Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bikes N Disc Golf

There are a few things I like almost as much as bikes, not many, but a few.  I think I have listed most before here, but one I don't often touch on is disc golf.  It is fun.  It is easy to get into.  You can take it super serious or you can take it super not serious.  You can drink beer while doing it.  And you can ride your bike to the course.  I hope you are starting to see why this is a great activity for our area.

The Sandpoint Disc Golf Club has done an amazing job moving the disc course and getting things set up at the new Baldfoot Disc Golf Course, in Blady Park, out on Baldy Mtn. Rd. (damn that is a mouth full).  It is still a work in  progress.  But you should still go ride your bike out there, throw some discs, maybe pack a beer, check it out and show some support.

yup, bikes and disc golf to mix

Monday, April 27, 2015

Schweitzer Basin Trail Ride Report

I've had several people tell me the Basin Trail down from Schweitzer is in great shape.  Hard to believe since it is still April, but I thought what the hell.  Weather was primo.  Rode up the road and ducked into the trail at switchback #4.  You could always start at the very bottom of the trail above switchback #2.  But that lower section is really painful.  Rideable for sure, but nonetheless really painful.  So, if that is your thing start there.

I climbed the XC trail to the Roundabout, and the trails were in unbelievable great shape.  Obvious new work has already been done this Spring to include several new bridges, some rake work and windfall removal.  

Great views up top of course.  I checked out the entrance to Sparky and lower Flow Trails.  Both had a fair amount of mud, so I did not ride them.  Lower Flow was blocked off by some strategically placed trees and there is some fresh lumber decked up.  I bet Mike K is at again.  This trail is fairly new and had some bad wet spots last season.  I'm sure his crew will make them all awesome again.  In the mean time, hit up the Basin Trail, but give the Schweitzer Rec Trails above the roundabout a little while longer to dry out.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Go Ride Brush Lake

Just wanted you to know Brush Lake is riding great right now.  No pics.  No write up.  Just go ride it, trust me.

Now, I normally stick to topic.  Topic being biking in North Idaho.  But, I can't help myself.  I watched this video several months ago and it's very entertaining.  I've watched it a few more times since.  If you wanna kill a couple minutes, here ya go (warning: PG-13)...

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Gravel Pit/Gold Hill Ride Report

Remember a few weeks back when I said many of the local trails had turned to soup and riders should exercise restraint?  Well, that was then, a few sunny days and things have now been looking great this last week.  Syringa, Gold Hill, Gravel Pit and Mineral Point have all dried out...excerpt for a few problem areas.

Can't remember if I have posted any pics from the Gravel Pit area this Spring, but it took a major hit.  The lower part of the road has some major wash out and some upper areas of the road gave out completely.  Kinda weird considering how dry our winter was, keep an eye out if you are bombing down this area.
view from Russ King Way never gets old

Oh, and then the pretty views were marred by some pink spray paint on the trees and rocks going up Gold Hill.  Someone felt the need to make their own mileage markers.  Probably some Strava B.S.  If you happen to know who did this, and I am hoping if you follow this blog you do not associate with people like that, but just in case you do.  You should tell them that their pink paint was selfish, not helpful and considered vandalism.  If so inclined, you should take it one step further and tell them they should turn themselves into the Forest Service.  They would like to know who the culprit is and I am sure they would be happy to include them in the work party that will have to go up and try and someone restore their vandalism back to some "natural" state.  Anyways, that is only if you knew who did it, and I am sure you don't.
This view is much like the previous river picture, but different.  And higher.  Go ride.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Beacon Hill Ride Report

Little road trip over to Spokane to ride Beacon Hill.  I realize the little description at the top of this here webpage says this blog is about biking in North Idaho.  If you are a stickler for tiny details like that, then you may wanna leave now.

OK, for those of you still here, I make my way over to Beacon a couple times a year.  It is a great little escape, and is rideable early in the season.  So, when I get tired of laps on our local trails and waiting for the snow to melt on the high elevations trails, Beacon often calls my name.

I don't think I have noticed these primitive structures before, I wonder what goes on in there?

The layout and flow of the trails at Beacon is awesome.  What, is it supposed to be "is" awesome or "are" awesome?  Anyways, trails are rated green, blue and black diamond.  There is a nice skills park to work on, well your riding skills.  You can print a trail map online, but I would recommend hitting up one of the local bike shops for a nice glossy one you can keep in your pack for future use.  There is something for everyone at Beacon, and I do mean everyone, as there is also a nice disc golf course, a regular golf course, bouldering, climbing, a RC car area, paved bike path (Centennial Trail), swimming, etc.  Oh, and there are also some great views of the valley (and also, a lot of utility lines and structures).
someone is having a bad day

Going to Beacon in the Spring, also means you will probably see a lot of flowers in bloom.  Bonus.  These trails get used quite a bit, you may also see hikers.  I would note that I have found the trail users to be extremely friendly and use great trail etiquette....which is key with high usage.  I am always surprised to hear Panhandlers say they have never ridden Beacon, their loss.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Lakeview Ride Report

Day #2 at Priest Lake.  With all the good fortune I had at Pee Wee the day before, I thought I would gamble and try out the Lakeview Trail.
It was a gorgeous morning with coffee making on the new favorite thing to do.
Ahh yes, a little teamwork photo opt.  You probably can't see it, but I am happy and smiling at this didn't last long.
I started the not so long (3.5ish miles), but kinda steep (1,200 vert) climb up to Lakeview Mtn.  Not long in, I hit a tree over the trail.  Luckily, I had my handy folding, pack saw.  This tree would have been no match.  However, when I went to assemble my saw, I realized at some point the pin that holds the one end of the blade had broke/disappeared.  To be honest I wasn't super disappointed, I was feeling yesterday's climb up Pee Wee in my legs and knew what climb was ahead.
Here is a pic from the viewpoint.  Pretty, yes.  But before you think this is the top, think again.
Remember, I forgot my camera for this trip, these are off my phone.  Anyways, the last mile, or so, on the Lakeview Tr. featured a lot of pooled water and water running down and/or across the trail.  I walked around them.  Once, on the Kalispell-Reeder bay Tr. things got better, and the lower section of that was awesome.

Oh, and that tree at the beginning of the ride, and my broken saw?  There were about 30 down trees on this ride of 7 miles over to Hill's.  I  moved about half of the trees.  A majority of the rest I could have cut, had my saw been in working order.  The few remaining others could have been moved had I had an extra body to assist.

All in all, it was a good ride, but needs another couple weeks to dry out...and don't forget a saw or your buddy for the trees.

Last note, the road past Hill's to Beaver Creek had quite a bit of snow on it still and some down trees (they do not maintain that during the winter).  Hence, the trails North had snow on them too.  I know it is hard to believe it is the end of March sometimes, but it is gonna take some more time for the rest of these trails to open up.  Stay tuned...