This Sunday Spokane’s premier family-friendly bike ride, SpokeFest, gets rolling at Riverfront Park. The beautiful route through the Spokane River Gorge takes you from the heart of downtown to the heart of the great outdoors within just a few miles. The ride features routes of various distances to accommodate different ability levels, and activities and information at SpokeFair in the Gondola Meadows. (You’ll see me there with a Bike Style booth.)
The event welcomes riders of all ages, abilities, and types of bikes. You’ll see recumbents, tandems, road bikes, cruisers and more. The first year I remember my husband and I riding for a bit with a man who had a bike with an extra seat to hold his son, who had multiple disabilities. The boy grinned from ear to ear with delight as we peddled through the fall sunshine. I talked with people for whom this was their first bike ride in years, the longest one they’d ever ridden in their lives, or the first time they’d ridden along our beautiful river.
This kind of ride is quite different from commuting but gives you the chance to practice your riding skills. You’ll meet and talk with other riders who might prove to be resources for thinking about your route, gear, and other commuting questions.
You will also recognize that you’re part of something bigger. Spokane has a great tradition of events that let us take over the streets for people-powered activities and come together as a community: Bloomsday. Hoopfest. Summer Parkways (which grew out of SpokeFest).
SpokeFest is something special. If you don’t live in Spokane, you may well have an equivalent ride in your area; many nonprofits organize rides as fundraisers. You’ll benefit from the camaraderie and support, the chance to set the goal of completing a ride of a given length, and the access to information from a variety of bike resources in the community you’ll often find at such events.
Get out and ride.
Posts in our 30 Days of Biking Blogging Inspiration & How-to Series for Sept. 2011 30 Days of Biking
- 30 Days of Bike Commuting: You Can Do It!
- Why We Ride/Resolve to Ride–A Blogspedition
- Preparing to Commute by Bike: Get the Worry out of the Way
- Buying a Bike for Commuting: Some Questions and a Blogspedition
- How to Bike Commute: Getting the Gear Together
- Bike Commuting 101: Carrying Stuff
- On a Roll with Wilma Flanagan
- 30 Days of Biking: Week One Report
- Ride with your Community: SpokeFest Rocks!
- There and Back Again: How to Pick your Bike Commute Route
- Intro to Bike Commuting: Route Selection Part 2
- More Bike Commuting Route Selection Tips: Part 3
- Thinking Like a Driver vs. Thinking Like a Bicyclist
- Biking as Downtime and other Musings on Overproductivity
- 30 Days of Biking: Week Two Report
- On a Roll with Katherine Widing
- I Shouldn’t Assume
- Falling Down on Your Bike. It Happens. To Grown-Ups.
- Pretty Handy, Gloves. The Blogspedition Assumes You’ll Get ‘Em.
- What to Wear for Your Bike Commute? Clothes.
- How to Get a Dropped Bike Chain Back On, Grease-Free
- 30 Days of Biking: Week Three!
- It’s All in the Attitude
- Things I Now Do on My Bike Without Having to Think About It
- Mental Essentials for Bike Commuting: Risk and Trust
- More Mental Essentials for Bike Commuting: Friendliness and Openness
- Even More Mental Essentials for Bike Commuting: Tolerance, Humor, and Persistence
- Bicycling Rites of Passage, Spokane Style
- Dear Reader, I Chicked Him
- 30 Days of Biking: Final Report!
- Have you ridden SpokeFest? Share your impressions to inspire others to ride.
- What are your favorite community rides?