Latest from The Spokesman-Review
MOUNTAIN BIKING — Riders from across the Northwest are planning to meet on the Kettle Crest Trail Aug. 10-14 to mix trail work with single-track pedaling on the Kettle Crest trail system in northeastern Washington.
“One day is reserved for trail work (under the direction of the Forest Service and experienced trail crew leaders) in order to leave the trails in better shape,” said Peter Jantz, president of the Spokane-based Fat Tire Trail Riders Club.
The event is sponsored by Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, Fat Tire Trail Riders, the US Forest Service and New Belgium Beer. For more info, visit the Fat Tire Trail Riders website.
The Kettle Crest Trail and its connectors offer incredible views and top-notch singletrack in a sub-alpine setting.
Portions of the Colville National Forest along the trail have been proposed for wilderness, which could preclude the use of bicycles.
A meeting in Spokane tonight will present information about the forest plan revision and effective ways to comment on the proposals
TRAILS – A trail that plummets down from the summit of Mount Spokane has been closed for re-routing and erosion control.
Steve Christensen, state park manager, said Trail 135 is especially popular with mountain bikers, but it’s poorly designed and seriously eroding.
Plans to re-route the trail will make it safer, he said, but the bulk of the work may not get underway until September. The new version of the trail will be renumbered 140 and connect with another reconstructed trail that descends to the Mount Kit Carson Lower Loop Road trailhead.
Another priority project, Christensen said, is widening the nordic skiing trails to accommodate a larger groomer the state park may be able to purchase.
TRAILS — Is Spokane’s High Drive Bluff festooned with native plants or plagued by weeds?
Author and naturalist Jack Nisbet along with WSU scientist Diana Roberts will lead a hike along the bluff trails on Wednesday to help trail fans understand the vegetation.
The event starts at 7 p.m. at Polly Judd Park,1732 W. 14th Ave.
Wear clothes and shoes suitable for a hike on the trails. This workshop is not designed for young children or dogs.
Info: Diana Roberts, WSU Spokane County Extension, (509) 477-2167, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MOUNTAIN BIKING — A fat tire event with tours for riders of all levels will debut Saturday at Fourth of July Pass trail system.
Proceeds will be used by the new Lake City Trailbuilder's Association, which is working with area land managers to develop and improve trails, said Kent Eggleston. This new association focuses on mountain bike trails but works with all user groups.
“Judging from the interest we've received, we're expecting 100 to 150 riders,” said Cully Todd of Bicycle Sales and Service in Coeur d'Alene, (208) 667-8969.
Riders can find just the right amount of challenge for their style, he said, noting that the course combines the Fourth of July Pass nordic ski area on the south side of I-90 and the ATV trail system on the north side.
The 35 and 50 mile rides with be on the ATV trails, where there's some pretty good ups and downs,” Todd said. “The 10 and 17 milers will be on the cross-country trails, which are tamer by comparison; more entry level.”
Click here for details and online registration.
Click here for course maps.
TRAILS — Never leave a purse, wallet or valuables in sight in a car seat while parked at a trailhead, whether it's along the Centennial Trail or at the edge of a wilderness.
The latest reminder occured Monday around 10 a.m. when a vehicle parked on High Drive near 37th Avenue was struck by a thief while the driver was hiking the South Hill bluff trails.
The thief, apparently attracted by a purse left in the vehicle's seat, broke the window in full view of a residential area and fairly busy city street, grabbed the prize and was off.
TRAILS — With more than 23 miles of trails to maintain on the South Hill bluff trail system below High Drive, a group is organizing to do the job right.
Join them Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon, for a practical clinic on how to protect trails from erosion.
The group will work on an intersection that is eroding back to its “natural” angle of slope.
Mike Brixey will teach how to deal with these situations, which are common on the bluff trails.
Meet at the High Drive trailhead 20 yards south of Bernard. Wear work gear and bring sturdy tools!
Hikers and mountain bikers are all welcome to participate.
Info: Diana Roberts 477-2167, Email: email@example.com
SOUT HILL BLUFF TRAILS — Hikers and bikers can learn the theory and application of effective trail building and trail maintenance in a free clinic TONIGHT on the South Hill.
Mike Brixey, who's trained with the International Mountain Bike Association, will make the presentation starting at 6 p.m. at Polly Judd Park, 1732 W. 14th Ave.
The South Hill bluff trail system also will be discussed, and a volunteer trail maintenance group may be organized.
Bring a folding chair and, if you wish, a picnic dinner.
Small children and dogs are discouraged.
A follow-up practical trail building session will be scheduled next week on the bluff trails below High Drive.
Info: Diana Roberts, WSU Spokane County Extension, (509) 477-2167, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MOUNTAIN RESORTS — Schweitzer Mountain Resort will open its summer season on Saturday with food, outdoor games and activities, food, live music and FREE chair lift rides.
Normally, hikers and mountain bikers would take advantage of this summer-opening special in conditions you might expect in the top photo.
But this year the resort's upper slopes are still covered with snow patches and the biking trails are snow-clogged or muddy, as you can see from the photo at left, snapped Tuesday by Sean Briggs, showing the resort's outdoor climbing wall, patchy snow on the slopes and a waterfall draining the mountain.
Read on for details about the weekend — and a look at what the resort's summer season slopes will look like when summer catches up with the late spring.
CYCLING — the Pend Oreille Pedalers are working with the Bonners Ferry Ranger District's trail crew to build a new mountain bike trail at Brush Lake about 20 miles north of Bonners Ferry on Highway 95.
The new trail at Brush Lake will add a low elevation option to an area that is already rich with some of the best high elevation single-track in North Idaho, said John Monks, local organizer.
(Classics include the Sidehill Trail, the Danquist Trail, Rutledge Trail to Queen Lake.)
“Come on up for the day on Sunday and help build some trail, have a picnic, learn about a great riding area, and do some riding,” Monks said.
Meet June 19 in Bonners Ferry at the northwest corner of the “Big R” (formerly K-mart) parking lot at 7:45 a.m.
The group will carpool from there. Bring gloves, water, snacks, riding gear, bicycle (of course!) and clothing appropriate for the weather.
“We'll meet up with the USFS crew at Brush Lake at 9 a.m., build trail until noonish, then have a barbecue lunch with the USFS cooking up hamburgers,” Monks said.
Info: John Monks, (209) 290-2857.
TRAILS — For the first time in its 33 year history, the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association is hiring a new executive director to lead a group that's developed one of the nation's top cross-country and cycling trail systems and associated events and programs.
The job is being vacated by Jay Lucas, who's ruddered the organization for three decades.
Based in Winthrop, the northcentral Washington group is a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and promoting environmentally sound recreation on or near the trails in the Methow Valley. The MVSTA trail system includes more than 120 miles of cross country ski trails in the winter months, and is recognized as one of the finest trail systems in North America for nordic skiing, mountain biking, trail running and hiking.
Compensation: $45,000 to $60,000 with benefits. Application deadline: July 15.
Read on for details.
COUNTY PARKS — The National Trails Day weekend work project scheduled for Liberty Lake County Park has been changed to put more muscle to Spokane County’s popular Iller Creek Conservation Area up from Dishman-Mica Road.
Volunteers are needed June 4 or 5 to improve the popular trail in the Conservation Futures area that sweeps up to the Rocks of Sharon. loop trail at Liberty Lake County Park.
The effort to re-route portions of the Iller Creek trail is among seven volunteer trail work parties WTA is sponsoring June 4-5 in recognition of National Trails Day.
No prior experience is necessary, just a desire to help out and have fun. Helpers must wear proper boots and clothing and bring water and food. Tools are provided
Work parties begin at the trailhead around 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.
Pre-registration is required, or call (206) 625-1367.
MOUNTAIN BIKING — A record 850 racers — solo and team relay riders — have signed up so far for this weekend's 24 Hours Round the Clock mountain bike race in the Seven Mile airstrip area of Riverside State Park.
That means three or four times that many people will be camping out for the fat-tire overnight feast, party and spectacle, says organizer Wendy Zupan-Bailey of Round and Round Productions.
Participant Joe Geigle of the Spokane Mountaineers said it's difficult to sleep even for the relay team riders who have 4.5 hours of rest between laps.
I”t’s not just a race, it’s an event, a party, a sleepover,” said co-organizer Gino Lisiecki in a story I wrote earlier this month. “You have all of those racers, and they bring 3,000 of their friends for the campout. It’s a staycation for a lot of people.
“It’s huge,” Zupan-Bailey said.
“It’s the Woodstock of mountain biking,” Lisiecki said.
PUBLIC LANDS – This is prime time to visit the BLM’s Escure Ranch area south of Sprague. The scabland area is green, Rock Creek is flowing nicely over Towell Falls, wildflowers are blooming and the cheatgrass hasn’t turned brown and full of spears.
Read on for details from my weekend reconnaissance.
OUTDOOR SPORTS — Silver Mountain Resort reports 16 inches of fresh snow overnight as crew prepare for Silver Saturday No. 3 — the third Saturday of skiing after the other resorts in the region closed — and the 7th annual Leadman Triathlon.
Lift tickets on Saturday cost $35 for adults; $25 for youth under 18. Children 6 and under ski free.
Show a season pass from another area mountain and save $5!
Season pass sale ends this Saturday.
MOUNTAIN BIKING — Fat tire bike riders are gearing up for the annual Mountain Biking Skills Clinic — for novice and experienced riders — organized by the Spokane Mountaineers.
The event is June 11 and 12 on a special skills course to be set up at Riverside State Park.
Riders who have taken this course are always amazed at how many little tricks there are to learn, and how beneficial a bit of focused practice can be to their overall riding skills, safety and enjoyment.
The registration fee is $40. Registration deadline is June 8, but class size is limited so register ASAP.
Check out details on the clinic.
Contact: Teresa Watson (509) 238-6776 or email email@example.com
BIKING — I had trouble WALKING down the streets of Valparaiso, Chile, without hurting myself, or getting mugged. Here's a mountain biker doing it at breakneck speed.