Cycling Advocates Ride to Pro Walk Pro Bike 2006

Daily Trip Log

from Vancouver B.C. to Madison, Wisconsin

Picture of Vancouver, BCGrouse Mountain Vancouver B.C.
Spokane, WA
Date: 2006-08-01
Distance: 47 Kilometres
Cycling Time: 3.09 Hours
Average Speed: 15.16 kph
  Trip Distance since Leaving Vancouver 774 Kilometres  
Thoughts for the Day  

The objective for today was rather simple, just move from this motel to one closer to the Spokane Centennial Trail and downtown. There were a couple of options. One was to just cycle the 77 streets straight downtown, up the hill a bit and then a long way down. The other was to go a bit north into the valley and find the northern end of the Centennial Trail, follow it downtown. That we chose to do. Be downtown in a couple of hours and then go to a bike shop and REI.



Well, we did not have the best of maps. One map was copied from the phone book. The other was of better quality but just of downtown. The lack of good maps became self evident very quickly. When we were not sure of where we were, along came a racing cyclists to provide some directions. We were actually on the right route.



Then came the hills in this semi-arid land with tall pines and other coniferous trees. Even Stevens Pass seemed easy compared to these hills. The grades exceeded 10% by quite a bit. The temperature was higher today. The sun blazed down. Just granny gear climbing for these hills.



Well, it finally happened. John and I got separated near the end of the ride before we got to the motel. I reached the top of the Riverside Road hill after a long but not too strenuous climb. I saw some shade and knowing that John loves shade in the afternoon, I parked the bike against the auditorium building. While my back was turned to the street getting out some nuts from a pannier, John whizzed by. So there I sat for half an hour looking for John while he was cruising downtown and eating at a bakery.



After half an hour I thought that I should do something. The logical thing was to go back down the road and make sure that John is not sitting under some shade or else wise. The thought of reclaiming the hill did not really turn me on. The thought of just going to the motel did not seem appropriate. What if John was fixing a flat or needed some tools that I had. He was having problems with his front brake scrapping against the wheel.



So, what lese could I do but go back down. Meanwhile John was comfortably planted in a bakery enjoying some goodies.





After the descend and the reclimb I continued on to the motel. About an hour or so afterwards, just as I was checking his cell phone number, John walked in relaxed.


Cycling Facilities  
Spokane River Centennial Trail

The western section of the trail ran through some interesting pine forest and semi-arid rolling hills. The path tends to be very wide in most places, two lane width. Basically, for most parts the path seems to be a forest fire road with restrictions on usage by cars. There were short sections of shared roadway.



What was very apparent was that this trail was not designed for families, for encouraging people to start cycle, or encourage nervous or hesitant cyclists to get out and improve their skills. The hills were just too steep for that and too long. For racing cyclists it was a good training trail for the next Tour de France. For commuter cyclists it was not effective compared to paralleling roads with their paved shoulders bike lane width.



For additional details, refer to comments on Spokane River Centennial Trail


  Spokane Cycling Facilities    
    Bicycle Map

The map available on the internet is quite useful showing roads with various cycling facilities and cyclists recommended roads. Unfortunately, the map is in a gif format and of low quality that it cannot be magnified very much.

  Bike Lanes can be found on arterial and secondary roads, including residential roads. There are more roads with paved shoulders not marked for cycling but cycling lane width making cycling comfortable. Some roads have cycling restrictions due to traffic volumes.

    Marked Car Parking

Solid lines setting out car parking on roads are located from the curb by about two metres. When no cars are stationed there, it makes nice cycling lanes.