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Life after SpokeFest: What’s your next ride?

BICYCLING — The 8th annual SpokeFest starting from downtown Spokane on Sunday was another huge success on the progression of cycling as a mainstream activity around the area, with 1,650 riders pedaling the 50-mile, 21-mile, 9-mile or 1-mile courses.

But SpokeFest is just the beginning of a great late-summer and fall schedule of organized rides detailed in The S-R's 2015 Northwest Bicycling Events Calendar.

Seven top picks from a busy field of upcoming bicycling events options are:

Kidical Massive, Sept. 19: Safe Spokane bike ride for kids on 3-mile, vehicle-free course starting and ending at Kendall Yards with activities; part of a global event that puts kids on bikes all over the world. 1 p.m. Free.

Blazing Saddles Bike Ride, Sept. 19: Combines 20, 40, 65 and 100-mile cycling routes out of Colville, Wash., with the Northwest International Chili Cook-Off and beer garden. Sponsored by Rotary Club. $60-$70. (kids under 10 free), includes t-shirt and entry to chili festival.

RIM Ride, Sept. 19-20: Rotary In Motion Family Fun Ride based from Liberty Lake, Wash., starts with 5 mile family ride on Saturday, then 15, 25, 50 or 100 miles rides on Sunday finishing with lunch and beer garden. $15-$60.

Rotary Rivers & Ridges Ride, Sept. 26: Ride 15, 50 or 100 miles from Clarkston, Wash., area, with a Riverfest event. $20-$50.

Coeur d’Fondo, Sept. 26: The 4th annual Gran Fondo style timed event begins and ends in Coeur d’Alene with competitive and non-competitive options. Choice of five distances: 15, 37, 47, 84 or 108 miles. Riders end with entry to Oktoberfest. Course features Lake Coeur d’Alene and Idaho’s Highway 97 Scenic Byway through Harrison and St. Maries. Shorter ride participants board a partyboat back to Coeur d’Alene from Harrison (Riders on new 47-mile ride board boat to start at Harrison). Sponsored by Idaho Centennial Trail Foundation. $15 for family ride, $85 for others.

Centennial Trail Family Bike Ride, Sept. 27: Family bike tour on the Centennial Trail starting at noon with other festivities at Mirabeau Point Park. Choice of 6.8-, 8.8- and 15.6-mile routes. $15 or $5 for kids under 11.

Tour de Rock Mountain Bike Ride & Rough Ride, Oct. 3: At 49 Degrees North Mountain Resort. Choose from at least three ride, including a fun mountain bike ride at resort or challenging climb starting in Chewelah and gaining 4,000 feet of elevation on a variety of surfaces. Benefits 49 Degrees North Winter Sports Foundation. Info: (509) 937-4922 or nordic@ski49n.com.

By the way…

The multi-day WaCanId Ride started Monday and will continue through the week.  Riders with foresight who signed up in advance will enjoy a unique ride that samples two countries including two states and southern British Columbia.

The six-day tour follows the International Selkirk Loop, a 350 mile route through Washington, Canada and Idaho.

The ride starts in Sandpoint with the group of riders from across the U.S. and Canada traveling the loop clockwise, averaging 70 miles a day. The tour includes stops in Ione, Trail, Nelson (including a layover day), and then Creston before finishing in Sandpoint on Saturday.

Snooze and lose on region’s most popular 2015 cycling events

CYCLING — Bicyclists can relax until spring before planning most of their 2015 cycling season, with help from The Spokesman-Review's 2015 Northwest Bicycling Events Calendar.

But the following popular winter, spring and summer rides come and go, or in a few cases, came and went, before you knew it. They're popularity causes them to sell out so quickly you have to be planning or making your application in February.

Act now on rides that still have openings.

Chilly Hilly: Feb. 22, COMPLETED, traditionally the region’s first notable cycling events of the season. The 42nd annual event starts with an early-morning ferry ride from Seattle before unleashing cyclists on a 33-mile route around Bainbridge Island that bags 2,675 feet of cumulative elevation. Put it on your list to start the 2016 season. Organized by the Cascade Bicycle Club; cascade.org.

STOKR: Scenic Tour of the Kootenai River, May 9-10, SOLD OUT, has ride-length options ranging from 37 to 98 miles each day along the Kootenai River and Lake Koocanusa out of Libby, Mont., to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Registration open Feb. 14-28 for the lottery drawing to select 450 riders; libbymt.com/events.

Mazama Ride, June 20-21: SOLD OUT, runs 75 miles each day on North Cascades Highway from Marblemount to Mazama for the overnight and back, by Redmond Cycling Club. $145-$195; redmondcyclingclub.org.

RATPOD: Ride Around the Pioneers in One Day, June 27, STILL OPEN, the 14th annual one-day, 130-mile ride from Dillon, Mont., through the Big Hole Valley of southwestern Montana, along wilderness areas and above the Big Hole River, fundraiser to benefit Camp Mak-A-Dream. Online registration opened March 3 and will continue until cap of 650 riders is reached; ratpod.org.

STP: Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, July 11-12, SOLD OUT BUT OPTIONS POSSIBLE, the largest multiday bicycle event in the Northwest, has riders pedaling 200 miles from Seattle to Portland in one or two days. Registration opened in January Cascade Bicycle Club members; and in February for nonmembers. The 10,000-rider limit has been reached in February in the past, but it sold out this year on March 8. Check website on June 1 for possible reopening of registration to fill refunded spaces; cascade.org.

RAMROD: July 30, LOTTERY ENTRY CLOSES MARCH 31. Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day, a premiere one-day ultra-marathon cycling event by the Redmond Cycling Club, 10,000 feet of climbing in 168 miles. $95; redmondcyclingclub.org.

RSVP2:  Aug. 15-16, STILL OPEN, Cascade Bicycle Club ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party, 106 miles on day 1 and 82 miles on day 2 into Canada. Return by chartered bus. The RSVP1 leaves a day earlier, but is already sold out. $150; cascade.org.

Cycle Oregon: Sept. 12-19, STILL OPEN, billed as “the best bike ride in America,” the ultra-supported tour moves to a different route each year supported by local communities. A spin-off weekend event is set for July 10-12. The 2015 routes will be in the Hells Canyon-Wallowas area. Fills quickly; cycleoregon.com.

WaCanId Ride: Sept. 14-19, STILL OPEN, the annual international tour on paved roads encircling the Selkirk Mountains of Washington, Canada and Idaho. The six-day event covers 350 miles, North America’s longest free ferry ride and includes sag support and the services of seven Rotary Clubs. Space limited; (888) 823-2626, www.wacanid.org.

Fat-biking event to celebrate Ground Hog Day

WINTER SPORTS — The region's first bicycling event of the year will bring out fat bikes to celebrate Groundhog Day at St. Maries, Idaho.

The Groundhog Day Fat Bike Festival is technically called Murmelteirtagfettfahrradsfest, which the organizers enjoy pointing out is a German-named ride on an American holiday at a Mexican restaurant.

Here are the details:

What: A Fat Bike Cross Country Ride at the Christmas Hills Recreation Area trail system. 

When: Starting at noon on Sunday, Feb. 2.

Distance: Around 15 miles of snow-groomed trails with optional technical adventures.

Why: To celebrate the time-honored tradition of using an over-sized rodent to predict the coming of Spring.  Also, to throw a party after being cold and wet for four months.

Where:  Start and finish at St. Maries Golf Course/Casa de Oro parking lot, 900 Golf Course Rd. in St. Maries.

Cost:   $5 donation requested for mid-ride snacks and gas for the groomer. Sign up day of event. Any extra cash will be donated to the St. Maries Masonic Lodge Restoration Fund.

Says organizer Tom Miller: "The Christmas Hill trail system is multi-use and is open year-round for everyone to enjoy.  Come to St. Maries and give it a spin before the ride." 

For current trail information or questions, contact Tom Miller at The Bike Shop at Hughes Ace,  (208) 245-6544 email tommillermn@hotmail.com.

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

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.

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.