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Bill to help get kids outside gets hearing in Olympia

OUTDOOR EDUCATION — A Senate committee will hold a hearing today, Feb. 11, at 1:30 p.m. on “No Child Left Inside,” a bipartisan bill (SB 5843) that provides $1.3 million for programs to get kids to away from their screens and back outdoors. 

A media release from the bill’s introduction by Sens. Ranker (D-Orcas Island) and Parlette (R-Wenatchee) note's that Washington’s NCLI has inspired federal legislation of the same name. 

Scheduled to testify at today's hearing are:

  • Oak Rankin of Darrington, whose community was devastated by the Oso landslide in 2014. This bill would enable funding for programs such as the Darrington Youth Outdoor STEM Pilot Project  which helps students learn about local natural resources.
  • Joshua Brandon, a veteran and program manager for Project Cohort, a program designed to support veterans’ mental health, in part through outdoor activities. The legislation’s grant program encourages funding for programs that tap veterans for program implementation or administration.
  • Courtney Aber who heads up YMCA’s BOLD & GOLD programs (Boys Outdoor Leadership Development & Girls Outdoor Leadership Development)
  • Martin LeBlanc of IslandWood, the Bainbridge Island-based outdoor education organization
  • Marc Berejka from REI

Birding, fly fishing programs presented this week

 OUTGROUPS – Inland Northwest outdoors groups have drummed up some good stuff for their monthly free programs. Among this week’s offerings are:

• Trans-America touring and local bicycling programs will be discussed by three speakers, 6:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 10, at Riverview Retirement Center, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave., for Spokane Bicycle Club.

• Climate change impacts on Palouse Praire ecosystems, by Sanford Eigenbrode, professor in the University of Idaho's Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences program, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 11, at Lutheran Church of the Master, 4800 N. Ramsey Road in Coeur d’Alene, for Coeur d’Alene Audubon.

• Fly Auction, anglers donate hand-tied fly patterns for auction to benefit local fishing education and fisheries conservation programs, 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 12, at St. Francis School, 1104 W. Heroy, for Spokane Fly Fishers.

• "Exploring South America — The Bird Continent", by Lucila Castro and Peter Morrison of the Pacific Biodiversity Institute, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 12, at Riverview Retirement Center, for Spokane Audubon.

Outdoor groups revive monthly programs

OUTTEACH  – After a summer hiatus, Inland Northwest outdoors groups are reviving monthly free programs. Among this week’s offerings are:

  • Bicycling Trans-Washington, 6:30 p.m., Monday, at Riverview Retirement Center, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave., for Spokane Bicycle Club.
  • Audubon Adventures, birding and nature activities for kids grades 3-5, by Eula Hickam, 7 p.m., Tuesday, (Sept. 9) at Lutheran Church of the Master, 4800 N. Ramsey Road in Coeur d’Alene, for Coeur d’Alene Audubon.
  • Fishing Local Lakes, by Jeff Voigt, 7 p.m., Wednesday, at St. Francis School, 1104 W. Heroy, for Spokane Fly Fishers.
  • Washington Loons, by Ginger Gumm, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, at Riverview Retirement Center, for Spokane Audubon.

See map and directions to Riverview Retirement Center auditorium, which is  used by several groups for free monthly programs.

Route of the Hiawatha opens to bikes on Saturday

BICYCLING — The Route of The Hiawatha rail-trail near Lookout Pass is set to open for the 2014 summer season on Friday, May 24.

The 15-mile route for mountain biking or hiking follows a portion of the abandoned Milwaukee Railroad on a mostly downhill grade between the old town site of Taft, Mont., (off Interstate 90) and the North Fork of the St. Joe River near Avery, Idaho.

Top attractions include seven trestles towering up to 230 feet over the creeks and forest and 10 tunnels, including the 1.7-mile St. Paul Pass Tunnel  (Taft Tunnel) at the Montana-Idaho border.  

Pedal the route down and back on your own for a 30-miler or ride the downhill route and board a shuttle bus for a lift back to the start.

Trail passes ($6-$10), shuttle bus tickets ($6-$9) and mountain bike rentals ($20-$30) are available at Lookout Pass Ski Area 12 miles east of Wallace.

  • By the way, the bike rentals they provide are GREAT smooth-riding fat-tire bikes, complete with helmets and EXTRA-BRIGHT headlights.  You will be very glad you had the sense to have a VERY BRIGHT headlight for going through the St. Paul Pass Tunnel.  Trust me.

The trail will be open daily, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., through Sept. 28.

KPBX leader can toot his horn in Bike to Work Week

BICYCLING — As a boy, KPBX program director Verne Windham may have had longings to play tuba, but he instinctively knew a French horn would be a more toteable package during Spokane's annual Bike to Work Week.

Good choice, Verne!

The annual event to promote non-polluter two-wheel commuter transportation kicked off this morning with a free pancake breakfast in Riverfront Park provided by Mountain Gear

How many miles will you rack up on a bike instead of a car this week?

  • By the way, the background music for the breakfast provided by Madeline McNeill and her guitar was sensational. If you're looking for an entertainer for a gathering from the South Hill to the concert hall, check this lady out. 

 

Spokane Bike Swap offers prizes, helmets for kids

BICYCLING — The Spokane Bike Swap isn't just the region's best place to buy or sell a bicycle.

The April 12-13 event at Spokane County Fair and Expo center  also offers free helmets to kids who get bike,free prizes to the fist 2,500 people through the door, and more.

  • Bike Consignment Check-In: Friday, April 11, 3-8 p.m.
  • Donate, sell, shop on April 12-13, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
From kids bikes and road bikes to tandems and tri-bikes, great deals await and more than 600 used bikes are expected in the Bike Corral.  
 
Bikes for sale can be registered early online. Details: www.SpokaneBikeSwap.com.
 
Kids bikes are in special demand. Registration fees will be waived on kid’s bikes with 20” rims or smaller and priced $50 or less.
 
The event benefits the non-profit Friends of the Centennial Trail.
In addition to bikes, the event will include more than 50 exhibitors and 10 local bike shops. 

Cyclists rule, briefly, on 49 miles of Yellowstone roads

BICYCLING — This is a premier annual opportunity for cyclists to savor Yellowstone National Park before the RVs hit the road.

Yellowstone Park opens 49 miles of road to bicycles today
Bicyclists can enter Yellowstone National Park's West Entrance and ride 49 miles of highway to Mammoth Hot Springs as road crews continue clearing other park roads for the general opening in late April.

Cyclists can call (307) 344-2107 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays for updated road access information.

Weather info: (307) 344-2113.

Get more details on spring biking in the park here

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. 

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.
  

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.

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

Teens help recover Drew Bledsoe’s bike

Coeur d’Alene police have recovered the stolen $5,000 Santa Cruz mountain bike belonging to former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Coeur d'Alene Police Department photo.

A teenage brother and sister from Coeur d’Alene recovered former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe’s stolen mountain bike.

 The football star’s $5,000 Santa Cruz bike was stolen off his car rack while he was visiting friends with his family in Coeur d’Alene over Labor Day weekend. Now Brandon C. Edgemon, 18, of Coeur d’Alene, (pictured) is in jail on a grand theft charge in the case.

The mystery began unraveling last week.

On Sept. 5, Edgemon rode by a home on the 800 block of North 22nd Street and saw Kelsea Justus, a girl he knew from high school, said her father, Rick Justus. He said Edgemon told the girl that the police were looking for him and he needed a place to store his bike. He asked if he could leave it at her house. She said no, but then she watched him hide the bike behind the house across the street, Rick Justus said, relaying the story told to him by his children.

Read the rest of Alison Bogg's story here.

Past coverage:

Sept. 8: Football star's $5,000 bike stolen in CdA

Centennial Trail affected by Trent Bridge construction

TRAILS — Several construction projects are affecting recreationists traveling the Spokane River Centennial Trail this season.

The newest project involves construction under the Trent Bridge, set to start July 25.

Contractors will be laying ATT cable. Work will be through the week and perhaps into the week of Aug. 1. Trail closures of 2-3 hours are likely at the end of the week of July 25th or the beginning of the week of August 1.

For updates on other construction projects and the Thursday announcement of the membership drive bicycle drawing winner, check out the Friends of the Centennial Trail website.

Last chance: Centennial Trail group offers chance to win bike

TRAILS — Forget the freaking Washington State Lottery. If you want a GOOD chance to win something valuable, join the Friends of the Centennial Trail.

People who become members by Friday (July 15) get their name entered in a drawing to win a Trek 7.2 FX 20-inch bicycle, sponsored by Two Wheel Transit.

It's a nifty bike, and the odds are outrageous.  Only about 60 people have signed up in this campaign.

Check out the details on the Friends' website or call (509) 624-7188.

  • Incidentally, the Friends are worth donations beyond membership. They do great things to help push forward major projects, including proposed overpasses as streets such as Mission Ave.

Northwest Tandem Rally snapshot

BICYCLING — Spokane treated the 600 riders in the Northwest Tandem Rally to sunny weather over the holiday weekend and two days of tandem cycling fun out of the city and into the Palouse.

But as you can see, tandem doesn't always mean a bicycle built for two.

The engineering and craftmanship in modern multi-rider bikes is mind-boggling.

Cops find stolen bike in time for Ironman

Coeur d'Alene police recovered a stolen high-end bike in time for its owner to ride it in the Ironman triathlon on Sunday.

The $3,500 bike was stolen with a $1,000 bicycle near City Beach on Wednesday. About four hours later, a snow blower was reported stolen from the Best Western Inn.

An employee reported a red Chevrolet Corsica without a license plate drive past him earlier that morning with a snow blower on the back. He later realized it belonged to the motel and called police. The Corsica matched the description of the bike thieves' getaway vehicle.

 Police located the snow blower in a pawn shop data base the next day and contacted the seller, Justin C. Luce, 31, (above left) who told officers they could find the stolen Ironman bike at a Pawn One in Spokane.

The bike was returned to its owner in time for the race. Police also located the second bike and notified the owner.

Luce was already wanted on a Spokane County warrant for theft of a motor vehicle. Coeur d'Alene police believe he's responsible for several thefts in Coeur d'Alene and say they're still identifying stolen property.

A second suspect in the bike thefts, Lukas R. Porto, 18, (right) of Coeur d'Alene was arrested Monday and charged with possession of stolen property.

Cyclists rule on Yellowstone roads until April 15

BICYCLING — Bicycle riders have a few weeks to enjoy Yellowstone National Park before it opens to motorized, wheeled vehicles next month.

Crews at Yellowstone are clearing snow off the roads and the park is scheduled to open to motorists on April 15. Until then, bicyclists who are willing to brave the elements can tour the park under their own power.

The road between West Yellowstone, Madison, Norris and Mammoth Hot Springs will be open to bicycle travel for the next three weeks. Park officials say the northwest section of Yellowstone typically receives less snowfall than the rest of the park. There is no spring season bicycle-only access to Old Faithful or Canyon.

Riders must be prepared to encounter bears and other wildlife and should expect winter weather conditions.

Learn to take care of your bike

CYCLING — A free session in bicycle maintenance basics will be offered Thursday, 7 p.m.,at the Spokane REI store.

The session will demystify important highlights from removing the tire and fixing a flat to keeping the drive train clean and functioning correctly.

Pre-register to reserve a seat.

Bicycling Seattle mayor has bike stolen

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle's bicycling mayor has had some explaining to do — to his wife about why her bike got swiped after he borrowed it to ride to work.

Seattlepi.com says Mayor Mike McGinn sent a message on Twitter late Wednesday about Peggy Lynch's wheels.

He says in a tweet: "I know I've been encouraging people to ride bikes more, but I didn't mean u could 'borrow' my wife's bike w/o asking."

McGinn, a former Sierra Club leader, frequently commutes by bike and often rides to events and meetings. He's a strong advocate of making Seattle more friendly to cycles and pedestrians.

McGinn's spokesman says the mayor borrowed his wife's bike because he recently donated his own to a charity. It was taken from a city garage.

Another Green Monday

The presidency of Barack Obama is off and running and it was made brutally clear this week that despite recent emotions and energy of unity and hope that we are still a much divided nation.  DTE is only hoping that partisan politics will be able to take a back seat to much needed reform and focus in order to see us through these hard times.  So while our bank accounts might not be growing like we would have hoped - you can always count on something growing.  Here are some stories you might have missed this week.

Bicyclists, speak up.  The City of Spokane Plan Commission is set to make a decision on the city’s Master Bike Plan and they are meeting on February 11 to decide.  Fortunately they have decided to hold the paper record open unti February 6, which means you have until Friday to submit you input (but it has to be there before Friday, not postmarked by Friday).  What is it like for you out there?  What would you like to see Spokane do to promote bicycling and alternative transportation.  Speak now or forever hold you peace (not true, read the Constitution) but seriously - use this opportunity!  If you’re interested, send or bring your letters to:
Pat Hall
Planning Services Department
808 West Spokane Falls Blvd
Spokane, WA 99201


Understanding the science behind sustainability. 
Times are tough in higher education with many local universities cutting programs to save money, but at the University of Idaho, a fascinating new course titled Environmental Psychology is promoting the kind of forward thinking that DTE thinks will help our country focus on a more sustainable future.  The course covers three primary areas: “built environments, or the ways in which buildings change the thoughts, feeling and behaviors of individuals; conservation efforts and attitudes toward sustainability; and understanding how populations respond to crowds, the natural world, and build demographically diverse, fiscally and environmentally sustainable communities.”  “Understanding why people choose to engage in some behaviors rather than others can allow for the creation of programs that promote sustainability even in its broadest senses,” said Traci Craig, associate professor of psychology.  Read more of the U of Idaho press release HERE.

In other University of Idaho news, two U of Idaho scientists are working on refining and improving the quality of climate change maps given the importance of policy decisions related to climate change.  “Given the urgent challenges created by climate change and the importance of maps in climate change research and policy making, the role of map design deserves attention,” said one of the scientists.  Read more of the U of Idaho  press release HERE.