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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.

On the eve of National Bike Month

Maybe it would be helpful if we could all agree on a couple of things.

Some cyclists are asses.

So are some of cycling's critics. 

Leadman Triathlon to descend on Silver Mountain

OUTDOOR COMPETITION — The 8th annual Leadman Triathlon will launch high on Silver Mountain on Saturday for a 13.4 mile triathlon down \and dirty race to Kellogg.

Athletes will start in five different heats, beginning on top of Kellogg peak at 11 a.m., descending 4,000 vertical feet to the finish line at Silver Mountain’s Gondola Village.

The race starts with a 50 yard sprint to the skis or board followed by a 1.2 mile high-speed slide to the bike transition near the midpoint of Chair 4.

Racers then start a 7.5 mile slush and mud downhill bike ride to uptown Kellogg. From there, it’s a 4.7 mile run through Galena Ridge to the finish under the Red Bull arch at the Silver Mountain parking lot.

“The best places to view the action are the ski to bike transition on the mountain, the bike to run transition point at Market and Main Street and the finish line,” says Karey Scholey, Event Director. “The first finishers will cross the finish line around 11:45.”

Info: (208) 783-1507.

The Silver Mountain Ski area will be open on Saturday (April 28), 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Rivers swollen so big even bikers are affected

RIVERS — Rivers around the region filled with runoff to flood stage on Saturday.  The water got so high, even mountain bikers were impacted in Riverside State Park.

The photo was snapped Saturday by Spokane cyclist Daniel DeRuyter. He posed his bike where the rapidly rising Spokane River had inundated the trail in the Little Vietnam area on the south side of the river just downstream from the Bowl and Pitcher.

Said DeRuyter, “The alarming thing about this photo is that when I grabbed my bike to leave, the water had risen in level to touch my tires! Yikes.”

Just for the record

It's possible to consider yourself a bicyclist and not enjoy beer that tastes like aspirin-flavored liquid tar.

There seems to be some confusion about this. So I wanted to clear it up.

STP still hot on cyclists’s summer tour list

 

CYCLING — The 200-mile Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic — which can be done in one or two days — shows no signs of declining in popularity.

STP, the Northwest's largest multi-day cycling event, capped at 10,000 riders, filled it's quota on Feb. 21 this year — a full month earlier than in 2011.

The event was founded 32 years ago and is organized like a well-tuned machine by the Cascade Bicycle Club.

Who rode STP in 2011?

  • 10,000 riders
  • Oldest rider: 85
  • 18% first-time riders
  • 100 safety and medical riders
  • 30 Ride Referees
  • 228 riders who have participated in 10+ STPs
  • One rider who has ridden them all: Jerry Baker!
  • Riders came from 42 states plus Canada (Alberta, B.C. & Ontario) and England.

Idaho Legislature kills bills aimed at cyclists, ATV hunters

Two bills of interest to outdoor recreationists have died in the Idaho Legislature.

  • Legislation that would have taken away the authority of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to regulate hunting with ATVs died in the state Senate on a 20-15 vote. See the story here.
  •  
  • Idaho state Rep. Roy Lacey's H.586 would have required motorists to give bicyclists a three-foot safety zone when passing them on the roadway. See the story here.

Bicycle ‘Ride Around Washington’ coming to Palouse

BICYCLING — RAW — the popular Ride Around Washington organized by the Cascade Bicycle Club — is focusing its 2012 on the region from Chewelah south through Spokane and around the Palouse. 

The seven-day, 400-mile supported bike tour isn't until Aug. 4-10, but it's already 92 percent SOLD OUT.

Download the 2012 RAW Ride Guide for a detailed description.

  • The guide is a masterpiece of organization, with checklists worth reading for any bicycle tours.

Online-only registration for RAW opened on January 10, 2012.  It was 92 percent sold out on March 27. 

Cyclists may join the Cascade Bicycle Club when registering for the event or in advance by visiting the membership page.

Mount Rainier ultra bike ride registration deadline looms

CYCLING — RAMROD, the grueling Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day, isn't until July 26, but Saturday (March 31) is the deadline to register for the lottery drawing to get in to one of the region's premier thigh-busting bicycling events.

Sponsored by the Redmond Cycling Club, RAMROD is a challenging ultra-ride of 152 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing.  The nature of the ride, with three major climbs and a route through Mount Rainier National Park, requires the club to limit the event to 800 cyclists.

Applications are accepted through March 31 for the lottery to determine participants.

Cost: $105.

Drawing is April 12.

Cyclists rule in Yellowstone Park this week

BICYCLING —  Here’s another sign of springtime in Yellowstone National Park: Portions of the park have opened to bicycling.

The park has closed to snowmobiles for the winter but has yet to open to motorized vehicles for the summer.

In the meantime, bicyclists can travel between West Yellowstone, Madison, Norris and Mammoth Hot Springs, although not to Old Faithful or Canyon.

Park officials say bicyclists should be well prepared for weather that can quickly change to severe snow, ice and cold. Potentially dangerous animals including bison and grizzly bears are out and about and no services are available.

Yellowstone officials say anybody bicycling in Yellowstone this time of year should be ready to endure winter conditions for an extended period and be able to rescue themselves if necessary.

Spokane Bike Swap sets up at fairgrounds

BICYCLING — The Spokane Bike Swap is taking shape at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. Bike vendors are setting up and sellers can bring bikes in until 8 p.m.

Shop for bikes Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m.-noon.

Admission: $5 per person, free for 12 and under.

Ban on two-abreast bicycling debated by Idaho Legislature

CYCLING — The mantra of less government control in Idaho apparently doesn't apply to bicyclists.

An Idaho representative wants to forbid bicyclists from riding two abreast as part of a bike-safety measure that would also require drivers to maintain a three-foot distance from cyclists when passing.

The Spokesman-Review reported that Rep. Marv Hagedorn of Meridian suggested adding the two-abreast ban to the bill before it was sent to the House for amendments on an 8-4 vote.

Its sponsor, Rep. Roy Lacey of Pocatello, hopes to make it safer for non-motorized transportation on Idaho’s roadways.

Lacey’s measure also covers pedestrians, joggers, wheelchairs and horses.

Not everybody was supportive.

House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke cited an existing law requiring motorists to exercise due care when passing.

But Kurt Holzer, a Boise attorney and cyclist, says this bill helps define just what “due care” means.

What’s your image of a road cyclist?

BICYCLING — March means bicyclists soon will be blooming in profusion.  Here's an instructive poster to check out from Big Thigh Country.

Program: Hike, bike and paddle in China, Turkey

 ADVENTURING — Spokane Mountaineer Connie Connelly is set to share highlights of recent far-flung outdoor trips in a free slide show program tonight.

Follow Connelly biking the rice paddies of Southern China and hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking Turkey.

The program starts 7 p.m. at the Mountain Gear Corporate Headquarters, 6011 E. Mansfield (go north on Fancher Road from Trent and turn right just before the tracks).

Video: Bicycling as though gravity isn’t a factor

CYCLING — All this snow-free winter weather and the bare roads have turned my thoughts occasionally to bicycling.

However, this video suggests I have a long way to go before learning everything about riding a ROAD bike.

Spokane’s Mountain Gear easy on environment

CONSERVATION — Backpacker magazine and SNEWS named Spokane-based Mountain Gear the Sustainable Retailer of the Year at the recent 2012 Winter Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City.

The annual award honors outdoor retailers that stand out as leaders for the industry and the communities they serve.

 “This award recognizes the efforts of our entire team to be a sustainable organization and to continually learn and try new ways to reduce our footprint,” said Paul Fish, company president.

The S-R has reported for years on Mountain Gear's environmental activities. Among the stories:

The award givers at the recent Outdoor Retailer show also were impressed with Mountain Gear’s corporate headquarters (see map), an old warehouse renovated with skylights, energy management systems and drought-tolerant landscaping irrigated with collected rainwater.

Recycled materials, low-flow plumbing, waterless urinals and energy-efficient lighting were added. Incentives for employees to commute efficiently or bike to work top it all off.

Paddling, cycling programs presented by local adventurers

OUTDOOR TRAVEL — I'm having a difficult time deciding which of these free programs I'll check out on Monday evening:

 Bicycling under the Midnight Sun on Norway’s Lofoten Islands, program by Chuck and Wendy Huber for the Spokane Mountaineers, Monday, 7 p.m. at Mountain Gear Corporate Headquarters, 6021 E. Mansfield.

Canoeing the South Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories, a video look back at an epic 360-mile club trip in one of North America’s more remote waterways, by Dick and Kathy Spencer for the Spokane Canoe and Kayak Club, 7 p.m., at Corbin Community Center, 827 W. Cleveland.

Profiling

Here's my theory about why you never see the police cite those flouting the ordinance prohibiting bike riding on sidewalks in downtown Spokane.

Sure, the cops are busy with other things. But I think the real reason they don't spend time on this is the fact that they know not one of the offenders would or could pay a fine.

To be fair, many of these law-breakers might not be aware that they are in violation of the municipal code. I say that because I would further speculate that many of them couldn't name the president of the United States.  

Bike glove turn-signal invented for cyclists

CYCLING — An Oregon man is using the latest LED technology to develop a turn signal glove to give bicyclists, and those behind them, a safer and more visible way to turn, especially in low-light situations.

 Jack O'Neal, an Afghanistan war veteranmechanical engineering at Portland State University, is in the early stages of developing the product

There's no development and manfacturing deal — yet — but he's selling a $90 “field testing” model via email

Last call: Hiawatha Trail closing for season Sunday

RAIL TRAILS – The popular Route of the Hiawatha Trail rail trail near Lookout Pass is scheduled to close for the season on Sunday, (Oct. 2).