SpokeFest speaks to the state of bicycling in Spokane, and the energy and camaraderie on display Sunday for the eighth year of the event was a strong indication that the cycling culture is thriving.
Just to confirm, we gathered testimonials from a few of the 1,650 people who pedaled the 50-mile, 21-mile, 9-mile or 1-mile courses. Here is how they finished this sentence: “Bicycling in Spokane is …”
• “An unblazened trail. An untapped adventure.” – Amy Poston, Spokane
• “My way to enjoy the city.” – Robby Jamison, Spokane
• “Growing. The bike lanes are making it a lot easier to get from point A to point B without running through neighborhoods or being afraid of getting run over by a semi. It’s improving dramatically in the last few years.” – Dave Kovac, Spokane Fire Department lieutenant and Ped-Med volunteer at SpokeFest
• “Great. I just started doing this last summer. I go all over. This is the first time I did SpokeFest. It’s a major accomplishment for me. I’m happy with myself.” – Everett Neal, Spokane Valley, after completing the 50-miler
• “A thrill and a pleasure. I enjoy it, but sometimes it is much more exciting than you would expect. And it’s really improved in the 20 years since I moved here.” – Steve Peck, Spokane, a rider in all SpokeFests to date
• “Relaxing exercise in a wonderful environment.” – Steve Peterson, Liberty Lake mayor
• “Almost like biking in a magic kingdom.” – Charmaine Peterson, Liberty Lake
• “Good for the community.” – Jeff Hayward, Spokane, medical volunteer for SpokeFest
• “Getting better every year. There are more and more safe places to ride every year with the bike paths, trails, traffic calming. I don’t like to ride next to cars, but there’s more ways to ride that are not next to cars.” – Bruce Gallaher, Spokane Valley
• “Wonderful, great, fantastic.” – Tami Johnson, Tri-Cities, riding a fat-tired eBike
• “Amazing and always different.” – Denise Reid, Spokane
• “A lot of fun but sometimes a little scary. With a large family people yell things sometimes. We get a lot of thumbs-up and stuff, too. But to me it seems like people are a little more aggressive on the road. We try and not do as much road riding, because having a large crew, distractions can be more dangerous. ” – Sharon Carter, Hillyard, who rode in SpokeFest with her husband, Joe, and their six children, ages 9 years to 7 months
• “Fun, exhilarating. It’s a good time.” – Tina Hoffmann, Mead
• “An adventure. It is evolving and getting better.” – David Cowin, Spokane Valley
• “Improving. The bike lanes, the bike paths, just the bicycle infrastructure in general. … We’ve got a ways to go to be a Portland or a Seattle. But we certainly have the kind of city that would lend itself to that. We’re about using bikes for urban transportation. It just makes sense.” – Donald Gibson, owner of Monkeyboy Bicycles and a member of the Spokane Bicycle Advisory Board
• “Like reading a book I can’t put down. There are just so many routes I don’t know and there’s always something new to see.” – Emily Goodstein-Tom, Gonzaga University nursing student
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