Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Syringa Ride Report

I have been riding Syringa the last 2 days, mind you the day before yesterday was winter solstice aka the first day of winter.  It hasn't really looked like winter though.  So, I parked the fat bike and dug out the mountain bike.

Weather has been warm, like 50 degrees warm.  Trails have dried out, except for a couple mud holes on the way up from Pine Street.  Ice and snow are gone.  And there is some new art for you to stop at, take a breather and get cultured.  In conclusion, January is right around the corner and I promise these conditions will not stay, so you should go ride...like right now.
hmm, this looks like a famous Sandpoint person

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Round Lake Fat Bike Report

I hear people complaining all the time about the lack of snow so far this season.  I feel for them.  Because whether we have a ton of snow or just a little, a fat bike is just as fun.  Done a few trips down to Round Lake already.  More fat bikers in our area means, more peeps to ride with...AND more people to help keep trails packed down.  Here few pics from a few days.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Road Trip: Whitefish

A few weeks back, yes I have been slacking on posting bike bits lately.  So, get ready for a big onslaught.  Anyways, Fall here in the Northwest has or had been awesome.  My shoulder has or had been feeling great, so a road trip over to Whitefish (aka Dubfish) seemed in order.  I haven't been to Whitefish in many, many years.  But people kept telling me they have some good local brew there, great new mountain bike trails and a new bike retreat.  I also have some friends who recently moved there, so you see how things just started to fall into place.

Now, in case you are unfamiliar with the steps to take when visiting a new place to mountain bike, let me review.  First, as soon as you roll into town and dropped off bikes and gear at your overnight accommodations, go try some of the local flavor.  In this case, Great Northern Brewing fit the bill.  Next morning, find local coffee shop and in Dubfish you might wanna check you the Little Red Caboose.  Then roll on over to the bike shop with coffee in hand for trail maps, conditions and recommendations.  Glacier Cyclery is a cool family shop and very friendly and helpful.  They sell a trail book which is an awesome asset and a good read.  However, there is also a Whitefish Trail Map that will give you some general direction.  Now, go ride, explore and take in nature.  After all that, I would recommend going back to said watering hole and recapping all these events with your riding buddies.  If you are riding more than one day, obviously some of these steps can be omitted.
We rode some of the Dubfish trails for 2 days and they were super fun.  All were well marked.  Tread was very buff and obviously built with mountain biking in mind.  Everything I'd heard about these trails seemed to be all correct.  I cannot wait to go back and ride more because we only scratched the surface.

Ok, so that covers all that, now let me say a word or two about where we stayed.  We stayed at the Whitefish Bike Retreat, and like the name implies, it is a place for bikers to stay (although you don't necessarily have to be one).  They are open year round...yes you can go there and fat bike in the winter....hmm, that sounds like a great idea.  Anyways, the owner Cricket has done an amazing job with all the details that a biker would want in their overnight accommodations.  Some highlights include: stocked kitchen, you just bring food, beer share fridge, living room with lots of bike movies, info table with every map of the area, bike wash station, secured bike storage area that also happens to be heated and have work benches, heated floors in showers, Whitefish Trails right out the back door and it goes on and on.  I think you should go check it out.

Friday, December 5, 2014

14' Global Fat Bike Day +1 Ride

Global Fat Bike Day is Dec 6th, but we here in North Idaho always do things by our own rules (and the weather and conflicting events). We will celebrate Global Fat Bike Day +1 on Sunday.

The plan: Meet up at Schweitzer Mountain  round-about and hit trails 2pm.

We will ride fat bikes with fellow fat bikers, talk about fat bikes, admire each others fat bikes, tire sizes, etc. We will ride for 1.5-2 hours at a social pace and then head to Pucci's for post ride refreshments and to discuss our fat bike ride.

More info HERE

Sunday, November 9, 2014

14' Veteran's Day Cruiser Ride

'14 Veteran's Day Cruiser Ride
5th ish Annual Veteran's Day Cruiser Bike Ride

Who:  Anyone with a bike
What:  Ride bikes and drink barley grenades
Where:  Meet at Sandpoint Marina Parking Lot
When: Tue, Nov 11th @ 6pm
Why: (1) cause we are FREE and we can and (2) pay a little homage to those that have served

We'll meet, cruise the Sagle Bike Path to the end (that's 14 miles RT so start training now if need be) and end at the Neighborhood Pub to warm up, rehydrate and tell wars stories.  For those of you needing some pre-ride tips, bring some lights and a helmet as there may be insurgence.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Schweitzer Rec District Trails are Blowing Up

I did 30 push ups.  Big deal right?  For those keeping track, I injured my shoulder.  My PT said when I can do 30 regular push ups with proper form, I would be ready for some intense mountain biking again.  So, yeah it was kinda a big deal.  As a reward, I grabbed my bike and headed up to Schweitzer to give my shoulder some more intense abuse.

I parked at the round about and this little 4 point (or 8 depending on where you live) walked out to watch me get ready.
On tap was to ride/link all the trails in the "newish" Schweitzer Rec District Area.  Some of these trails have been there for quite a while.  Some of the others have been put in over the last 3ish years as an aggressive push by the district to make a trail system that not only links trails, but many of the dwelling areas.  Many of these newer trails were put in with the use of the Pend Oreille Pedaler's trail machine, mountain dwellers and the creative genius of our local trail wizard, aka Mike K.

Here is a little google capture to give you an idea of where these trails lie...
thanks Ken for map
You got some bearing now?  So, you can see there are many loop options.  Add in the Lower Basin Trail (all the way to the valley) and the Schweitzer Mountain Resort Trails and you now got a ton of XC riding to do.  
just in case you need a breather on the way up

Yup, no motorized traffic allowed on any of these trails, yeah.  However, you will find: some killer views up top, lots of banked turns, buff tread, moderate climbs, a waterfall, good signage, some bitchin bridges and oh, solitude (at least in November).  Go check em out.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Vote for Trails

Happy Post Halloween.  As you are wiping your eyes and laying around eating stale candy, you should take a few moments to make your voice heard on trails in Sandpoint and the surrounding areas.  Bonner County Conceptual Trail Plan.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Things that Start with "B"

It was my birthday.  We had a plan to celebrate with bikes, beer, bonfire, etc.  As I sat and thought about the last year, I realized that I have often said that I really seem to like things that start with the letter "B."  Yes, that was as profound as I got.  I don't get all sentimental on my birthday.  I don't get down.  I don't dread being another year older.  I just look at it as another reason to get together with bros (see, another one) and have a bash (ok, I might be stretching things a bit).  We live in 7B.  So, I thought I should come up with a list of  my 7 favorite things that start with "B."

Bikes (2 wheeled and human powered only), beer (as in IPA hoppy goodness with lots of alcohol), brew (as in strong coffee with lots of caffeine), bros (the ones you enjoy the a fore mentioned B things with), babes (I only have one), boobs (she has 2, and this entry may be redundant) and bonfires (I mean BIG fires only).  And that is 7.

There was a mountain bike ride at Brush Lake, trees have been cleared and trail is all good.  Then there was a road tour up the West side of the Kootenai River out of BF with a side trip through the Wildlife Refuge.  Roads were clear and rideable as well.  Oh, so here are some pics from the awesome birthday weekend (thanks Jake for sharing some of yours).

morning view from campsite

i actually am really excited

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Priest Lake Biking Adventures

This has been one of the best Falls, weather wise, I can remember in a long time.  This means more riding days and more camping.  Off to Priest Lake.  One day of riding East Shore road up to Lion's Head.  Beautiful ride.  They are doing some logging, so there was a bit of heavy truck traffic.  I only wet my shorts a couple times.  This road is windy and narrow with no shoulder.  I would only recommend riding it on the off season (far less tourist/camper traffic).

Then, I rode Lakeshore.  Typically, this would not be significant.  However, this was the first mountain bike ride I've done since injuring myself.  16 miles on the dirt never felt so damn good.  Shoulder held up fine.  Little sore that evening, but I medicated it with a couple IPAs at Millie's.

Oh, and the trail was in awesome shape, but I was surprised to find the the "wet" area is still somewhat wet.  Super short little hike around, but would not usually be there this time of year.  Saw several riders on trail, but like I said, Fall has been good to us.  Go ride and stop reading shit on the internet...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I did a Road Ride

Remember my last entry?  I wrecked, got hurt and haven't been able to ride.  I started doing some road riding around then.  I have been off the bike for a few weeks, but things felt pretty good.  So, against my Dr. wishes, I thought I should do something a little more challenging.  So, I packed up bags, grabs some friends and went on a bike overnighter.

We drove to Cataldo and jumped on the Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes.  We rode to Wallace.  Along the way we took some needed "medical stops" to ease the shoulder.  Weather was great, trees were changing colors and made for some amazing Fall scenery.

 Oh, and what would a bike tour be without a little trail side grub?

Once in Wallace, we took in the local flavor.  We stayed the night.  Next morning we refueled and rode back to our car.  50 miles in all.  There are many options when riding this trail.  I would say you should do it.