Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Centennial Trail – Summit Boulevard Gap project update

As I mentioned in my previous post, Summit Blvd/Boone to TJ Meenach Trail Slight Return, I had checked with the city on the status of the Summit Gap project. They got back to me, and since then an update was posted 30 Nov stating there was a delay and they were waiting on WSDOT approval with the project expected to go out for bid mid-December. I just checked the city’s Current Projects Information page and the call for bids went out for the Centennial Trail - Summit Boulevard Gap project with bid opening set for 11 Jan, 2021.

Judging by the numerous “Spokane Deserves a Better Trail” signs along Summit Blvd, many folks are opposed to the project. They want a better trail, meaning one going down the ridge, crossing the river on an old pipeline bridge instead of connecting to Pettet Drive through their neighborhood. That alternate trail project, if ever completed, would be at least 5 years in the future and probably more. I think the project along Summit Blvd and West Point, using the same route that existing trail users use today to go from Summit Blvd/Boone Ave to connect with the Centennial Trail at Pettet Drive, will be a good off street improvement, closing one of the major gaps in the almost 40 mile long Spokane River Centennial Trail. Making it a better trail. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Summit Blvd/Boone to TJ Meenach Trail Slight Return

I re-visited the trail today that starts at the corner of Summit Blvd and Boone Ave and goes down the hillside to TJ Meenach. The city, I think, is going forward with the project to close the Centennial Trail Gap from Boone alongside Summit Blvd to Pettet Drive (*see below at end). I wasnt too sure about the plan at first and was halfway against it, but I’m all for it now. I’ve also had other ideas: wouldn’t it be great to smooth out and re-route this trail down the hillside to make another connection from the Centennial Trail to TJ Meenach Bridge.

It was just as I remembered: a nice wide smooth dirt trail said to be an old rail bed that quickly descends into a narrow single-or-less track, up and down, often rocky, semi-evil trail. Un-rideable in spots, especially on my Vaya with slick 47m street tires on it. I was going to take a Fargo with 3” tires but wanted to stop at REI to make an exchange so took the ol’ touring bike and wore flat thin no-tread Chrome shoes. Highly not recommend.

As I mostly walked down the trail, I looked up the hillside for any sign of an old rail-bed but didn’t see any remnants of one. I figured it washed away long ago. I had dreams of carving out a nice upper trail, but saw a couple No Trespassing signs up the hillside. I thought this was all city land so I made a mental note to check on the ownership. 

After some slipping and sliding down I made it safely to the smooth wide trail on the other end, and to the Centennial Trail alongside Pettet Drive. 

Here’s a screenshot of my Ride with GPS track

I was dismayed when I got home and discovered the middle section below the homes on Mission Ave and West Point Rd was all owned by the homeowners. Their parcels go all the way down to the river! 

Land on either end is owned by the city, but there goes my grand trail building dreams.

*The City’s project page says the city expected to advertise the project for bids the week of October 26th once authorization from WSDOT was received. The Bid Project Schedule has an estimated 11/01/2020 ad date. I emailed and they responded the project hasn’t gone out for bid yet and they would check with the engineer on it. 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Odds and Ends, Odds and Ends

 ~ lost time is not found again. 

i’ve been working from home since late march and haven’t been getting a whole lot of riding in. i’m about ready to volunteer to head back to the office a few days a week just so i can get more bike mileage in, loosen up those jeans. here’s some pics from when i did get out  

the plan is to turn my marin muirwoods into a 1x10. or maybe
3 speed. first order of business, get some leverage to get the 
bottom bracket out.
a trip to warrior liquor

wasn’t sure what the occasion was here at first, but it was me
saying i’m out of shape and not gonna make it up post street
hill in the heat 
we biked up to best buy to pick up an order, stopped at target
and petsmart, bought more than i planned on, then picked up
some lasagna too
a trip to the post office
another trip to the post office, for a money order. 
sent my concertina in for tuning and my concertina guy said 
send a check to pay for shipping back and i said....a check? i
don’t think we have any.
dash didn’t want a ride home in the jump bike
converting fargo rival to tubeless. the worst ever tire/rim 
combo to separate.  so glad i never had a flat
scout loved riding in the basket. heading up monroe with
the pedal assist set to 11
virtual bloomsday 2020 with dash and debbie. which reminds
me - why can’t there be a sidewalk/bike path on the 
other side of Fort Named After Guy Famous for Hanging 
Indians and Killing Hundreds of Horses Blvd
scout, a few weeks before he passed away. it’s been tough.
he couldn’t walk far so i biked him around in the
radwagon basket to his favorite places. 
fillerup! gas can needed filling
summertime house hunting in west central

 vote by bike

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Beacon Hill First Timer Reporting

Back in December when we picked vacation days at work I picked a random weekend in August for a 4-day weekend as is my wont. I think everybody needs some time off in August and maybe we’ll want to go somewhere. We didn’t, as usual, (it’s just too hot) and sometime after I woke up on Friday I said today is the day - I’m biking to Beacon Hill! Finally, after who knows how many years of biking in Spokane, I’m going to one of the premier mountain biking spots in Spokane. I even got out of the house by 10am while it was still cool. Luckily, the forecast was for only temps in the 80° range.

The Beacon Hill trails start at Esmeralda Golf Course and I had hadn’t been there for years. I searched for a bike route there the night before: I didn’t look too closely but saw that Bridgeport will lead to the golf course. It’s about 5 miles away from our house. 

On Friday morning I headed east on Garland Ave, thinking for some reason it becomes Bridgeport somewhere east of  Division.  After Division I went a block south and took Providence Ave paralleling Garland; East Garland is a narrow 2-lane street with parking on both sides. I avoid streets like that. Arriving at 4-lane Regal Street, I said ok where’s Bridgeport and pulled out my phone. Google maps was now telling me to go down to Euclid and cross Regal there.  I headed south and found Bridgeport:

Well ok then, I headed to Euclid and didn’t follow the directions and found Minnehaha Park:

and then found my way to the Esmeralda Bike Trail

The Esmeralda Trail is a loop up to the top of Beacon Hill and back down. It’s mostly smooth with banked corners, a change from the alternately smooth and rocky trails I usually ride out at Riverside State Park. Evergreen East/Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance does a great job in Spokane developing and maintaining trails in the area. 

Big views nearing the top:

more smooth banked trail

and the top, after walking the last bit
Looking at my Fargo with its drop bars and no suspension reminds me that on the way up I went over a little jump off a rock and remembered just as I launched that this bike isn’t really made for jumping. Luckily, I made the landing without crashing or hitting my mouth on the handlebars. 

At the top there are signs for some of the other trails with names like Upchuck to explore. Plenty of trails to explore. Being out of shape and not sure how far afield the trails went, I took the Esmeralda Trail back down. It was a fun ride down and for once I was careful not to get going too fast for my skill level and bike. 

I got a sandwich at the golf course afterwards and eyed the bike and scooter-style carts available to rent. I’ve been thinking about trying a little golf again and next time I could do a mountain bike/golf duathalon.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

out and about in wileydogland

no ride on mission and  deno is complete without getting chased by a dog. this pic was taken after i was safely far enough away. this dog was a sneaky one - as i came around a corner that merged with his driveway, he came silently running at an angle from behind. no bark ninja dog.  

i couldn’t lift this tree. anybody have a chainsaw i can borrow?

somebody did a good job of improving the merge of the upper trail with the merkel trail

multicare rockwood moved my dr’s office from the main clinic near downtown to up yonder on the south hill moran prairie area. i took southeast blvd cause i’m out of shape and didn’t think it’s as steep as some of the other routes. i barely made it.  at least i got pizza at the perry street market on my way home (see below).

i got some of those funky surly bars from velofix grafton’s garage sale and put em on my muirwoods. the bike actually fits me now. i have some orange pedals on it now and thinking orange cables will look good on it when i convert it to 2 or 1 x10 or single speed. maybe orange tires might be too much?

i moved some logs and rocks out of the way last year that were blocking the trail and next time rode by there was a bigger log blocking the trail. maybe some homeowner thought it was ok for them to block a trail on state park land that runs in front of the houses to the right. i was ready to go buy a little electric chainsaw but when i came out again in early spring i found mother nature or somebody already took care of it for me. 

thanks, mother nature! or folks!

rats one of my favorite routes is blocked. euclid road. some guys have still crossed on the bridge here but it looked a little too rickety for me. 

more biking on the riverside state park land between aubrey wright parkway and joe albi/dwight merkel/ housing development off 7-mile. i’m really growing more appreciative of these nearby trails. 

the well deserved pizza after biking up to moran prairie 

this year’s bikepacking get up. might get out in september or october. 

more hauling stuff

not my favorite way to lock up bit i desperately needed new guitar strings