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Bicycle Alliance’s Barb Chamberlain chats with Comcast Newsmakers

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.

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.

Spokane Party Trolley vs Liquor Control Board

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.

Ceremony for Iron Bridge tonight

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.”

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.

Spokane Valley announces upcoming bike/ped improvements

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.

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.

Fat Tire riders show film to boost local trails

MOUNTAIN BIKING — The Spokane Fat Tire Trail Riders Club is showing of the new Anthills feature film Strength In Numbers as a fundraiser for local trail projects.

Check it out May 25 The film at Spokane Falls Community Colleges SUB Lounge. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; show starts at 7:15. Tickets available online in advance,$12 (w/service fee) or $14 at the door.
  

Ride of Silence mourns downed cyclists

BICYCLING — Ride of Silence, a global moment of solidarity, is bringing bicyclists together tonight for the 10th annual informal ride to commemorate cyclists who have been killed in accidents involving motor vehicles.

In Spokane, riders will meet 6 p.m. at Riverfront Park between the fountain and runner sculptures. The route is a loop that involves part of downtown.

Info: Craig Hofmeister at cdhofmeister@roadrunner.com

Smart Cycling classes set in Spokane aren’t kid stuff

BICYCLING – We learn to bicycle when we’re young. No license is required. But it’s not just kid stuff, as you can learn in one of the League of American Bicyclists’ classes being offered in Spokane.

As Spokane cyclist Cindy Green put it, “Even after 4,000 miles of bike touring and three years of bike commuting in Washington, D.C., I learned so much in this class I became an instructor.”

She’s referring to the “Smart Cycling: Traffic Skills 101” class taught for years in this region by local cycling guru Eileen Hyatt. Green and Erika Henry of Spokane Regional Health District will be teaching the classes in addition to Hyatt this year.

Sign up online: Choose “Spokane Bicycle Traffic Skills” and select your class dates.

The eight-hour class – spread over two or three days in severa sessions being offered — gives cyclists the confidence they need to ride safely, and legally, on streets, Hyatt said.

Learn principles of riding with traffic, predicting and avoiding motorist errors, bike handling skills, basic bicycle maintenance and essential gear.  

The class is recommended for adults and children above age 15. Students 15-17 must have a parent present. One of the sesson is for women only.

Cost: just $10, thanks to a $40 scholarship offered to each participant this year from a grant through the City of Spokane.

Class dates:

  • May 15 and 21;
  • May 30, June 6 and 13 (for women only);
  • June 5 and 9;
  • June 21 and 23.

Questions: contact SpokaneBikeBuddy@aol.comor cyclesafely@gmail.com.

 

Bike to Work Week is May 20-26 in Spokane.  Sign up here to log your miles and be involved in the free start-off breakfast and the wrap-up party.