Latest from The Spokesman-Review
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.
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.”
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.
Here's a rundown on some of the recent outdoors stories in The Spokesman-Review:
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some of the top outdoors stories published recently in The Spokesman-Review:
I was so excited to see Spokane getting some statewide representation when the Bicycle Alliance of Washington hired Barb Chamberlain as their Executive Director last summer. Founded in 1987, the statewide bicycle advocacy organization works to grow bicycling and to create complete and healthy streets through education, developing more inclusive communities for cycling, building a coalition of organizations, and seeking to make bicycling accessible to everyone. A perfect fit for Chamberlain, many of us were sad to see her go but knew this was an amazing opportunity.
Comcast Newsmakers checks in with her about her work. It's brief but I'm excited about the shout out to the US Bicycle Route System.
Sabrina: Bicycle Alliance–tell us about the group.
Barb: We were founded 25 years ago growing out of local bike advocates who said we need a statewide bike advocacy organization–a nonprofit that’s focused on helping grow bicycling, pass public policy that makes this state a better place to ride, an organization that would do education and outreach–really around the state–and we’ve been doing that for 25 years very successfully.
Sabrina: Twenty-five years, quarter of a century–congratulations! So it sounds like the organization has grown and even evolved some since its beginning.
Barb: Definitely. One of the things we point to as an accomplishment of the last 25 years is we have been the organization leading legislation that improves the state for bicycling. We’ve led the majority of legislation passed in the last 25 years. So that’s everything from adding those questions you have to answer on your driver’s license exam about bike law to making sure that when a kid goes through drivers’ ed bike safety is part of that curriculum so as drivers and riders interact we all know the laws.
Watch the interview after the jump.
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.
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.
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.
By now, I'm sure you've seen the Spokane Party Trolley. This 16-person bike is available to rent for people that want to hop around town, offering a safe, eco-friendly alternative. It's also really fun. According to KREM, owner Nina Kindem said when she opened the business last month, she thought she just needed a limousine license and a sober driver. Plus, a banquet license for passengers to drink on board. Not so much anymore- no more open containers are allowed.
“Because this is an undefined business that has not been done anywhere in Spokane before, it makes it difficult for them to know where to direct me,” Kindem told KREM.
Never has the adage, "if you build it, they will come," rang more true.
But when The Iron Bridge across the Spokane River was first completed in 1911 by the Oregon & Washington Railroad and Navigation Company, I bet they never planned on seeing what it would be come nearly a century later.
The bridge orginally serviced mining areas in Silvery Valley, Idaho and the northern Bitterroot Mountains of Montana before closing in 1973 to make way for the 1974 Spokane World's Fair. Fast forward twenty years later when a growing collection of local community members, business owners and advocates began concepts and then worked with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) to re-open the historical railroad bridge
Now, it has a new life - it's open for pedestrians and bicyclists. You can join Spokane Mayor David Condon, Council Members Mike Fagan and Jon Snyder, representatives from Friends of the Centennial Trail, the Flying Irish Running Club, and the Logan and Chief Garry Park neighborhoods for a completion ceremony on the west end of the newly renovated Iron Bridge off of Superior St., tonight at 6 p.m. (Then go to this!)
“Restoring the Iron Bridge was a significant project for our community,” says Mayor David Condon. “This project provides a critical link for cyclists and pedestrians and adds to our outdoor recreational amenities.”
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.
Warning: There's some language here that wouldn't make it into the print SR.
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.
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.
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.
A Lilac City Crit Expo is being organized for the sidelines of the course.
To reserve a space at the expo, contact Aaron Edwards
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.
This is a pretty impressive list. The City of Spokane Valley has numerous Bike and Pedestrian Capital Improvements they're working on for 2012 they would like you to know about. It's nice to see their Bike and Pedestrian Program implemented and here's the rundown of projects:
Sprague Avenue Reconstruction - This project will reconstruct the existing pavement section and modify the striping to provide a wide shoulder lane to accommodate bicyclists. The Adams Rd traffic signal will be replaced and include pedestrian countdown timer displays, accessible push buttons, and bicycle detection loops.
Evergreen Road Rehabilitation - This project will take advantage of a water line replacement project by VERA Water & Power to grind and inlay Evergreen Road from 16th to 24th and reconstruct Evergreen from 24th to 32nd Avenue. Enhancements to sidewalks and striping for bike lanes will be completed as part of the project.
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.
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.
BICYCLING – The orgnaizers of SpokeFest, the annual September bicycle celebration that branches out from downtown Spokane, are offering an early sign-up incentive:
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.
What's the hardest paved-streets hill within the city limits of Spokane?
What would a cyclist-hating Spokane motorist yell at these lads?
The correct answer? How about "Move over once, move over twice"?
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."
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.
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.
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
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.
Read on for details.
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.