Friday, May 1, 2009

Guest Column - Joe Johnson, SRCVB

Joe Johnson, young turk at the Spokane Regional Convention & Visitor's Bureau, and frequent contributor to the Spokane Insider's Blog, asked around for some suggestions for local Spokane bike routes. Here is his report and a good way to avoid those 50,000 Bloomsday idiots in running shoes instead of on their bikes this weekend (except for the last suggested route which closely follows the Bloomsday course).

Insider Bike Routes
Looking for the inside scoop on the best places to ride? Check out these favorites from the locals who ride them!

"Ever since I moved back to Spokane and discovered the Spokane Bluff off of High Drive, I can’t ride my mountain bike anywhere else. This undiscovered gem has everything mountain bikers are looking for. Nice vertical for heart pounding descents and lung burning ascents. Several loops to choose from that take 45 minutes to one hour. Well maintained trails by local riders and the Spokane Parks & Recreation Department. As well as nice social interaction with local bikers, runners and hikers. Of course, being able to ride out my back door to the bluff makes it that much better. When you talk about the quality of life Spokane has to offer, I feel like these trails are part of the soul of the community. Now, I just wish I could ski it!"

Chuck Carter, Regional Sales Manager, Red Lion Hotels

"It’s hard to narrow down! But I do like riding the Hangman Valley loop. Starting off at the intersection of 57th Ave. and the Palouse HWY., I head south for great views and nice gentle rolling hills. After hopping on Valley Chapel Rd, drop into the Hangman Valley area for a nice downhill grade all the way to the golf course. From here you’ve got a smooth ride through the beautiful Hangman Valley. At Hatch Rd you’ve got a decision to make. If your legs are feeling strong, saddle up for the tough climb up Hatch to 57th Ave. Or you can head north on HWY 195 to the Old Inland Empire Highway and on into Browne's Addition for a quick trip to The Elk. Mac & Jack’s tastes sooo much better after a good ride! Then you can climb back up the south hill to 57th Ave. Either way, you’ll get a great ride with some fantastic views."

Mark Star, Owner, David’s Pizza

"Beacon Hill has something for everyone that loves riding on dirt - anything from big drops for your free-ride bike to super buff single track for your cross country bike. If you’re looking to ride drops and wooden bridges, park your car at Boulder Beach on Upriver Drive. And if you’re looking for a good cross country ride, you’ll want to start at the Esmeralda Golf Course parking lot. All trails have been well maintained by the Fat Tire Trail Riders Club making it really easy to put in multiple hours on Beacon Hill riding different trails. In fact, Beacon Hill attracts people from Seattle to its trails for downhill runs all weekend during the spring, summer and fall."

Ben Tobin, Owner, Bentography

"I really enjoy the SpokesFest loop. Starting downtown, the loop makes its way through Peaceful Valley to Government Way, along the Aubrey L. White Parkway, across the Seven Mile Bridge and back into downtown along the Spokane River through Riverside State Park. This ride has everything you would want in a Spokane bike trip. It starts in our urban area and then leads to some of our closest natural areas. A lot of this course is along the river and most of it is either on trails with no car access or with very little motor traffic. Last cycling season I took a brand new rider on this loop for his first ride, I experienced it with 1,500 of my closest friends during SpokeFest and I burned it up with a group of fast guys a few times after work and just before a beer. That’s Spokane cycling to me!"

Gage Stromberg, Steam Plant Grill, Wells & Company and NAS Pension Consulting;

For more of the inside scoop on Spokane check out the Spokane Insiders’ Blog.


Joe Johnson

Destination Marketing Associate

Spokane Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau


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