Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Fault Lake Trail Ride Report

Last year I rode the Fault Lake Trail, and said I would not ride it again until some clearing had been done. The trail was so overgrown in areas you could barely get your handlebars through it. Pushing your bike up it with the brush was not anymore fun. 

Alas, this summer I heard the trail had been cleared and was again in great shape. I can imagine this was no easy task. Clearing all the alder and brush along the sides of this trail was a monumental job. All this work was done in honor of the 50 year anniversary of the Sundance Fire. That fire ripped right along the ridge where Fault Lake lies.

The trail is in amazing shape right now, and Fall is an awesome time to ride it with the change in colors. The only thing you will miss from the summer is a dip in the lake. Remember, you still will have to ditch your bike in the trees and hike the last mile as it is mostly unrideable...but totally worth it. Here are some pics from our ride...




Monday, October 2, 2017

Deer Ridge/Snyder Creek Trails Ride Report

I love going up to the Deer Ridge Lookout. I especially love riding down from the lookout, in particular the Snyder Creek Trail portion of the decent. My normal route has always been to do a mega shuttle and start with riding up Trail #277. Oh, that reminds me that trail got some major tread work done this summer along with a new bridge across Deer Creek. It is in great shape right now. Thought you might wanna know that. But back to my route. I ride up Trail #277 to the lookout. It is a grind of a climb. Once I poke around the lookout and snap some pics from the deck, I head out the Deer Ridge Trail. The ridge riding of the trail has some fabulous sections. It also contains some steep hike-a-bike sections. It is your standard North Idaho adventure ride. All that happens before you start your descent toward the intersection of the Snyder Creek Trail. The Snyder Creek Trail is where the descent really ramps up and thing turn straight down amazing.

That long introduction, leads me to the point of this ride report as I did a new route. This new ride route still falls under the category of mega shuttle, but cuts out the big climb to the lookout and the hike-a-bike along Deer Ridge. Instead of starting at Trail #277, I drove further up and the road and started at the North end of the Deer Ridge Trail. I rode the Deer Ridge Trail South to the Snyder Creek Trail intersection and picked up the descent from there just like I would had I done it my usual way. It made for an awesome ride option.
fall colors on Deer Ridge

The short couple miles on the Deer Ridge Trail to Snyder are really fun, and only include one short hike-a-bike. The long, fast descent down Snyder is like none other in the area. And then there is always post ride beers at Feist Creek Inn. All this adds up to a great day in the North Idaho backcountry.
never take the easy way out

Friday, September 8, 2017

Purcell Bike Rally (PBR)

The Purcell Mountain Range makes up the very Northeast section of the the Idaho Panhandle. Most of the area is rugged and remote, but also holds many amazing high country rides. These are not easy rides, but the challenges are filled with rewards. 
Buckhorn Ridge Trail
Greasy Fingers Bikes has rented out the Snyder Guard Station, Sept 23-25th, which sits in the middle of the Purcells and is close to many of the epic rides in the area. You can read all about Snyder's history in the link, but basically it is a 10 acre compound used by the Forest Service from 1906-1982. Now retired, you can rent the Guard Station for events. The Guard Station sits right on the banks of the Moyie River and has a main ranger house, 2 cabins (3-4 beds/per), a tent camp area (3 tents max), a camp trailer area (6 individual spots), a cookhouse, a 50x30' covered picnic/event area, campfire rings, horseshoe pit, running water, flushable toilets and showers.

Here is what you need to know:
  • Reservation is required, 24 people max allowed at Snyder. Please specify if you would like a tent site (3 available), trailer site (6 available) or cabin bed in one of the 2 bunkhouses (7 available). 
  • Cost is $35/per person for the event.
  • Times: You can arrive any time after 3pm on Saturday, and must be moved out of Snyder by 12am on Monday.
  • What's included in cost? A place to sleep for 2 nights and access to all amenities, dinner Sat & Sun nights, breakfast Sun & Mon morning, beer from keg, shuttle for rides Sun & Mon.
  • No dogs allowed. 
  • Rides for Sun & Mon will depend on group. Choices included, but not limited to: Ruby Ridge, Deer Ridge, Sidehill, Danquist and Buckhorn Ridge.
  • To register, simply email Brian@Greasy
  • FingersBikes.com with number of people and preferred sleeping arrangement. You are welcome to mail or swing a check by the shop, or for a few dollars extra we can email you a link to pay online through Eventbrite.
Here are some pics of the Guard Station:


main entrance

main ranger house

cookhouse

2 cabins

trailer spot

picnic/event area

map of compound

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Trapper Creek/Centennial Trail Ride Report

For those that follow ramblings here, you know the Trapper Creek/Centennial Trails are a couple of my favorites. The Trapper Creek Trail always seems to get cleared out every year, but over the last several year's the Centennial portion had gotten more and more blow downs. Alternate routs went around some piles of trees. In some areas the original trail was not even visible as there were so many trees piles on it. It really bummed me out as it looked like the trail might be lost. The work to saw and clear everything out to make the trail all rideable again seemed monumental. 

Then someone told me it had been cleared and they had ridden it. I couldn't make plans fast enough to get up to Priest Lake to check it out.

trailhead horsing around
We started at Lion's Head, made our way through the ATV maze, crossed Caribou Creek and started up the Centennial Trail. I can verify that is back to it's original state. We moved 4 trees off the trail and 3 we left because they were to big to move (but still easy enough to crawl over). I was reminded how much I love that trail. In no time, we were at Trapper CG and made our way to the TH at the North end. We had some lunch. Then I cleaned some shit off my tires, that's always fun.

old cabin on Trapper Creek Trail

trailside booty find
weaving through one of the many narrow cut out sections

like needles in a haystack...there is a rider somewhere in there

We rode back to Lion's Head, and it was a long afternoon of riding. Trails were great. I'm always amazed at the natural flow to the Trapper Trail. It is just so fun. Not to mention the amazing rain forest like quality of the area with a very dense forest canopy and huge old growth trees. The valley floor is covered in lush green ferns, moss and grass. It is simple amazing.

So thankful to those that worked so hard to reopen these trails. Go ride em...or come up for RTL Round Lake on September 17th.

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.
- If you are planning on attending this ride, please mark yourself as "going" on the FB event page or shoot me an email at bikenerd7b@gmail.com so we can get a headcount for food, beer, maps, etc.

Sponsored by Greasy Fingers Bikes N Repair

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.