Monday, August 14, 2017

Round the Lake (RTL) Priest Lake Edition

After a long hiatus (just long enough for everyone to forget the pain), RTL is back September 17th at 8am. The Priest Lake edition involves 80 miles as we circumnavigate both the Upper and Lower lakes. Enjoy some of the best singletrack in North Idaho, all while taking on a BIG challenge.

- A route map with turn-by-turn directions will be handed out before the event.
- The main ride route will utilize as much singletrack as possible (versus roads). If you are feeling tired or not up to riding all the singletrack, alternate road options will also be listed.
- If you do all the singletrack trails listed, you will ride 6 different trails for a toal of 35 dirt miles and 45 paved road miles with just over 6,000' for the day.
- This is s self supported ride, however there will be 2 recharge stations with water and basic snacks along route.
- Ride will depart and end at Indian Creek Campground on the East side of the lake. There are also cabins for rent at the CG. Hotels are available in Coolin on the South end of the lake.
- After party will be at the campground with beer and dinner.
- Mountain bike is the recommended tool for the day.
- This is not a race. There will be no awards (other than beer). There will be no sag.
- $10 donation for map, signs, snacks, dinner & beer.

Word is there may a limited edition tee again this year...stay tuned.

Hope to see you at Priest Lake!! It will be an awesome ride. Email me at bikenerd7b@gmail.com with any questions.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

American Falls Ride Report

Remember last year's reports on the American Falls Trail. No? Well, some horses went in early season when the ground was very wet and soft. They left a lot of holes in the trail, that really made it unrideable. I mean, you could still ride it, but many I talked to turned around before the falls because it was in such bad condition. There was some good news out of 2107 for this trail, as it got many of its old and decrepit bridges replaced. While we cussed horses on trails over the winter, the snowpack was working some magic. Enter 2018, the trail is in amazing shape again. And the new bridges are awesome. 

note the bear sign
Someone recently said their was some petrified wood along the trail. I have never seen petrified wood, nor do I really know how it comes about. What I can tell you is, sure enough, there is some about 5 miles in on the left side. It span close to 10' across in some spots. It was one of the coolest things I've seen. You wanna know anymore about it, you should google it.
petrified wood sighting

giant sighting
The trail tread was in great shape, but we did have to climb over 7 trees. All manageable.

bear sign, the real kind
The falls are always a nice treat. Although I was hot from the ride, the water was a little cooler than I wanted for a dip. Nonetheless, I drank a beer and ate my lunch while sitting in the cool mist. American Falls really is a must do, but the drive from Sandpoint is a bit hard to swallow at close to 2 hours. I always plan this ride while camping up at Priest Lake, even then it is still around an hour. Anywho, go ride...and watch for bears.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Trails and July

Well, typical summer craziness and not a lot written here lately. I hope you have been getting out and riding. July 4th is the date every year where we can say most all our trails should be clear of snow, dry and sawed out. This year was a little later because of our harsh winter and long Spring. But safe to say most all trails posted here are good to go now.

I would like to report a couple trails of note. First, if you follow writings here you know Trapper Creek and the Centennial Trails are one of my favorite rides. The Centennial Trail has been hit hard by blow downs over the last few years and less and less trail work was being done to clear and maintain it. Last time I rode it, I kinda thought it might be the last time. A very reliable source just went and rode both trails, and except for 1 very large tree, both trails are clear and riding great. So, go hit them up. And thanks to whoever took on the monumental task of clearing.

Second, and not such a glorious report here, is on Trail #120. I had a good friend just go ride this trail. This is someone that has ridden this trail many, many times before. It is one of their top rides. I was told the brush is so thick up top it is really hard to ride. The brush makes it especially hard to see rocks hiding along the edge of the trail until you strike your pedal on them or clip your front wheel. Obviously, this trail is really in need of work. It is hard to get to though for trail work. And as far as popularity, I don't think it gets used a whole lot anymore. While the lower sections of the trail that were recently built are great, it's hard to justify getting beat up going up Strong Creek and battling all the brush to come down that relatively small section of the trail. We will have to see how things play out.

Now go ride! And feel free to drop my trail notes at bikenerd7b@gmail.com


Thursday, July 6, 2017

17' 6-Pack Alley Cat

8 years running!

Here is how it will go down:
* Come down to Greasy Fingers and register from 1-2pm on Sunday. Bring $15 for reg.
* Riders will be asked to gather up around 2pm
* 5 min before ride start we will hand out a manifest which will contain 6 "checkpoints" around town
* You must go to each checkpoint to get your manifest either signed or to collect requested info to fill in the blank
* YOU get to choose the order of checkpoint and the route
* Not a race, but prizes for 1st, 2nd and DFL
* 3 catagories: road, mtn and cruiser bike...so ride whatever ya got
* Plan to ride 12-15 miles...depending on the route you choose
* This year's ride will benefit our local Marine Corps League.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sandpoint Sojourn with Pancakes


Greasy Fingers Bikes is participating in Adventure Cycling Association's #biketravelweekend. ACA is asking cyclists to unite and take a one or two night bike trip over the June 2-4th weekend. We did it last year and had some much fun, we're doing it again.

Join GFB as we lead a overnight bike trip from Sandpoint to the Mudhole Campground in Priest River, Idaho (approximately 30 miles). We will ride from the shop on Saturday (June 3rd) at 2:00 pm, drink some beers around the campfire, camp overnight, enjoy a pancake breakfast and return Sunday mid-day.

If you have ever wanted to bike pack, learn more about it or join a group, this is a great opportunity. Reservations required as there are limited camping spaces available. Please call Greasy Fingers Bikes with your number of riders and we will add you to our list for pre-reserved camp spots. Or you can reserve your own camp spot at the Mudhole Campground.

#biketravelweekend #bikeovernights #adventurecycling

Thursday, May 25, 2017

State of the Trails mid-May

Well, this spring riding season in North Idaho has been very different than the last few years. We have been spoiled with trails drying out very quickly. I would say this year's timeline is closer to the norm...whatever that is anymore.

So, what here in North Idaho is clear and rideable? Here is what I know, as updated on the Mountain Biking Trails & Conditions page of this here blog. I will keep making updates as I get concrete info. Enjoy!





Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Road Trippin to Riverside State Park

Note: This happened a few weeks back, somehow I never posted it.  

As I wait for more of our trails to dry out, took another road trip down to Spokane to ride Riverside State Park. You could say I completed the Spokane mountain biking trifecta for spring now...Beacon Hill, South Bluff and Riverside.

Anyways, Riverside was amazing riding as usual. Great early season ride option...or really any time of year. I will say I don't know if I have ever seen so much water in Deep Creek though.  I sat here for quite a while contemplating wether to wade this or not. Hmm...



Friday, May 12, 2017

Not Sandpoint Bike Week 2017

As you already know, there is no official Sandpoint Bike Week (there hasn't been for a couple years now).  Many of the events that made up Bike Week continue on as stand alone events however.  Just because we don't have a proclamation from the mayor, and promotion from our bike club doesn't mean we shouldn't celebrate bikes for a week.  Don't you agree?

Here are some things you should be aware pf for next week...which would technically be Sandpoint Bike Week if there was one...

Tuesday (May 16th) - "The Sisterhood of Shred" showing @ the Panida Theater, doors @ 6:30pm / Film @ 7:00pm.  "In the male-dominated world of jumping bikes, a community of women riders emerge. From all walks of life, different points around the globe, they empower each other to push their personal limits on and off their bikes. They have banded together...they are The Sisterhood of Shred."  Tickets $5 in advance online, or at 6:30pm, at the door.  Ticket purchase includes entry into Raffle.  Beer, wine & concessions will be available for purchase.

Wednesday (May 17th) - Ride of Silence.  Meet at City Beach parking lot @ 5:30pm.  Join other cyclists in a silent, slow-paced ride in honor of those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways.  The ride is part of a worldwide share-the-road campaign.  Route is about 9 miles.  Must wear a helmet.  All bikes and their riders are welcome.  Ride will end at Idaho Pour Authority for the Chafe 150 Happy Hour.

Friday (May 19th) - National Bike to Work Day.  Pretty self explanatory here, ride your bike to work for the day.  Have a beer or glass of wine to reward yourself.

Saturday (May 20th) - Lost in the 50s Cruiser Ride.  Grab you cruiser bike...whether it be new or old school, unique or run of the mill. Gather at Greasy Fingers Bikes at 4pm.  Ride will be a leisurely cruise out the Sagle Bike Path to the Long Bridge Grill. There, the pavilion will be reserved to park bikes under. The LBG has some tasty grub and cold drinks. We'll hang for a bit and enjoy while we look at each others bikes, talk about bikes and watch classic cars cruise by.


Friday, May 5, 2017

Lost in the 50s Cruiser Ride


Here is the plan. Grab you cruiser bike...whether it be new or old school, unique or run of the mill. Gather at Greasy Fingers Bikes at 4pm.

We will take a leisurely cruise out the Sagle Bike Path to the Long Bridge Grill. There we will have the pavilion reserved to park our bikes under.

The LBG has some tasty grub and cold drinks. We'll hang for a bit and enjoy while we look at each others bikes, talk about bikes and watch classic cars cruise by.

More than likely there will be some prizes or giveaways...cause who doesn't like that?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spring Road Trippin Version 2.1

Damn, well the riding was so good down in Spokane and Liberty Lake last weekend, decided we should go hit it up again.  Road trip.

First up, dropped in off the High-drive onto the South Bluff Trails.  These trails feature sidehill riding galore!  They are fast.  There can be some rocky sections.  The Latah Creek (also heard it referred to as Hangman's Creek which I like better) is always roaring below you.  This is some of my all time favorite riding in Spokane.  If you don't like riding somewhat exposed sidehills, you might not enjoy some of them as much.  Here is an article that was written about them a few years back, by someone much more articulate than I.  Also, check out his map.  It is not the best map for navigating, but then again, navigating these trails is somewhat of a challenge since none of them are marked.  So, go with a sense of adventure, use the map as a general reference point and just ride.  It is pretty hard to get lost.

I like to start at 14th Street Parking lot.  One word of caution, these trails can be extremely popular on a nice day.  What for walkers...and their dogs.


this is one of the many long sidehill sections of trail
shall we call this urban art?

more wildlife
Day #2 of riding was to feature more of the trails at the Saltese Uplands...which I wrote about in the previous post.  However, the weather had other ideas.  Namely pounding rain, and some hail.  I quickly lost my motivation to ride, so we visited some local watering holes and played some games.



Last word, I haven't hit Riverside State Park yet this year.  But you should definitely add it to your early season riding list when down in Spokane as well.  Lots of options, don't let excuses get in the way.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spring Road Trip Time

Needless to say this last winter was kinda long.  And, well, Spring has been pretty wet and cold thus far.  Windows for riding have been short and far between.  Our local trails have been slow to melt and dry out.  So, making the annual pilgrimage South or West in search of dirt was in order.

First dirt ride of season was at Beacon Hill last weekend...like the one before this last one...yes, I am slow at getting this info out to you.  Anyways, Beacon was in great shape.  Dry.  Loamy.  It felt fantastic to catch some sun and not be riding on snow, ice or mud.

can't believe i have never noticed this before

wildlife sighting...fatty
forts in the forest

So, as you can see from them pics, the trails were pretty sweet.  After working out the kinks at Beacon, it was on to the Saltese Upland Trails in Liberty Lake for day #2 of road trip.

Besides for a couple mud pits, the trails were in great shape and riding fast.  I should clarify, the trails were fast, but I was not.  There is some science going on with the trails at Saltese.  I won't bore you with the specifics, but basically the soil has a high amount of clay content.  The clay mixes with water from the Winter and Spring to form a very hard packed surface, kinda like concrete.  Except you are not riding on concrete, you are riding on dirt.  But it is fast like concrete, even though you are really riding on dirt.  Make sense?

pretty flowers
lake is full
In conclusion, you should load up your bike and hit up one or both of these rides.  Soon enough, our trails will be ready to ride, and you will have all summer to hit them.

Friday, March 24, 2017

17' Used Bike Garage Sale

The annual Garage Sale at Greasy Fingers Bikes will be April 1st...no joke.  Besides the unveiling of all the used bikes that were prepped over the winter, there will be used parts, accessories and some car rack stuff.

Oh, and then at 3pm, we will be riding out to Laughing Dog Brewing for the long awaited grand re-opening of their tasting room.  So, you should come join in that as well. That is all for now.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Fat Bike Take Over at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch

We have been fat biking out at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch the last 3 season.  They do a great job of grooming trails.  The trails are multi use, so expect to see xc skiers, some snowshoers and even a skate skier (on some of the loops).  Trail passes are $10/day at the lodge.  It's a good idea to call or email for grooming report/snow conditions before making the drive out there.

Anywho, they have a great lodge for warming up (they also sell beer and wine), and the lodge also has rooms you can rent.  They have rental cabins as well.  The place is amazing and the people that work at the ranch are some of the nicest you will ever meet.  So, we thought, why not plan a little weekend adventure out there with fat bikes?  Grab your fat bike and come out for Saturday or Sunday, or make a weekend of it and book a room.  See you there.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 Fatty Flurry Festival

Year #3
Fatty Flurry Fest is a celebration of Fat Bikes in North Idaho. If you have never tried a fat bike before, and wanted to try before you buy, here is your chance...for free. And if you already have a fatty, come hang with some fellow fat bikers and ride some cool trails.

Free Fat Bike Demo from 10-12:30pm (Surly & Salsa Fat Bikes)

Group Rides: Starting at 1pm. More info coming....

Post ride will feature some socializing and some sled pulling with some refreshments around the fire.

Some Notes: You will need a State Park Pass which can purchases on site for $5 or you can get an annual pass for your vehicle at the DMV beforehand. If you don't have a bike with tires at least 3.8" wide, leave it at home. There are porta potties that are nice and clean, but no running water. We will have a fire to keep you warm.

All activities will be at the lake parking lot/event pavilion.

Camping (if you are brave enough) is available, as well as ice fishing, snowshoeing, xc skiing, ice skating, sledding...you name it.

This is a "low pressure" social Fat Bike event.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

2017 Idaho Free Park Day/Fat Bike Demo

Oh hey, did you see that recent blog about the great fat bike riding up at Indian Creek CG?  Well, Greasy Fingers Bikes N Repair will happen to be up there Saturday (1/7) from 10-2pm with some demo bikes.  So, if you are interested in trying a fat bike and seeing what the trails around the park are like, this would be your chance.  The demos will be part of the Idaho Free Park Day, where people are encouraged to visit their local park, and maybe try a winter activity they haven't done before.  XC skies and snowshoes will also be available to take out on the trails.

Try all 3 activities and make it a triathlon.  Either way, Priest Lake is a beautiful place, especially in the winter.  So, mark your calendars.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 Bike Movie Night

Here we go! Our first event for 2017, and back by popular demand, Bike Movie Night.
- 6pm every Wednesday in January
- Always free
- Always fun
- Feel free to bring your own chair although we should have plenty), snacks and bevs

Indian Creek CG has Upped thier Winter Grooming

Rang in the New Year up at Priest Lake.  They have some cabins at Indian Creek CG you can rent year round, and they are very affordable.  They are not very big, and are somewhat primitive, but that is the point.  

There was some usual evening shenanigans.  Along with a rare sighting of a beer tree in the wild.

playing pirate games

rare beer tree spotting

fat tracks on the left of set XC track

Anyways, on to why you are really here, the riding.  Well, the Park received a grant for a new machine to pull the groomer they use for the XC trails.  It is a side-by-side with tracks on it.  They pull a groomer that packs an area about 3' wide with a classic ski track in the middle.  The tracks of the side-by-side pack an area about 10" or so on each side of the groomed 3' area.  I am guesstimating these numbers, so they may not be exact, but you get the idea.  Riding the area packed by the machine tracks was amazingly fun.  There was plenty of room to slide around and not interfere with the classic ski track.  Oh yes, the park asks that you always try and avoid riding into or across the set ski track.  The park has a winter trails map that shows all the trails they groom.  There are also map boards scattered throughout the trails.  Trail fees?  None, but there is a donation box in the park HQ.  And don't forget you need a state parking pass to park your vehicle in any Idaho Park (get the annual at DMV or a daily at park).

navigation happening


Before you go, there is more.  I know, how could it be any better?  Well, the park staff has started grooming a fat bike specific trail along Indian Creek.  This .5 mile trail is packed with a snowmobile (the side-by-side can't go through there because of the trail bridges).  It is a fun little trail with some great scenery.  Because of the 2 snow packing difference between XC trails and the fat bike trail, the riding experience is quite different.  Both fun.  I would recommend hitting all the trails.  It will be about 2 hours of riding, depending on snow conditions, and well, your body conditioning.  Have fun, and make a point to stop in and tell the park staff you appreciate their grooming efforts!

until next time little cabin