Monday, February 22, 2016

Spokane Spring Road Trip

Riding was so great the weekend before at Saltese Uplands (read about that in the previous post), that I headed West again.  This time Spokane was the target.  Little warmer climate with less precip than what we have here in North Idaho makes for great early season riding options.

First up, rode around Riverside State Park.  Riverside is a huge park with more than 50 miles of trails, some marked and some not.  Get a map from the Park Office or one of the local bike shops, you will be happy you did.  Besides the trails opening early, Riverside also has some very mellow terrain.  This means you will have a lot of fun riding around building up your early season legs.

mountain biked around and then did some klunking

Now I have been riding Riverside for a long time.  I'd always heard people mention riding "The South Hill" or "The Highdrive."  For whatever reason, I never that the riding there would be much and stuck to what I knew at Riverside, as it is always a solid bet.  This time around, I had an extra day in Spokane and decided I would finally check out South Hill scene.  And damn!  The trails were very fun riding.  Lots of open sidehill riding with some exposure, some good short climbs, some snaking singletrack through the basically had a little of everything.  There are some 20 miles of trails in the area, I put in 10 for the day.  I had a blast, and honestly, I would say I like riding there better than Riverside.  The trails are more challenging and varied.  However, if riding exposed sidehill bothers you, you might not like these trails.  Just a little heads up.  Here is a little background on area. 

So, the Spokane road trip was filled with lots of riding, and on dirt, which in February is always a treat.  You know what was also a treat?  Paragon Brewing in CDA.  Kinda a unique little brewery, in that, they tap some of their own beers and also have several other local brews on tap and micros from around the Pacific Northwest as well.  That was not the treat though.  They have nitro.  I love nitro.  However, if I am lucky enough to find a place that has nitro, it is usually for a stout, porter or such.  Not my favorite beers.  Paragon had a pale on nitro though, it was the perfect end to the day and trip back home.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Liberty Lake Road Trip

I know, I know.  Liberty Lake?  Where the hell is that?  Well, it lies about halfway between CDA and Spokane.  Or, just a little over an hours drive from Sandpoint.  Anyways, I heard about some trails recently developed there, and with the nature of the climate it seemed like a great early season ride option.  So, a road trip (kinda) was planned.

The trails are in the Saltese Upland Conservation area.  Supposedly, the area was adopted about 5 years ago, and trails commenced shortly thereafter.  There are about 7 miles of "designated" trails, here is a trail map.  With that said, I talked to a couple "locals" who said there are at least that many more miles of non-marked trails in the area.

I rode around for close to 2 hours, and I gotta say the trails were really fun.  Tread is smooth and fast, not many rocks.  Climbs are gradual and not very long.  Terrain was rolling hills with kinda a high desert type feel.  There was lots of tall grass and bushes, and not a lot of trees.  There were also some great views...depending on which way you looked.  Now, don't go there expecting some epic ride day.  Given the ease and length of rides, this is not gonna be some major ride.  But for some early season miles or for a beginner or if you just wanna go knock out some quick miles on some really nice singletrack, this would be your place.

not from Shadow

best pic I could get of map

Friday, February 12, 2016

Farragut Ride Report

Well, it has been a little while since my last post.  As 2016 has gone on, winter has continued to subside.  For the short winter time we had, fat biking was some of the best I have ever seen.  Several factors contributed to this: fat bike specific grooming, fat bike users in our area have grown significantly, lots of early season snow got packed down with little accumulation coming in 2016 and less walkers on trails because of snow depth.

But all that is changing.  One day I rode my fatty around Farragut.  South end of park and interior still had a fair amount of snow.  Riding was great, except for all the down trees.  Major wind event over winter brought down a lot trees and branches.  But still some good fatty fun.

Trails near shoreline and at North end of park were free of snow and ice.  They also had far less trees on them.  I went back the next day with my mountain bike just to hit a bunch of dirt.  It was a nice change from all the riding I have been doing on snow/ice.  Stay tuned because it looks like lots more trails will be open to mountain biking soon...

looks somewhat tropical for North Idaho

one of the big trees that went down over winter

wildlife sighting

next day with mountain bike