season Sept. 30

BICYCLING — The Route of the Hiawatha mountain bike trail, with its popular tunnels and trestles near Lookout Pass, will close for the season at 5 p.m. on Sept. 30. 

Spokane cyclist, Abbott, dies in Montana bike race

BICYCLING — Daniel D. Abbott, 62, of Spokane died while participating in a mountain bike race northeast of Helena on Saturday.

According to Lewis and Clark County Coroner Mickey Nelson, Abbott collapsed Saturday afternoon while participating in the York 38 Special bike ride. He was pronounced dead at the hospital in Helena.

A medical condition apparently led to Abbott’s death, Nelson told the Helena Independent Record.

Cyclists revive criterium race in downtown; set for Sept. 8

CYCLING — The Lilac City Twilight Criterium will debut on Sept. 8 to take over a few downtown streets with exciting tight-group racing — and six tight corners — from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.   The event, which tests riders skills at high-speed cornering in a fun spectator sport, will be followed by a toned-down kids event and a chance for citizens to ride the course to 11 p.m. while it's still blocked to traffic.

The criterium is the just announced extended finale of the 2012 Inland Road Race Series presented by Larry H. Miller Downtown Dealerships and Spokane Rocket Velo.

The downtown criterium had a previous short run of popularity peaking with the nation's best cyclists flying the streets during the U.S. Olympic Cycling Trials in 1984 and 1988.

The event kicks off a weekend of bike-centric events with bike education activities and bike tuneups at REI followed the next day, Sept. 9, by  Spokefest—Spokane’s largest bike-related event.

Lilac City Crit Expo is being organized for the sidelines of the course. 

To reserve a space at the expo, contact Aaron Edwards

Centennial Trail among Sunset Magazine’s Top Trails in The West

TRAILS — The Spokane River Centennial Trail — celebrating its 20th anniversary — is listed on Sunset Magazine's list of 20 Best Bike Paths in the West.

That's no suprise to people who live here, and ongoing improvements are steadily making the riverside trail even better.

But wait:  There's no mention of the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes.

Most of the trails on the list have an urban link. That makes marketing sense, but it clearly diverts attention to what some people might consider the BEST trails.

For info on more trails, check in with the Rails to Trails Conservancy.

Sign up for bicycle maintenance class at REI

CYCLING –A class on basic bicycle maintenance is being offered Thursday (July 26), 7 p.m., at REI in Spokane.

This class is free to attend and space is limited. Register at www.rei.com/spokane.

Jederman Gran Fondo debuts Saturday on open rural roads

CYCLING — Local cycling guru  Michael Emde has an enticing tidbit for participants in Saturday's Jederman Gran Fondo:

There are no traffic lights and there are only 20 over the length of the 112 mile course… The forecast is for 84F and very little wind!

The Jedermann Gran Fondo is a timed 112 mile cycling ride and cycling festival that will start and finish in Cheney, says Emde, event organizer.

The course in this inaugural event will visit the back roads and farming communities of Sprague, Tokio, Harrington, Edwall and back to Cheney.

In Europe, timed recreational events have been around for decades and each country has a different name for them. In Germany they’re called “Jedermann Rennen's” which translates to “Everyone’s Race”. In Italy they call it a “Gran Fondo” which translates to “Great Ride”. Combine the two and “Jedermann Gran Fondo”  translates to “Everyone’s Great Ride.”

Custom medals will be awarded Saturday for times under 6 hours, under 8 hours and under 10 hours.

Cyclists can enter as an individual OR as a 2-person relay team.

This ride includes mechanical support, food stops, a post race meal, dessert, libations, music, raffles and more.

Register here.

SpokeFest has incentive for early sign-up

BICYCLING – The orgnaizers of SpokeFest, the annual September bicycle celebration that branches out from downtown Spokane, are offering an early sign-up incentive:

Register online by Saturday (June 30) and you will be entered into a drawing to win one of two iPOD Nanos donated by Huppins or a Novara Corsa Comfort Bike from REI.

Choose from four different routes on Sept. 9:

  • 1 or 2.5-mile Park Loop and Bike Safety Rodeo,
  • 9-mile Spokane Falls Route,
  • 21–mile Classic River Route
  • 47-mile Four Mounds Route.

All of the rides and events start downtown and finish at the SpokeFair on the Post Street Bridge next to Riverfront Park.

Read on for more details.

Question for city-streets bike riders

What's the hardest paved-streets hill within the city limits of Spokane?

Just wondering

What would a cyclist-hating Spokane motorist yell at these lads?

www.quickrelease.tv

The correct answer? How about “Move over once, move over twice”?

Having a feline as a backseat driver

On my way home this afternoon, before I even got out of downtown, I saw another cyclist.

She looked like she might be in the 18-21 age range. She wasn't wearing a helmet but she had on a backpack.

Inside the backpack was an adult cat. Only the head of this gray and white pet was visible out of the top of the pack. My first reaction was a silently disapproving “That's not a good idea.”

But as I studied the scene from a distance, I realized the cat seemed perfectly calm. Maybe he or she has been riding with that girl since kittenhood.

Wonder what sort of backseat driver that cat is. What does it say to the girl as they cruise along?

“If you see a tuna stand, be sure to pull over.” 

Summer Parkways takes over Comstock-Manito neighborhood streets

OUTDOOR NEIGHBORHOODS — Celebrate Summer Solstice where motor vehicles will be out and kids and their families will rule the streets in the Comsock-Manito Neighborhoods Wednesday (June 20) 6 p.m.-9 p.m.

The second of two Summer Parkways events will bring a celebration to the streets as traffic is closed off to allow families to bike, hike, dance, skate and enjoy the streets for three hours.

See a map of the traffic-free route in the Comstock/Manito Neighborhood

Tripped-up cop gets lucky in traffic stop

A sheriff's deputy who fell while chasing a fleeing suspect last month got lucky in a traffic stop early Tuesday and located the man's roommate.

The driver alerted Deputy Ryan Truman that suspect Brandon J. Hoffman, 22, was living at his home in the 12500 block of North Freya Street. Truman and another deputy went to the home and arrested Hoffman.

Truman had been looking to arrest Hoffman since the man threw his bicycle at him and ran away after being stopped for riding without a front light and rear reflectors about 4 a.m. May 18.

Truman said Hoffman gave him a false name, but he was able to identify him through booking photos and other police records.

Truman yelled at Hoffman to stop several times as he an away, but he “fell during the foot pursuit and sustained minor injuries,” and the man got away.

Hoffman was booked into jail on charges of making a false statement, resisting arrest and third-degree assault.
  

NIC offers summer outdoor clinics at ‘the beach’

OUTDOOR SPORTS — Learn the basics of great outdoor activities this summer — sailing, kayaking, climbing, and stand-up paddleboarding—  in reasonably priced skills clinics organized by Outdoor Pursuits of North Idaho College.

The clinics are being offered all summer at the NIC Beach on Lake Coeur d'Alene. Cool!

For a list of all the clinics, dates and registration info:  Outdoor Pursuits registration: (208) 769-7809

Sandpoint readies for CHaFe 150 and 80 mile rides June 2

BICYCLING — A few slots remain open in the June 2 CHaFE 150 bicycle event ride out of Sandpoint.

The 5th annual catered event includes 150- and 80-mile ride options in a Gran Fondo format.

Sign up online.

Read on for details.

Route of the Hiawatha opens Saturday

BICYCLING — The Route of the Hiawatha rail trail near Lookout Pass will be open for the season starting Saturday, says Phil Edholm at Lookout Pass Ski Area.

That's great news for folks planning bicycling outings over the Memorial Day weekend.  Heck, people were skinning up and skiing the slopes in the area last week.

The nationally acclaimed 15-mile rail-trail uses the abandoned Milwaukee Railroad grade between the old town site of Taft, Mont., and the North Fork of the St. Joe River near Avery, Idaho. 

The unpaved route features 10 tunnels and 7 trestles as high as 230 feet within the Loop Creek canyon at the crest of the scenic Bitterroot Mountains. The grade is a gentle 1.6 percent.

Trail passes, shuttle tickets, mountain bike rentals, souvenirs and picnic lunches are available at Lookout Pass Ski Area, just off I-90 at the Idaho/Montana border 12 miles east of Historic Wallace, Idaho. 

Call (208) 744-1301 or visit www.ridethehiawatha.com for trail information. Equipment reservations are recommended. 

The Hiawatha Trail is set to be open daily through Sept. 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

New 20-mile bike path links Jackson to Grand Teton NP

CYCLING — A 20-mile bike path has just been completed offering cyclists a motor-vehicle-free route for safe passage between Jackson, Wyo., and Grand Teton National Park.

Finally, bicyclists can breath easy among the tourists and enjoy the Grand Tetons as they pedal through this popular cycling corridor.

Read the story here.