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Rider takes bicycling to incredible heights

BICYCLING — So you think you know how to ride a bicycle?  Think again.

Be sure to watch this Martyn Ashton film to the end to see some of what it takes to be this good.

  • Meanwhile, you don't have to be this good to partake in Spokane's Bike to Work Week. Check out the website with details. The kickoff free breakfast is tomorrow morning, May 12, at Riverfront Park.

North Cascades Highway almost cleared, but for now it’s for bikes

BICYCLING — Bicyclsts are the first to get access to bare pavement on the North Cascades Highway west of Winthrop each spring as snow plows clear Highway 20 for the summer season.

The road crews are over Washington Pass and the road could be cleared in days. But over the weekend, cyclists were having a ball, reports the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association.

TransAm bicycle touring rides in the family

CYCLING — Pedaling a bicycle across the United States is the equivalent of a graduate degree in American Studies, only you'll be in better shape than when you started.

I made the journey in 1976 betwixt college and career (left), and on Monday my daughter, Hillary, at the same age, finished her TransAm trip 37 years later.

My favorite youngest daughter and her cycling partner Katy Howell reached St. Augustine, Fla., completing the Adventure Cycling Association's Southern Tier Route across the USA. Hillary started riding in September from San Francisco to San Diego, and then eastward through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Whahoo!

I told her it was going to be cold when she returns to Spokane at the end of the week. She said she'd wear wool socks under her Chacos.

My main word of advice to Hillary before she departed was to focus on the people, not on making the miles.  She and Katy excelled at meeting people.  They have a trail of friends now.

Following is Hillary's first look back at her travels in a post after reaching the Atlantic:

After 2 months and over 3,000 miles of blood, sweat, and gears (and tears!), I finally made it to the Atlantic Coast on my bicicleta! It has been a truly profound experience - traveling with only women in a part of the US that is so different from my Washingtonian bubble of a reality that it felt like a completely different country. I never ceased to be blown away by the incredible hospitality we encountered… countless people who accepted us as complete strangers into their homes… who provided us with the luxuries of a warm shower, a fresh,fluffy towel, or a home-cooked meal. The guardian angels who warned us of sketchy towns to avoid or gave us a lift when we got lost and ended up on gravel roads. Although many warned us of the crazies that were out to get us, we encountered only nice and gracious people. This journey has made me deeply appreciate my life and the freedoms I have - the freedom to travel, to be educated, to ultimately leave my home town and see a different state, or 8… Or the whole world! The access to fresh, local food… Access to recycling and composting and environmental awareness. But most of all, a self-confidence that I couldn't have acquired any other way. A belief in myself, and a belief in humanity… That humans are innately good. Thanks to all of you who helped me fulfill my dream. But now, I am looking forward to having more than 4 pairs of underwear! 

August features bicycling events, but September is top month

BICYCLING —  Hundreds of cyclists are resting their legs this week after Saturday’s Eight Lakes Leg Aches ride west of Spokane. But there’s plenty of events remaining in August, such as:

Le Tour de Koocanusa on Aug. 10 out of Libby, Tour de Lentil metric century on Aug. 17 out of Pullman, White Pine Pedal Mettle on Aug. 17 out of St. Maries, and the Conquer Schweitzer hill climb on Aug. 18.

However, SEPTEMBER is jam-packed with cycling events, including some of the best of the season, such as SpokeFest and the Coeur de Fondo.

See details on these and dozens of other rides through October in The Spokesman-Review’s 2013 Northwest Bicycling Events Expanded List.

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.

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.

Ever heard of this event?


Be sure to note that this is last year's poster. The 2012 dates are July 18-22.