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SpokeFest among bounty of September cycling events

CYCLING — SpokeFest, one of the region's premier bicycling events with courses for every ability level based out of Spokane, is coming up Sept. 7

Register before Sept. 1 to avoid late fees and enter a drawing for a free bike from REI or a night at the Red Lion Inn at the Park..

But SpokeFest is just one of 18 bicycling events scheduled in the region during September, close to home as well as across nearby borders.

Here's a mere sampling:

  • Kootenai River Ride, Sept. 13: Ride 16, 60 or 100 kilometers near Kootenai River out of Bonners Ferry fairgrounds supported by Rotarians, followed by baked potato feed. $20.

    Blazing Saddles Bike Ride, Sept. 20: Combines 20, 40, 62 and 100-mile cycling routes out of Colville, Wash., with the Northwest International Chili Cook-Off and beer garden. Sponsored by Rotary Club. $60 (kids under 10 free), includes t-shirt and entry to chili festival.

    Valleyfest Trail Ride, Sept. 21: 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. $10 or $5 for kids under 11.

    Coeur d’Fondo, Sept. 27: The 3rd annual Gran Fondo style timed event begins and ens in Coeur d’Alene with competitive and non-competitive options. Choice of five distances: 15, 37, 47, 85 or 108 miles.

Check out the details in The Spokesman-Review's 2014 Northwest Bicycling Events Calendar for rides within 300 miles of Spokane.

Huge variety of bicycling events coming up

CYCLING — Whether you want to stay close to Spokane or travel across borders to new terrain, August and September offer a huge assortment of organized bicycling events to pique your interest in pedaling.

Of note coming up:

  • Tour de Lentil metric century, Aug. 23: has 50K and 100K courses with pit stops through rolling Palouse hills based out of Pullman. Post ride BBQ. Email: cycling@wsu.edu. About $35.
  • Great Northwest Fall Tour , Aug. 31: Ride 15, 30, 50 or 85-mile routes beginning at Newport City Park. Benefits Newport/Priest River Rotary Club. $30 ($75 per family).

Check out the details in my 2014 Northwest Bicycling Events Calendar for rides within 300 miles of Spokane.

Sign-up for SpokeFest now for chance to win bike

BICYCLING — The annual SpokeFest event, with bike rides and activities for the whole family based out of Spokane's Riverfront Park and into Riverside State Park, isn't until Sept. 7.

But if you register before Monday, June 30, your name will be entered in drawing for an adult bicycle from REI.

  • SpokeFest is well represented on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for fun facts, community stories and tips on improving your ride!   

SpokeFest early registration ends Saturday

BICYCLING — Time's running out to register for Spokane's premier bicycling event.

SpokeFest isn't until Sept. 8, but early registration ends Saturday, Aug. 31, so sign up today to get your name in a drawing for gear.   

Choose from four rides ranging from a fun-filled loop in Riverfront Park for kids to 9, 21 and 47 milers through Riverside State Park.

In addition:

  • SpokeFair will have live music, food, vendors and interactive booths!
  • Mountain Gear will be giving away prizes at SpokeFair including sunglasses, day packs, jackets for men and women and more…
  • Spokey, the SpokeFest mascot will be greeting kids and families.
  • Kids riding the Park Loop will be entered in a drawing for a free bike.

SpokeFest grant opportunity gets kids on bikes

Effective this Friday, SpokeFest Association is accepting applications for its Bicycle Education and Safety Grant Fund, a very successful and inspiring program. Grants will be awarded to schools and 501(c)3 non-profit organizations that have a project which the organization can complete in a defined period of time. All projects must promote bicycle safety and education.

SR photo by Dan Pelle. That's Micah Reed, 10, and other Broadway Elementary School students testing out their bikes during the Central Valley School District’s Elementary Bicycle Safety Program at Broadway, Aug. 30 2012. The school’s PE teacher, Katie Ferris, secured a grant for $6,100 from SpokeFest to purchase the bikes.

The've supported some great programs with their grant funds since 2010. A few examples:  

2010 – SpokeFest purchased 30 bikes and provided teacher training for the 4th through 6th grade physical education program for the East Valley School District.

2011-SpokeFest provided a grant to the East Kiwanis bicycle helmet giveaway (free) to all children in the area.

2012 –SpokeFest purchased 30 bikes and helmets for the Central Valley School District’s 4th and 5th grade bicycle education program to benefit 13 elementary schools. 

Spokane Rocket Velo organizes first downtown bike race since 1980s

What's the coolest thing going on this Saturday in Spokane? That would be the Lilac City Twilight Criterium, a bicycle race in the heart of downtown Spokane, organized by our own local club Spokane Rocket Velo. The race will be the first USA Cycling-sanctioned race in downtown Spokane since the Olympic Trials and the Washington Trust Classic which happened in 1984 and 1988. 

The first race starts at 5 p.m., showcasing the area’s beginner racers while the last race of the night starts at 8 p.m., giving spectators a chance to see top level racers compete for thousands of dollars in prizes and merchandise.  Other featured races will include a citizen’s and kid’s race, both free for the public


SpokeFest has incentive for early sign-up

BICYCLING – The orgnaizers of SpokeFest, the annual September bicycle celebration that branches out from downtown Spokane, are offering an early sign-up incentive:

Register online by Saturday (June 30) and you will be entered into a drawing to win one of two iPOD Nanos donated by Huppins or a Novara Corsa Comfort Bike from REI.

Choose from four different routes on Sept. 9:

  • 1 or 2.5-mile Park Loop and Bike Safety Rodeo,
  • 9-mile Spokane Falls Route,
  • 21–mile Classic River Route
  • 47-mile Four Mounds Route.

All of the rides and events start downtown and finish at the SpokeFair on the Post Street Bridge next to Riverfront Park.

Read on for more details.

The classic story


To find out more about Spokefest, go to www.spokefest.org 

Another Green Monday

Oh, back to school. Back to school, to prove to Dad that I’m not a fool. I got my…lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don’t get in a fight.  Excuse us if this feels like old news to you, but as two Eastern Washington University grads (we were on the quarter system), the thought of back to school doesn’t register in our brains until mid September.  So now that every blog and news site in the world has ran some sort of “green back to school” guide, allow us to come in and reaffirm some of the thoughts already echoed and to introduce some of our own.  This week we will feature stories on new school thoughts, old school thoughts, and just about everything in between, to show you what’s happening on campuses across America to better prepare the youth for an ever-changing environment. 

There was a time not that long ago where the trek to university was as celebrated as any other major milestone in one’s upbringing - for it was an understanding that that boy or girl would come back smarter and more equipped for the “real world”.  Well today the “real world” is as scary as a place as anyone ever imagined and in our opinion, a university is not preparing people for that.  We need foot soldiers coming out of college, to take the momentum of change and progression that fosters at college and spread the message.  More often than not that energy and passion dies the second they hit a cubicle, and in doing so, there is a generation of untapped potential wasting away.  It’s up to the youth and to young professionals to make a difference.  Don’t stand for people telling you things can’t get better, don’t stand for people telling you it’s too late, and don’t stand for old school beliefs carrying forward.

Here are some stories you might have missed last week.

Riding With “The Bike Czar”



Grant Wencel doesn’t have all the answers right now—-in fact, he doesn’t have many answers at all. But he’s curious about the city, the people, and the attitudes within, and he’s full of questions and inquisitions. And after a month on the job as the City of Spokane’s bike and pedestrian coordinator, he’s finally not saying “your town” anymore. You’re one of us now Grant—- Welcome!

(Above: Spokane bike path map. Click here to enlarge.)

We had the pleasure last Thursday to tour northwest Spokane with the city’s newest civic representative Grant Wencel—- the appointed “Bike Czar”. Keeping in mind that expectations are high and having difficulty concealing our overzealous bike enthusiasm, we decided on more of an informal meet and greet than anything else (not to mention it was one hell of an excuse to take a bike ride on a sunlit evening when the city works its outdoor magic). The critical interview will have to wait. But our conversation with Grant ranged from the perceptions of a Spokane Transplant—-a trait all three of us admittedly share—- to the best place to grab a beer and pizza in Spokane (Benneditos).