VOL. 9 // NO.1 // SEPTEMBER 2012
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THE INLAND NORTHWEST GUIDE TO OUTDOOR RECREATION
NEWS: Adopt a Crag in Post Falls, ID PG: 8
SUSTAINABILITY: The Local Beer Revolution PG: 10
FLY FISHING on the Spokane River PG: 22
HEALTH + FITNESS: Processing Pain PG: 11
WHAT’S YOUR GEAR? Jim Bauer, Canoeing PG: 13
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Out There Monthly / September 2012
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Out There Monthly / September 2012
InThisIssue p.7 / From the Editor
The Fantastic Mr. Fox By Jon Snyder
p.8 / Out There News
Out There Monthly / September 2012 Publisher and Editor-in-Chief
Adopt A Crag In Post Falls, Off-The-
Jon Snyder email@example.com
Couch Training Program
p.10 / Sutainable Living
Amy Silbernagel McCaffree
Cheers to Local Beer
Health & Fitness Editor
Dr. Bob Lutz
By Annie Szotkowski
Jon Jonckers, Derrick Knowles
p.11 / Health & Fitness
Christian Barber, Hank Greer, Stan Miller, Brad Naccarato, John Speare, Annie Szotkowski
By Dr. Bob Lutz
Barbara Snyder To request issues please call 509 / 534 / 3347
p.12 / Book REviews
Bill Bloom: 509 / 999 / 8214
Heading Outdoors Eventually Leads
Out There Monthly
Mailing Address: PO Box 559 Spokane, WA 99210 www.outtheremonthly.com, 509 / 534 / 3347 Out There Monthly is published once a month by Snyderco DBA/Out There Monthly. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent of the publisher.
Within and A Family That Paddles Together By Stan Miller & Jon Jonckers
©Copyright 2012 Snyderco DBA/Out There Monthly. The views expressed in this magazine reflect those of the writers and advertisers and not necessarily Snyderco DBA/Out There Monthly.
p.13 / What’s Your Gear? Jim Bauer: Canoeing By Amy Silbernagel McCaffree
p.14 / PUNISH STUFF
The only punk rock dive bar where you can get fresh- squeezed juice and a tofu burrito
A Fat Bike On The Cheap By John Speare
p.15 / Everyday cyclist Get Dirty This Fall With Cyclocross By Hank Greer
Disclaimer: Many of the activities depicted in this magazine carry a significant risk of personal injury or death. Rock climbing, river rafting, snow sports, kayaking, cycling, canoeing and backcountry activities are inherently dangerous. The owners and contributors to Out There Monthly do not recommend that anyone participate in these activities unless they are experts or seek qualified professional instruction and/or guidance, and are knowledgeable about the risks, and are personally willing to assume all responsibility associated with those risks.
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p.18 / Back To THe Future With BMX Racing In Spokane Then And Now By Annie Szotkowski & Hank Greer
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p.22 / Last Page Flyfishing The Spokane River By Brad Naccarato
On the cover: Laurali Gillam at the Dwight Merkel BMX track in Spokane. // Photo toddconleyphotography.com. Inset: Mick Woodruff #43 leads Eric Almquist #42 in his last race at Holiday Hills in 1979.
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Don’t trash the traDition Whether it’s your child’s first camping trip, an annual family vacation destination, or your favorite hunt camp, the magic of these special moments disappears with each carelessly discarded wrapper, can or trash-filled fire ring. Pick up litter and leave public and private lands better than you found them. And remember, Respected Access is Open Access.
Out There Monthly / September 2012
ON LAND AND WATER
FromtheEditor: The FANTASTIC MR. FOX Just about once a month Out There Monthly receives a PR email from someone trying to get us to write about a charity fundraising feat of outdoor daring do. A person, or persons, will be climbing a mountain, descending a river, or going coast-to-coast on inline skates to raise money for X or to bring awareness to Y. We generally don’t cover these escapades, not because I’m overly cynical, but because there’s no local angle. Last November’s cover story on the great Lisa Bliss, who trekked from the desert to Mt. Whitney solo, and raised money for Spokane’s own Crosswalk shelter, is a good example of a story we love to tell. But often the charity aspect seems like
a way to counterbalance the inherent selfishness of outdoor adventure. I don’t get that. If you can raise money for something with your adventure, that’s great, but if you just want to go coast to coast on inline skates please do so without apologies. I got to thinking about this all because of this summer’s Olympics and South African runner Oscar Pistorious. Pistorious is the sprinter with no legs below the knees. His high-tech prosthetic legs have been carefully calibrated to give him no advantage over a regular sprinter. My first memory of seeing anyone run without all their legs came 32 years ago. Terry Fox was a 22-year old cancer patient with one leg completely amputated to pre-
vent his disease from spreading. In the summer of 1980 Fox did something unexpected. He decided the best way to fight this disease was not to focus on his own treatment, but to open up a conversation with the world. To do that Fox, a resident of British Columbia, embarked upon a quest to run across Canada, averaging a full marathon a day, to raise money and awareness for cancer research. And he did it using a prosthetic that had more in common with a pirate peg-leg than any of today’s high-tech artificial limbs. Fox raised an enormous amount of money for cancer research, became an international hero, and ultimately brought his own life to a quicker
end because of his phenomenal run. His story of adventure for charity is truly one that will never be equaled. You can see it chronicled in the wonderful documentary film Into The Wind. My hat’s off to anyone who goes outdoors for charity, but we should never forget Mr. Fox. His 32-year old legacy is still going strong. // ----------------------------------------------------JON SNYDER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF firstname.lastname@example.org P.S. Check out the online browser edition of OTM at issuu.com. Just search google “Out There Monthly issuu.com.”
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OutThereNews Help AdoPT A Crag
Climbing Area Clean Up In Post Falls September 8
509.242.2739|1003 E. Trent Ave. NoLiBrewhouse.com
We need your help! Spokane County Parks needs your help shaping the future of Spokane County’s parks, trails, open spaces, and sports facilities! County Parks is in the process of updating its Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) Plan that helps guide where future facilities will go. Now is your chance to let us know!
Take our online survey! Visit www.spokanecounty.org/parks and click on the Park Plan (PROS) Survey Link!
Attend an Open House at the following locations! Airway Hts. Library Thurs., September 13th 1213 S. Lundstrom St., Airway Hts. North Spokane Library Wed., September 19th 44 E. Hawthorne Rd., Spokane Moran Prairie Library Thurs., September 20th 6004 S. Regal St., Spokane
Out There Monthly / September 2012
4:30-7:00 p.m. 4:30-7:00 p.m. 4:30-7:00 p.m.
Q’emiln (pronounced “ka-mee-lin”) Park in Post Falls, Idaho, offers the climbing community a great source for cragging at levels not exceeding 5.10. However, keeping the climbing area pristine requires a helping hand. This year’s Adopt a Crag event will take place Saturday, September 8th, from 8:00 am to noon. Climbers and outdoor enthusiasts alike are urged to volunteer. The focus of the Q’emiln cleanup will be the removal of trash and debris, clearing of invasive weeds and brush that inhibit access and reduce safety, and providing general trail maintenance. The cleanup follows the “Leave No Trace” philosophy by encouraging outdoor enthusiasts to make as little impact as possible by demonstrating the practice of proper land stewardship. Cleanup will be hosted by North Idaho College’s Outdoor Pursuits, which adopted the Q’emiln Crag area through the Adopt a Crag program— which was founded by Access Fund, a national advocacy organization devoted to conserving climbing environments. Access Fund works with federal, state and local officials, local climbing organizations and land managers to develop and guide climbing management policies. As part of Access Fund’s local efforts, they commit to yearly cleaning and maintenance of over 150 climbing areas nationwide. Essential to the success of the Adopt a Crag event is the volunteers. Volunteers are organized by North Idaho College, which through its Outdoor Pursuits program trains the public in the practices of the leave no trace philosophy—designed to minimize erosion, detrimental impact to vegetation and wildlife, and to preserve the solitude by working to limit or reduce noise pollution. Q’emiln Park is located at 12201 W Parkway Dr, Post Falls, ID 83854. From I-90 take exit 5, then
turn south on Spokane Street. The park entrance is located across the Spokane River Bridge. Volunteers will receive free food and giveaways from local recreational outfitters. For more details and/or to sign up, call North Idaho College’s Outdoor Pursuits office at (208) 769-7809. //
Adopt a Crag, Sept. 8, from 8:00 am to noon at Q’emiln Park, Post Falls, ID. Volunteer sign-up, (208) 769-7809.
Cleaning climbing areas preserves access. // Photo Jeff Ferguson.
Go From the Couch to A 5k Run In 12 weeks The No Boundaries program at the brandnew Fleet Feet Sports offers one of the best and most inventive entry-level fitness options in recent years. For many, cracking into a fitness routine might be the most difficult thing they do. However, the dedicated coaches and mentors invested in the Couch To 5km program at Fleet Feet are attentive and enthusiastic about fitness success. “Our program is a coached 12-week program intended to train someone who is currently on the couch to the completion of a 5km foot race. Sure, this program can be accomplished on your own outside of the group training environment, however, the community and relationships built through overcoming the challenge and adversity of training each week help you overcome the desire to give up,” says Wade Pannell, Fleet Feet Sports owner. New Balance has partnered with this program to ensure quality training, good discounts and plenty of other incentives. While No Boundaries focuses on beginners, all levels of walkers and
runners are welcome. Along the way, they’ll provide motivation to keep you moving, weekly group training runs or walks, and educational clinics. Those clinics cover topics such as proper nutrition, stamping out excuses, choosing the right gear, and avoiding injury. Reaching the fitness goal remains the biggest reward in the Couch to 5km - No Boundaries formula, but the key elements to the program’s success include 1) costs less than a gym or personal trainer 2) more inclusive, cohesive groups and 3) none of the intimidation found in diet meetings or jogging clubs. The next group begins on September 6th and they are aiming for the Jingle Bell 5km. They’re also considering a treadmill/gym-based group for the first part of 2013, as well as groups that will train for the Susan G Komen 5km, Bloomsday, and other races through out next year. // For more information, visit http://www.fleetfeetspokane.com/training/beginner
HealthandFitness Processing Pain
Disassociation or Association--You Can Chose / By Dr. Bob Lutz
St Maries, ID
Distraction techniques are used during training by both elites and others (probably because training is usually slower and of lower priority), and during long duration events where time isn’t an issue and athletes benefit from externally focusing. Not surprisingly, the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) differs when associating and disassociating—external focus tends to lower the perceived level of exertion. Dissociation may provide a tool for reducing pain or discomfort, but only when the stimulus is low enough; the greater the intensity, the less likely distraction is able to quiet the pain.
Spokane river run. // Photo Jeff Ferguson.
What is pain? Pain is weakness? What is weakness? Evil leaving your body... While this is as much a truism as “No pain, No gain,” it highlights a question that may have arisen if you found yourself watching the Olympic marathons, or for that matter any endurance event—how do elite athletes do it? How do they push themselves to those unreal levels? Are they immune to pain? Do they have incredibly high pain thresholds, or are they just crazy? The simplest way to approach this is by looking at two interrelated concepts—association and disassociation—and then further divide them by internal and external. Disassociation is something as simple as daydreaming, or playing a song over and over again in your head (internal disassociation). Put this idea into an external framework and it’s ignoring what’s happening during your daily commute, planning your breakfast, counting steps or zoning out to music. The bottom line is your mind is elsewhere and it’s a distraction from how you’re feeling. Contrast this with being in the moment— associating. Externally, you’re picking off runners ahead of you and calculating your splits. Internally, you’re tuning in to those body cues you’re experiencing—your heart rate, your breathing, the growing pain in your quads, etc. This allows you to hear, and maybe listen, to the messages your body is sending you, both good and bad—and depending upon the situation and your interpretation of this information, you may respond accordingly. One method isn’t necessarily better than the other. Rather, both can be effectively used in different situations. Research from the 70s found elite runners generally associated during races, while sub-elites and non-elites disassociated. Subsequent research found associative strategies to be linked with faster run times, and as the need for speed increased, so too did the use of association by elite runners. Context also mattered. Similar distances raced on the track versus trails found faster times on the former, explained by the greater number of distractors on the latter (all other factors held equal).
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The bottom line is your mind is elsewhere and it’s a distraction from how you’re feeling. At a physiological level, this may simply be a failsafe mechanism to prevent self-injury. And maybe this is where elite athletes excel—their willingness and ability to go beyond this signaling. Elite athletes may be refocusing this message—pain isn’t necessarily bad, but rather a gauge of measuring peak performance. And not to forget about the need to compete, some people are gamers and reach for those superhuman levels when there’s someone out in front or they’re racing against the clock. The reality is that unless you’re a monk, it’s difficult to always associate and be in the moment. And is it really necessary? Gina Kolata wrote about the use of dissociation by Paula Radcliffe, the winner of the 2007 New York City Marathon, in a piece entitled “I’m Not Really Running, I’m Not Really Running...” (http://www.nytimes. com/2007/12/06/health/nutrition/06Best.html). Kolata also quoted Dr. Bill Morgan, a Professor Emeritus of Kinesiology, who said, “All maximum performances are actually pseudo-maximum performances. You are always capable of doing more than you are doing.” I asked Don Kardong, our local Olympic marathoner, about what he did in 1976 in Montreal. The team sports psychologist had talked about the research around association and disassociation, but Don asked himself how important it was to focus on his breathing and heart rate during the first half of his Olympic race. So he used disassociation for the first ten miles and then changed over to associating during the last part, a winning strategy that propelled him to his fourth place finish, which was 2.5 minutes faster than his Olympic trials time. So what’s the bottom line? Ultimately, it’s about finding what works for you to achieve your peak performance. It seems as if a combination of association and disassociation prove best during races, and your ability to be in your body/head may be the ticket for a new PR. But maybe just finishing is the most important thing for you. Either way, consider yourself similar to any elite athlete in at least one aspect—pain is what you make of it. //
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Sept. 16 Sept. 30 (Sundays) 2012
FREE bike races for youth, ages 12 and under Two wheel and tricycle/training wheel divisions Register on site at the races, no pre-registration! Races start at noon, check the website for age group start times. Sept. 16 - Shadle Park (NW Spokane) Sept. 30 - Mirabeau Park, Spokane Valley - drawings held for FREE Specialized Bicycles and helmets from Wheelsport. Activities during the races include fun and games from the YMCA, free bike and helmet checks, the Group Health Bike Rodeo, Group Health P.T’s “Stretch It Here” presentations and more.
For more information contact: Emde Sports at 509-326-6983 or visit www.emdesports.com. FREE bike races and any bike will do the job. It’s all about getting out and having some fun!
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Photo of the Month Sheila Anderson
“Escape: a beautiful, relaxing pond right beside the waterfall at Horseshoe Lake, north of Spokane.” Photo by Sheila Anderson. Send your 3 meg. or less, hi-res (200+ dpi) submission with caption to email@example.com. Best photos entries will be picked for upcoming issues.
RoadtripDJ: September Christian Barber Music is intellectually visceral, deflowering the mind of the daily blasé by churning life’s fire. A road trip song is more than point “A” to “B”; it’s a journey freeing the soul.
“Here I Go Again” / Whitesnake / Whitesnake (1987) Pure road rumination moonshine to drive your soul down the line. “Born On The Bayou” / Credence Clearwater Revival / Bayou Country (1969) A cultural homecoming to a time without Facebook and cell phones; enjoying this song with an ice cold Coke melts even the most swampy miles. “Lonely Train” / Black Stone Cherry / Black Stone Cherry (2006) Timelessly pure in its message with a hard driving beat to push you through the midnight hour on the most desolate highway. “You Know You’re Right” / Nirvana / Nirvana (2002) With its guttural energy and poetic roots, this song helps me drive all night long. “Gotta Serve Somebody”/ Bob Dylan / Slow Train Coming (1979) Enchantingly cerebral, this song is easy to listen to with rejuvenating java in the middle of nowhere. //
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through the end of October Serving the Spokane Community with more space, great vendors convenient parking and Live Music every Market Featuring Spokane’s finest Local, Natural and Organic: bountiful farm-fresh produce, fresh baked bread & pasteries, beef, pork, lamb, poultry, eggs, honey, fruit, and much, much more!
8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (509) 995-0182 www.spokanefarmersmarket.org We accept: Visa/Mastercard, Food Stamps (EBT), WIC
Out There Monthly / September 2012
GoGreen: SustainableLiving Cheers to local bEER
Area Microbreweries Getting More Ambitious / By Annie Szotkowski are refillable and reusable. Where to find: Available from Tap Room only. Open Fridays and Saturdays, from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm. More info: www.Budgebrothers.com, (509) 4263340 Advice for the beer novice: Drink what you like. Don’t listen to commercials or let people tell you what to drink. Always form your own opinions.
From farm to pub, local breweries have uncapped secrets that yield great tasting beer. With one of the best hop growing regions in the country, brew masters serve beer onsite or ship a fraction of the distance traveled by corporate beers. Microbrews are centers of beer ingenuity and environmental stewardship. Microbrew practices depend on local ingredients, emit fewer carbon transmissions, and reuse bi-products and packaging, depending on the source. An appreciation for European craft beers and local hops turned a chemically combusted “liquid loaf of bread” into a prized local commodity. Professor Daniel Williams taught a summer
One of the great ideas that was generated was the Spokane Ale Trail. Scientific Principles of Beer Brewing class at Gonzaga University. “Local breweries are exactly that, local,” he says in an e-mail. “This reduces the impact of distribution and transporting quantities of beer (which is pretty heavy and should be kept cold) long distances.” He points to the reusability of growlers (half-gallon glass jugs) versus bottles, as one example. Increasingly, brewers are minimizing waste as beer requires gallons of water. Williams calculates that four to six times as much water is used per unit of beer produced. Fred Colby from Laughing Dog Brewery claims up to ten gallons are used at other breweries. As with buying local, drinking local microbrews keep jobs in the neighborhood and the money flowing. Mark Irvin and business partner John Bryant of Spokane-based No-Li Brewhouse dedicate three prime beers to Spokane’s work ethic, a concern for neighbors, and a connection to their hometown roots—the Silent Treatment, Crystal Bitter, and-
No-Li Brewery Partners Mark Irvin and John Bryant are taking the business to the next level. // Photo courtesy No-Li.
Born and Raised IPA are all blended with philosophical and physical sustainable methods. No-Li now successfully bottles and stocks their beer in local stores, and other local brewers hope to follow. No-Li plans to expand distribution beyond Spokane to Denver and New York City. Recently, Mark hosted the first Spokane/Inland Northwest’s Brewers Conference, where twelve craft brewers from the area discussed plans to enrich Spokane’s microbrew culture. One of the great ideas that flourished was the Spokane Ale Trail, a chain of hotels featuring local beer. Here are six breweries to know. No-Li Brewhouse 1003 E. Trent Ave. Spokane, WA Owner: Mark Irvin and John Bryant On tap: Pale Ale, Blueberry Crème, Crème Ale, Summer Wheat, Chocolate Dunkel, The Silent Treatment, Crystal Bitter, and Born and Raised IPA. Sustainable practices: Ingredients are from “Spokane’s backyard” or within 300 miles. Water is an essential part to the taste and microbrew blending process. No fuels, no sprays on ingredients; consideration to conserve energy. Where to find: The Elk, The Flying Goat, Main Market, Safeway, World Market, Yokes, Huckleberry’s, Rosauers, Super 1. More info: www.Nolibrewhouse.com, (509) 242-2739 Advice for the beer novice: Keep an open mind and try different things with it. Budge Brothers Brewery 2018 E. Riverside Ave. Suite #1 Spokane, WA Owners: brothers Brad and Bruce Budge On tap: Spokamber Ale, Orangutan Pale Ale, Hop Train IPA, Extra Stout. Sustainable practices: All malted barley is shipped from Armstrong, B.C., then stored in a warehouse in Spokane Valley. Hops from Yakima Valley, water from the Aquifer. Kegs and growlers
Laughing Dog Brewing 1109 Fontaine Drive, Ponderay, Idaho Owners: Fred Colby and Michelle Douglass On tap: Brews 16 beers throughout the year with 12 on tap at the brewery depending on what’s available, including Pilsners, Alpha Dog, Dogzilla, Devil Dog IPA, The Dog Father Stout, Ale Cream, and Lager. Sustainable practices: All byproduct from beer production is used as animal feed. Low water-tobeer production ratio (3.5 gallons of water used to make one gallon of beer). Uses large portions of hops from the hops fields in Bonners Ferry; almost all barley is Northwest-grown. Where to find: Tap room open daily (hours vary); also sells kegs and bottles. Distributed throughout the Northwest, including Alaska, as well as New York and other eastern states. More info: www.Laughingdogbrewing.com, (208) 263-9222 Advice for the beer novice: Laughing Dog Brews “are not your grandfather beers,” says Fred. “They are part of the new wave of craft beers.” River City Brewing 1325 W. First Ave., Spokane, WA Owners: Ron and Julie Wells and brothers Gage and Spencer Stromberg On tap: Blonde Ale, Huckleberry Harvest Ale, Whitman’s Wheat Beer, Cutter’s Pale Ale, Strawberry Blonde Seasonal, plus six more. Sustainable practices: Source locally and regionally for many of the grains and hops used in the beers. Where to find: At the soon to open brewery on 1st.
More info: http://rivercityred.blogspot.com/ Kootenai River Brewing Company Riverside and First St., Bonners Ferry, Idaho Owner: Mark Naumann On tap: American Pilsner, Huckleberry Wheat, American Pale Ale, IPA, Porter, and two seasonal beers. Sustainable practices: Brewed with locally grown North Idaho Hops, water from Selkirk Mountains, and Pacific Northwest malted barley. Huckleberry Wheat Beer has local berries. Beer waste grains given to hogs; hogs then served in the restaurant. Kegs sold in the tap room. Where to find: Currently sold only in Idaho restaurants/pubs, including Eichardt’s, Di Lunas, and Sweet Lou’s in Sandpoint, and Capone’s in Coeur d’Alene. More info: www.Kootenairiverbrewingcompany. com, (208) 267-HOPS (4677) Advice to the beer novice: Assure that beer will be enjoyed because of the amount of flavor with the hops and barley. Selkirk Abbey Brewing Company 6180 E Seltice Way Suite #102, Post Falls, Idaho Owners: Jeff Whitman and Rob Wallace On Tap: White (Belgian Wheat) Ale, Deacon Pale Ale, Infidel IPA, St. Steven Summer Seasonal Saison. Sustainable practices: Uses Idaho malted barley, and plan to use local hops from Bonner’s Ferry. Where to find: Currently only available in the tap room, since the brewery recently opened. But they’re establishing good relationships with local pubs and restaurants and organizing distribution options. More info: www.Selkirkabbey.com, (208) 2924901 Advice to the beer novice: Belgian beers are at the heart of Selkirk Abbey’s beer selection. Jeff describes Belgian beers as “real soft, with mild spices, and [they] are accessible...Belgian beers have so much more to offer than a bare yeast beer.” //
SUSTAINABLELIVINGCALENDAR (Ongoing - October 20) NEW Farmers Market.
(September 21) Dirty Martinis for Clean Water.
When: 9 AM – 1 PM. Where: Main & Astor, downtown Colville, WA. Fresh, local fruits and vegetables in season, bedding plants and garden starts, artisan baked goods, gifts and crafts. 509-738-2089, firstname.lastname@example.org.
When: 6 - 10 PM. Where: Spokane Masonic Center. Dirty Martinis for Clean Water is Spokane Riverkeeper’s annual fundraising event. A lively cocktail party / silent auction, Dirty Martinis has grown over the years. Info: 509-835-5211, cforjustice.org/river/dirty-martinis-for-clean-water
(September 17) Green Business Networking Luncheon. When: 11:30 AM -1:15 PM. Where: Spokane Convention Center, 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd, Room 201. Fair trade panel speakers Kim Harmson, Denise Attwood, Carol Schillios follwed by networking to gain insights and build support you need to go green. Info: 509-209-2861, brownpapertickets.com/event/217772.
(September 22) Permaculture Workshop: Preparing Garden Beds for Fall. When: 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM.
Where: Sun People Dry Goods Co, 32 W 2nd Ave, Ste. 200. Wakan Burrows, gardener practicing “Food Not Lawns,” discusses mulching, chop and drop, cover crops, fall seed saving and cultivation, fall planting. $15. Pre-registration required. Info: 509368-9378, sunpeopledrygoods.com //
* See page 17 this month for more Sustainable Living event listings.
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on a vin School tage bik e
WORKERS T I N D EP EN D EN NEWS
Let Them Paddle: Coming of Age on the Water Alan Kesselheim, Fulcrum Publishing, 2012, 336 pages
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Out There Monthly / September 2012
Heading Outdoors Eventually Leads Within Kathy & Craig Copeland, Hikingandcamping.com, inc., 2011, 96 pages
You can read this book in about 30 minutes, maybe less, but you will ponder its ideas for hours or maybe days. Heading Outdoors Eventually Leads Within, subtitled as Thoughts Inspired by 30,000 miles on the Trail, consists of 90 or so pages adorned with trail images and a blip or two of information drawn from the authors’ hiking journals. If you think about it, 30,000 miles is a lot of hiking, probably 10 to 15 thousand hours; that is more than five years on the job for average workers in this country. The Copeland’s had plenty of time to contemplate nature and develop a compendium of platitudes about the virtues of mobile meditation. For me, reading through the quotes in Heading Outdoors Eventually Leads Within stimulated several trains of thought. First, it anchored the idea that a trail journal should be more than a diary of hours and/or miles walked and a description of what one sees. There should be some contemplation on how the day made you feel about yourself and the world. Second, I pondered the contrast between “wildness” and “wilderness.” The often misquoted passage from Thoreau’s essay Walking, “in wildness (not wilderness) is the preservation of the world” suggests wildness does not require wilderness. I wondered, “How wild does a hiking area area need to be to stimulate wilderness thinking?” Finally, I was struck by Kathy and Craig Copeland’s feeling that it is more important to interact with nature emotionally rather than intellectually. Is it more important to see that yellow “sunflower” as a splash of color on the grey-green shrub steep landscape? Or as Arrow Leaf Balsamroot—a drought tolerant alternative to water loving flowering plants one might use in xeriscaping or as an important source of sustenance for pre-Columbian Americans? Overall Heading Outdoors Eventually Leads Within will cause you to think about how you experience nature rather than show you someone else’s experiences. It would be a good book to fall asleep with after a day on the trail. // Stan Miller
It’s tough to avoid judging a book by its cover when there are five topless men and women in the cover art. Upon closer inspection, you realize it’s a family, and ultimately the photo accurately highlights just how strong they have become after weeks of paddling across the Northwest Territories to the Hudson Bay. Nevertheless, readers must withhold judgment until they’ve at least read through the paddling trip on the Yellowstone River. By then, it’s nearly impossible to avoid being hooked. No one really knows if Alan Kesselheim is a bet-
A very moving testimonial for allowing kids to experience nature firsthand. ter writer or a better paddler because he’s proven to be a genius at both. Besides hundreds of freelance articles, he has written ten books about paddling and taught numerous writing workshops throughout North America. But the root of his success stems from decades of impressive canoe trips, including two year-long canoe journeys across Canada. Not long ago, Alan and his wife, Marypat, realized that she had been pregnant during three of their most significant canoe trips. So they hatched a plan to repeat those major river trips. Over a period of four years, as each of their three children reached the age of thirteen, the whole family shared epic voyages—on the Kazan River in Nunavut, the Yellowstone River from the headwaters in Montana, the Seal in Manitoba, and the Rio Grande in Big Bend. Let Them Paddle explores equal parts of adventure, natural wonders in North America, and a very moving testimonial for allowing kids to experience nature firsthand. Kesselheim never preaches or insists that his parenting delivers perfect results. He braids his collection of river paddling experiences without his kids alongside his experiences with them, and he shares valuable insight about youth, family, bravado and how various people come to appreciate their environment. From the remote reaches of the Canadian tundra to the curious and strange villages along the Mexican border, the Kesselheim tribe explores their world and their family ties at the height of teenage awkwardness, and contributes to one of the most unique coming-of-age stories ever written. // Jon Jonckers
What’sYourGear: Jim Bauer (canoeing)
PHOTO BY JON JONCKERS
When a sport becomes one’s passion, it is life giving. That’s how it is for Jim Bauer, age 67. “I have been a passionate paddler for 33 years, probably [spending] between 9,000 and 10,000 hours on the water,” he says. “Paddling is like my winter companion sport—cross-country skiing; for me, the joy is in a good glide. I love paddling new places where each river bend offers a slightly different perspective…I paddle not just for the natural beauty that fills my soul, but also for
health and fitness.” But for Jim, it’s not just his outdoor hobby; he’s also a professional racer, in both sprint and marathon canoeing. One of his athletic highlights was being the national C-2 champion in 1983. Jim’s greatest challenge (and one of his alltime favorite races) is the AuSable River Canoe Marathon in Michigan—a 120-mile race, during the last weekend in July, that starts at 9:00 pm “on a narrow shallow twisty river, [and] within 45 minutes it is dark,” he says. (It takes about 16 hours to finish.) Jim’s frequent race partner Alison Scott has completed this race with him five times, and last year Jim raced with his son Brad. “It’s like Bloomsday on a river, Spokane to Lookout Pass on the water…one has to practice all spring and summer...,” he says. “As one walks the introductory walk at the Marathon, you can see who did their homework—like all endurance athletes, paddlers wear their hard work.” The Little Spokane River is Jim’s favorite, followed by the Coeur d’Alene, St. Joe and St. Maries rivers. “Our canoes are very light and stiff under—30 pounds for a two-person canoe and about 22 pounds for the single,” he says. “What is really interesting about our canoes is that they are relatively stable but fast at the same time—great mix.” For those new to canoeing, Jim shares this advice: “You do not need a graphite racing canoe, but you do need a canoe or kayak with [a] thin entry line, at least if you want to use long distance technique. Learn to paddle upstream and back, then you [only] need one car; while you are at it, leave your worries in the car. When most pad-
By Amy Silbernagel McCaffree dlers see me, they might focus on my hard effort, which is true, but what they cannot see is how relaxed my mind is—paddling is meditative for me.” Every Memorial Day weekend, Jim competes
“I’d rather paddle a crummy canoe with a good paddle than a great canoe with a crummy paddle.” in Bellingham’s Ski to Sea relay race. And this past July in Kamloops, B.C., on the Nooksack River, he competed in a mixed couples race with Alison. “We were 15 seconds out of 2nd [place] and 40 seconds out of 1st [place] in a two-hour race,” he says. “…we beat most of the best paddlers in the Northwest U.S. and Canada. We surprised a lot of paddlers, myself included. I’m an old man.” His future competition plans include a 26-mile race around Bainbridge Island with his son, and a 100-kilometer outrigger canoe relay race from Vernon to Penticton, B.C. “I don’t win money [by racing] but I spend a lot [of money] preparing for and traveling to races,” Jim says. “It’s my weakness—I’m a sucker for a good race.” ------------------------------------------------------CANOES: Jim paddles marathon racing canoes
(both one-person and two-person) and outrigger canoes. His “C-1 and C-2 were built by Ev Crozier and Serge Corbin, respectively; both canoes were designed by the legendary Eugene Jensen.” ------------------------------------------------------PADDLE: Zone, built by Tim Fisk (who lives in Washington)—lightweight and paddles clean, according to Jim. “My paddle weighs between 6.5 to 7.5 ounces. Since we paddle long distance, we use graphite paddles,” he says. “I’d rather paddle a crummy canoe with a good paddle than a great canoe with a crummy paddle.” ------------------------------------------------------PFD: Kokatat—“small, light, well fitting” and provides “ease of movement [since I take] over 60 strokes a minute most of the time,” he says. ------------------------------------------------------PREFERRED CLOTHING: “spring ski hat (brimmed hat on sunny days), poly-pro underwear, sometimes neoprene tops and bottoms, sometimes Nordic ski outer wear, synthetic jacket.” Jim says he also brings, in case of a “tip out,” a dry bag (brand doesn’t matter) with clothes and a treat—“nothing brings you back from a cold swim than a chocolate bar—not health food but pure sugar.” ------------------------------------------------------FOOTWEAR: “neoprene booties and wool socks; in summer, racing flats that drain easily, narrow heel for bow paddling.” ------------------------------------------------------SUNGLASSES: “I tend to hang on to sunglasses as long as possible—but they break, get lost, sat on, whatever, [so] I’ve had so many different pairs, but I never paddle without them.” //
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/ Out There Monthly
PunishStuff Fat Bike on the Cheap
Can the Sun Spider Beat A Pugsley? / By John Speare Sun Spider AT $699 MSRP Pros: simple, fat, appropriately geared for the intended purpose Cons: aluminum frame makes modifications difficult, limited range Made in China Over a decade ago, Surly released the first off-the-shelf fat bike: the Pugsley. A fat bike is a bike with huge tires. Specifically, the Pugsley is designed for tires that are four inches wide. For comparison, a standard road tire is about 25 millimeters wide, or 0.98 inches. For many cyclists, such a monster tire seems at
frame builder Glen Copus, of Elephant Bikes, to braze on some cantilever posts. This allowed me to put some proper front brakes on it. The bike came with a two-speed kickback hub. This hub was a remake of the popular Sturmy-Archer two-speed hub from the 40s-70s. Unfortunately, it was broken out of the box. But Sturmey-Archer sent me a new set of guts for the hub and excellent directions for installing it. The two-speed kickback hub is pretty nifty, and when paired with the tiny little chain ring that ships with the Spider AT, it provides for a pretty low gear. But the gear is not low enough for real off-roading. It is optimized for flat rides along the beach, with the occasional small incline.
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The fat tire sun spider offers big tire action at a lower price. // Photo sun bikes.
Submit your Photo of the month and you could win this cool grub.
Photo of the Month Send your outdoor photo, 3 meg or less, with caption and your address to email@example.com. Deadline for Sept. 9/14/12. Winner gets jerky assortment. Congratulations to Sheila Anderson, who won August’’s photo of the month. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. By entering the contest you grant non-exclusive rights to Out There Monthly to publish your photo in our Photo of the Month feature. See page 10 for more details. 14
Out There Monthly / September 2012
best, gratuitous. But for some, a four-inch tire, run at low pressure, immediately makes sense. A tire like that attached to the right bike with super-low gearing, and a reasonable engine, could float over deep sand, smoosh over rocky terrain, soak up severe washboard, and glide over packed snow. A fat bike will allow you to ride where you would normally be pushing a bike. For a great fat bike trip report by Spokanite Pat Sprute, check out http://tinyurl.com/FatWaTrip. Surly sells the ready-to-ride Pugsley for under $1,700. That’s a lot of coin, but the Pugsley is a lot of bike. So last year, when Sun, a discount bike company, announced that they were making a fat bike for around $650, I pondered the possibility. Never mind that the fat bike Sun was offering only had two gears, or that it only had a rear coaster brake, or that it was marketed as a “beach cruiser on steroids.” For $650, I could hack it! I could make it work! My plan was to have a “good enough” bike for snow, moderate mountain biking, and maybe some bike-packing over rough terrain. The Sun Spider AT arrived in an enormous box last fall. I had already planned on replacing the cheap bars and saddle right off, which I did. The monster forks were made of steel, so I hired local
Additionally, while the fat tires are perfect for nontechnical dirt, they are awful in the snow. If a guy could put a proper set of gears on this bike and some good rear brakes, then this bike could work. But this is the showstopper on this bike: the frame is made from aluminum, and aluminum is supremely non-hackable in its stiff brittleness. The bike is made for a hub that has a spacing of 120 mm. I suppose one could hack together an old five-speed freewheel and try to cram a derailleur in there. And there is probably some other internal hub out there with more than two gears that might work. But you have to figure out the rear brake if you take that two-speed coaster out of there. And by the time you rebuild a wheel; and figure out the suboptimal gearing; and after replacing the bars, saddle, tires and pedals; and adding front brakes—and you still end up with a hacked mess—that $1,700 Pugsley is looking like quite the bargain. Per the ad copy, it turns out that my Sun Spider AT makes a great beach bike (doh!). And that’s what it’s doing: it lives at a trailer on the Kettle River, where it excels as a fishing bike on a threemile stretch of flat dirt road with huge potholes. //
EverydayCyclist Get Dirty this fall
Cyclocross Racing Is Back / By Hank Greer When you were a child did you ever play a sport where you got really dirty? If so, do you remember how much fun that was? Well, why should kids have all the fun? Imagine, for a moment, you’re in the following scenario. Get on your bicycle and go as fast as you can
Gaertner, at Vertical Earth Cycling in Coeur d’Alene, hosts free clinics that are followed by practice races. The clinics cover skills like bike handling, mounting, dismounting and run ups. (There is a fee for racing and you have to be
Cyclocross at liberty lake. // Photo Hank greer.
on a dirt road trying to get ahead of as many other riders as possible. Swerve onto a singletrack trail and wind through trees and across open fields, avoiding roots, rocks and dead falls that may impede you. Go downhill as fast as you dare before coming to a sharp 90-degree turn in loose dirt that threatens to throw you into the bushes if you miss. Weave back and forth on several straight-aways and navigate the tight 180-degree turns at each end. Get off your bike and hit the ground running or walking. Or just stop and get off. Pick up your bike and jump or step over a barrier or two. Get back on the saddle and continue around the course on any combination of gravel, sand, dirt, grass, mud and pavement. Get off your bike again and carry or push it up a short steep hill. Once you reach the top, get back on and travel across more gravel, sand, dirt, grass, mud and pavement. If you’re lucky, the route will include crossing a stream, riding through the edge of a lake, up a set of wooden steps, or up and over a wooden ramp. Now do four, five or six laps in the rain, in the snow or on a dusty, dry day. If your first thought after you and your bike cross the finish line is, “Can I go again?”, then you are in a good place. Welcome to cyclocross racing. The sport of cyclocross takes place in the fall. Races take place on a loop course of about 1.5 to 2 miles in length over a wide variety of terrain like described above. Because races are held regardless of weather conditions, rain or snow can be a factor—and add to the fun. Races generally last about 45 minutes. They’re longer for the higher category athletes and shorter for the mountain bike race. It’s intense and it’s fun, but you already know that if you’ve done it before. If you haven’t, hopefully I’m piquing your interest and you want to know more. Do you have to have a cyclocross bike? No. I put cross tires on my road bike for two seasons. It’s not ideal, especially in muddy conditions since road bikes don’t have as much clearance for the tires and the gunk that collects on them, but it’s good enough to allow you to explore the sport. You can also race on a mountain bike, but you’re not allowed to have bar ends on the handlebars. Where can you learn about the sport? Mike
licensed to race.) The clinic schedule is posted at www.verticalearth.com. According to Mike, “The best thing about cyclocross is that you can take it as seriously as you want to.” That has been my experience. It’s a sport where you can just have fun and treat it as a personal challenge. But you can be more competitive if you want. When are the races, and what are the rules? Emde Sports is the central point of contact for this. They organize the schedule, work with promoters, assign and work with officials, and track
Because races are held regardless of weather conditions, rain or snow can be a factor—and add to the fun. the scoring. Go to the Inland NW Cyclocross Series link at www.emdesports.com to get the schedule, rules and other important information. They are also a point of contact for getting your Washington State Bicycle Association (WSBA) number. What are the expenses other than a bike and a helmet? A race will cost you about $22. USA Cycling, the governing body, requires you to be licensed. A one-day license is $10 and an annual license is $60. There are ten races on the schedule this year. The WSBA number is $20 for the year. So why try at least one cyclocross race? Because having fun is not just for kids. Many years ago, my oldest son—age five at the time— and I showed up for his soccer game. The field had just been hit by an intense thunderstorm. Standing water was everywhere and the worn areas were now mud. I leaned down and told him, “I want you to get as wet and muddy as you can.” His face lit up with a huge smile. “Really?” He played with abandon and had so much fun that day. That’s the feeling you can rediscover in a cyclocross race. //
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/ Out There Monthly
OutdoorCalendar CLIMBING (Ongoing Mondays & Wednesdays) Spider Monkeys Climbing Club. When: 5 – 7 PM. Where: Wild Walls,
202 W. 2nd Ave. For kids ages 4 – 10 years. Please call ahead. Come climb and meet new friends! Info: 509-455-9596.
(September 15, 22, 29) Saturday Climbing. When: 1
- 4 PM. Where: REI, 1125 N Monroe. Join REI for an afternoon of indoor rock climbing. Gear and belayer are provided. Beginners welcome. Register at rei. com/spokane. Info: 509-328-9900, rei.com/spokane
(September 16) Top Rope Anchors. When: 10 – 2
pm. Where: Mountain Gear 2002 N. Division. Take your climbing to the next level and outdoors. You’ll learn how to set up a top rope on bolts, equalize, and evaluate an anchor, plus you’ll climb on your anchors. Must have own harness, shoes and belaying system and be able to belay. $50. Info:
(September 22) Youth Introduction to Rock Climbing.
When: 1-3pm. Where: Mountain Gear 2002 N. Division. Get your child ready for climbing! The class will introduce them to climbing safety, belaying techniques and knots, all taught by a certified instructor. We want to build their confidence so lots of climbing time will be involved. All equipment provided. Ages 7-11, $20. Info: (509) 325-9000.
CYCLING (Ongoing) WOW Cycling Spokane. WOW is excited that Spring is here! Check our FaceBook page for upcoming rides and activities! Tailwinds to you! Info: 509-951-6366, wowcycling.com (Ongoing) Belles and Baskets. Whatever style your
cycle, join other Spokane women for no-drop rides, treats, and friendship. Info: 509-951-4090, facebook. com/bellesandbaskets.
(September 2) Roll Rack ‘n’ Run. Where: Spokane
Falls Community College. Teams of two share a bicycle to leap frog over a 25k course. The ride and tie is an equestrian race with two runner/riders and a horse. We’ve replaced the horse with a bicycle. Two person teams alternate running and riding in leap-frog fashion over 25-kilometers (15.5 miles). The team finishes when both runners and the bike cross the finish line. We provide bicycle corrals to divide the course roughly in fourths. Info: rollracknrun.com
(September 8) The Lilac City Twilight Crit. Where:
Downtown Spokane. The finale to the 2012 Inland Road Race Series presented by Larry H. Miller Downtown Dealerships and Spokane Rocket Velo. Info: spokanerocketvelo.com
(September 8) Spoke-Ed Day. When: 12 - 4 PM.
Where: REI, 1125 N Monroe. Join REI and partners for a who’s-who of cycling in the Spokane area. Free safety tunes on bikes for SpokeFest! Info: 509-3289900, rei.com/spokane
(September 9) Spokefest. When: 8 AM – 2 PM.
Where: Riverfront Park, Spokane. Join us in celebrating the joy of cycling, the beauty of Spokane, healthy lifestyles and the environment. Last year 1,900 cyclists of every age and ability took part in the fourth annual SpokeFest! Help us make this
Out There Monthly / September 2012
SpokeFest an even bigger celebration, so get out your wheels and join us. This ride has something for every rider, from the racers to the folks dusting off bikes for the first time this year. Info: spokefest.org
(September 14) Tweed Ride. When: 5 PM. Where: The MAC. Tweed Ride through Browne’s Addition in conjunction with BeGin!. 5 - Tweed Ride, 6 - BeGin! with music, live entertainment, drinks and more! ALL AGES FREE. Info: 509363-5311, northwestmuseum.org, facebook.com/ NorthwestMuseumofArtandCulture.
(September 15) White Pine Pedal Mettle. Starting
at the City Park, St. Maries, ID for the Eleventury (111 miles) with, +/- 7000’ of climbing or 30 Mile Ride with +/- 2500’ of climbing. Info: 208-582-0520, pedalmettle.com
(September 16) Rotary In Motion (RIM) Ride. When:
7 AM - 10:30 AM starts. Where: Meadowwood Technology Campus, 2100 N. Molter Rd. in Liberty Lake, WA. 100, 50, 15 & 5-mile rides around several lakes. Food stops, medical, mechanical & safety crews. Quiznos food after! Info: 509-869-9624, rotaryinmotion.com/rotary
(September 18) Group Health Kids Bike Races. When: Start times from Noon – 2:30 PM. Where: Shadle Park (Belt and Wellesley, Spokane). Arrive 30 min. early to check in. The 11th annual Group Health Kids Bike Race Series is set for fall 2011 in the Spokane area. As always, we provide FREE entry fees to all kids along with loads of fun and great prizes. The rides will be held at Spokane area parks and are kid friendly in their design. Bring any bike-- you don’t need a special type bike to ride these courses. Just bring a big smile and plenty of energy! Info: emdesports.com.
(September 29) Coeur D’Fondo Ride & Oktoberfest. A spirited ride around beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene. 108, 84, 37, 15 mile routes. *37 mile includes cruise boat ride. Post ride Oktoberfest Celebration. Info: 208-292-1634, cdagranfondo.com
(October 2) Group Health Kids Bike Races. When:
Start times from Noon – 2:30 PM. Where: Mirabeau Park Meadows 13500 E. Mirabeau Pkwy, Spokane Valley. Arrive 30 min. early to check in. Info: emdesports.com.
RUNNING (September 9) Sundae Sunday 10 Miler. When; 8
AM. Where: Joe Albi. The course has been a tradition, heading out Northwest Blvd., down Meenach hill, going by Downriver Golf Course, through Riverside State Park, to Francis and back to the start at Albi Stadium. Ice cream sundaes await the finisher and the volunteers. Info: brrc.net
(September 15) Newport Autumn Bloom 5K/10K Fun Run. When: 9 AM (on-site reg. closes at 8:30 AM).
Where: TJ Kelly Park, Newport, WA. Benefiting the Newport Hospital & Health Services Foundation. 10K is a 2nd Seed Qualifier for Bloomsday 2013. Registration options from $10 - $20. Info: 509-4477928, phd1.org or active.com
(September 16) Round About 5K. When: 9 AM.
Where: Deer Park Physical Therapy & Fitness Center 707 S. Park Deer Park, Wa. 99006. 5K run/ walk benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Submit your event at www.outtheremonthly.com (LLS) Info: 509-590-4187, roundabout5k.com
(September 29) Wild Moose Chase Trail Run. When: 9 AM. Where: Mt. Spokane State Park (No Discovery Pass Required). Eastern Washington University’s enthusiastic Class of 2014 Doctor of Physical Therapy students invite you to join us for the second annual trail run on Mt. Spokane. The 5km, 10km, and 25km courses all start from Selkirk Lodge at the cross-country ski parking lot. The 5km and 10km follow the nordic trails, while the 25km course goes a different direction, following a mixture of double and single track trails through the cedar and tamarack forests. Don’t miss this chance
to escape into the fresh, mountain air! Info: wildmoosechasetrailrun.com
(September 29) Stomp Out Abuse 5k Run/Walk. When: 9 AM. Where: Riverfront Park. Join us for a 5k run/walk at Riverfront Park on September 29. Registration is $35, and participants will receive a Sport-Tek t-shirt. Info: signmeup.com/85421
WALKING/HIKING (September 6) Hiking with Kids Basics. When: 7
PM. Where: REI, 1125 N Monroe. Find out how to help your kids enjoy the outdoors as much as you
SIXMONTHTRAININGCALENDAR CYCLING (Ongoing during October and November) Inland Northwest Cyclocross Series. Hell Yeah! Info: emdesports.com
(October 2) Group Health Kids Bike Races. When: Start times from Noon – 2:30 PM. Where: Mirabeau Park Meadows 13500 E. Mirabeau Pkwy, Spokane Valley. Info: emdesports.com.
(March 10) Gran Fondo Ephrata. 78 miles of paved and gravel roads. Info: rideviciouscycle. com
RUNNING (October 7) “Run for the Angels” for Inland Northwest SIDS Foundation, Sunday, from 4 to 7PM, Coeur d’Alene, ID, Info: 208-5574371, inwsids.org/about (October 13) Sekani Trail Run 2012- 5k & 10k Run. Info: 509-625-6546, bit.ly/sekani_2012 (October 14) Spokane Marathon. With the Marathon, Marathon Relay or 10K there are three different ways to enjoy the day. Info: spokanemarathon.us. (November 22) BRRC Turkey Trot. Info: brrc. net
(May 11) Sunflower Relay and Trail Marathon. Info: mvsta.com
SKIING (October 11 - 14) Methow Endurance Fall Camp. Info: mvsta.com (October 19-20) Ski Swap. Get your gear for the year at the Ski Swap at the Northeast Washington Fairgrounds, Colville, WA. (October 20) Warren Miller’s FLOW STATE. Where: Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox.
Flow State is coming to kickoff the winter sports season. Info: 206-937-1842, warrenmiller.com
(October 28 – 30) 47th Annual Mt Spokane Ski Patrol Ski Swap. Info: mtspokane.com (December 29) Methow Valley Ski Rodeo/ Loppet. Info: mvsta.com (January 25) Schweitzer Junior Race Series. This race series will provide a low-cost ski racing opportunity for both experienced and new racers ages 6-16. Racers will meet at 5:30 PM on Friday, January 4th, for the first session. Info: schweitzer. com.
(Ongoing Friday Nights starting in February) Schweitzer Starlight Race Series. 21 and over
only. Info: schweitzer.com
(February 3) Chicks on Sticks. 8km ski event.
Proceeds donated to The Wellness Place in Wenatchee. Info:skileavenworth.com
(February 10) Langlauf 10K Skir Race 35th Annual XC Ski race at Mt Spokane. Info: spokanelanglauf.org
SNOWSHOE (February 2) Schweitzer Snowshoe Stampede Race. A snowshoe race on the Nordic trails. Info: schweitzer.com
TRIATHALON / MULTI-SPORT / ADVENTURE RACING (April 14) Rage In The Sage Mountain Bike Duathlon. Run 2.5 miles, Bike 10 miles, Run 2.5 miles. Info: 3rrr.org.
EVENTS (November 17-24) Lewis Clark Valley Chamber of Commerce Kendall Subaru Clearwater Snake Steelhead Derby. Info: 509-758-7712, steelheadderby.com //
Have an Event You Would Like to List? // Please visit www.outtheremonthly.com and click the “Submit Your Event” link. // Events MUST be sent in by the 20th of the month to be listed in the following month’s issue. Please follow the when, where format as seen in the calendar. Ongoing events need to be re-submitted each month.
OutdoorCalendar divide the course roughly in fourths. Info: rollracknrun.com
(September 15) National Orienteering Day. When:
(September 15) Mountain Du. Where: Riverside State
11 AM – Noon. Where: Mirabeau Point (park north of Center Place) Discover the sport of orienteering, navigating with map and compass, at this beginnerfriendly event offered by the Eastern Washington Orienteering Club. Info: (509) 838-7078, ewoc.org
(September 16) Hike Star Peak. When: Leave 7:30
AM. Hike Star Peak in North Idaho with gals get going! This will be a day hike leaving from Spokane. Enjoy coffee and breakfast on the way up and drinks and snacks on the way home! Info: galsgetgoing. com
(September 20) Hiking Full Circle: The Beauty of Loop Trips. When: 7 PM. Where: REI, 1125 N
Monroe. Join local columnist and author of “100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest”, Rich Landers presenting exciting loop hikes in this area. Info: 509328-9900, rei.com/spokane.
TRIATHLONS (September 15) The Grand Columbian Triathlon. Where: When: 6 AM Location: Spring Canyon Campground, Grand Coulee, WA. The Grand Columbian offers the only Super Tri and Ultra (Iron) distance race in Washington with the kind of experience you expect in a local and friendly environment! The Grand Columbian has complete community support, thousands of dollars in awards and raffles, unique Partnership awards for married couples, corporate and club team events, men’s and women’s tech shirts, and medallions for all events. Info: trifreaks.com/grand-columbian-super-tri/
ADVENTURE RACING (October 7) Pirate Plunder Adventure Race. Where:
Fulbright Park, Union Gap, WA. When: First wave starts at 10AM. a 4+ mile obstacle course race that combines ever-changing terrain with 15+ obstacles to test your strength, stamina, and love of mud. You’ll climb over walls up to 12’ high, crawl through a 40’ long mud pit, slide down a 30’ water slide, battle through tires, and face many other challenges all while running through a combination of fields, mud, and sand pits! Info: visityakima.com/pirateplunder-adventure-race
MULTISPORT (September 1) North Bend Multicross. Where:
North Bend, WA. Multicross is an exciting new event based on the traditional triathlon swim, bike, run model but with an exciting new twist... Cyclocross! In an effort to provide fun new challenges to you athletes, along with providing a much more entertaining spectator sport, we have combined Cyclocross and trail running. Info: facebook. com/pages/Multicross
(September 2) Roll Rack ‘n’ Run. Where: Spokane
Falls Community College. Teams of two share a bicycle to leap frog over a 25k course. The ride and tie is an equestrian race with two runner/riders and a horse. We’ve replaced the horse with a bicycle. Two person teams alternate running and riding in leap-frog fashion over 25-kilometers (15.5 miles). The team finishes when both runners and the bike cross the finish line. We provide bicycle corrals to
Park. When: Noon. Run 3.1 miles. Bike 15.5 Miles Run 3.1 miles. Info: emdesports.com.
(September 23) Methow Valley Off-Road Triathlon. Where: Winthrop, WA. When: 9 AM. 40Km Mtn Bike/10Km Trail Run.The planned course meanders through aspen and pine forests above Patterson Lake, starting and ending at the Chickadee trailhead in the beautiful Methow Valley. Info: methowduathlon. blogspot.com.
PADDLING / RIVER SPORTS (Ongoing - Labor Day) When: 10:30 AM – 6 PM. Where: Spokane River. This year FLOW Adventures is proud to be the first in Spokane to introduce tubing on the Spokane River! Water levels right in the heart of the summer provide the perfect conditions to grab your friends and family and get out on our local gem, right from downtown! Info: 509-2428699, flow-adventures.com
(Ongoing) Learn to Row. When: Various times. Where: Spokane River near Upriver Dam. Spokane River. Rowing Association summer sessions are for men and women (age 18 and older) who are interested in trying a new sport and adding a fun dimension to their summer schedule. Each three-week session will be made up of lessons on the ergometer and onthe-water sessions in actual rowing shells! The cost for the three-week class is $120 and covers 7 sessions, including a Saturday morning session with the SRRA Masters group. Info: Spokane rowing.org (September 8) Newport Biayakathon. When: 9 AM.
Where: Rotary Park, Oldtown ID. Seven mile bike and kayak race along the Pend Oreille River to promote awareness of Prescription Drug Abuse. Info: 509-447-6417 or 447-6419, active.com
(September 8) Recreational Kayaking. When: 1 – 5 pm. Where: Mountain Gear 2002 N. Division.
Recreational kayaking is all about fun, and we’ll teach you how to get into your boat and to your destination with as little stress as possible. Class covers boat types, basic and some advanced strokes, appropriate clothing combinations, safety for self and others, gear, dry storage, and rigging. Currents and wind also covered. $50. Info: (509) 325-9000.
YOGA (Ongoing Mondays) Flow Yoga When: 7:15 – 8:30 PM. Where Wild Walls Climbing Gym 202 W. Second Ave. Info: 509-455-9596, wildwalls.com
(Ongoing Wednedys) Intro to Yoga When: 7:15 – 8:15 PM. Where Wild Walls Climbing Gym 202 W.
Second Ave. Info: 509-455-9596, wildwalls.com
(September 4 – October 26) Iyengar Yoga Classes for Beginners. When: Mon. 9:30am, Tues & Thurs
at 6 PM. Where: Sunflower Yoga. Iyengar yoga offers clear, concise instruction, education in use of props and individual attention. Gentle and intermediate classes also offered. Info: 509-535-7369, sunfloweryoga.net
AM - 10:30 AM. Where: Sunflower Yoga. Corework: Focus on yoga poses to strengthen the abdominals and back extensors: part one of a 3 part series. Info: 509-535-7369, sunfloweryoga.net
EVENTS/MOVIES/MISC… (September 6) Dog First Aid. When: 7 PM. Where: REI, 1125 N Monroe. Join Greg Benoit, DVM for info on how to keep your four-legged friend safe in the outdoors. Free. Register to reserve a seat. Info: 509-328-9900, rei.com/spokane (September 8) Celebrating Cultures. When: 12 PM - 6 PM. Where: Bowl & Pitcher Picnic Area, Riverside State Park. 6.5 miles northwest of downtown Spokane. Performances, art, food. Mexican dancers Los Bailadores del Sol, Japanese taiko drummers, 6 Foot Swing, Milonga. Weaver MarÃa Cuc and corona artist Eva Castellanoz. Info: 509-4655064, parks.wa.gov/events (September 8) Mobius Grand Opening Street Festival. When: 9 AM - 6 PM. Where: Main Avenue,
Downtown Spokane (between Lincoln Street & Post Street). Enjoy speeches by Mobius CEO and former NASA astronaut, extreme science stage shows, hands-on science activities, fun arts & crafts, robotics, food vendors and more! Info: 509-444-2350, mobiusspokane.org
(September 9) Peak 7’s 4th Annual Bocce Ball Fundraiser. When: 12:30 PM – 7 PM. Where: Bozarth Mansion, Spokane, WA. Bocce Ball Tournament, Dinner, T-Shirts, Raffle, Prizes. Sponsor the event or enter a team of four. Best team name and costume awarded prizes. Info: 509-467-5550, peak7.org/bocce //
SUSTAINABILITY CALENDAR (September 8) Herbal Medicine Making Fall Class. When:10:30 AM - 2:30 PM. Where: Sun People Dry Goods Co, 32 W 2nd Ave, Ste. 200. Covers medicinal berries & remedies made from them, and healing herbs to bolster the immune system and help with winter colds & flu. $30 Pre-registration required. Info: 509-368-9378, sunpeopledrygoods.com
(September 15) Cover Crops - In Store Demonstration. When: Noon to 2 PM. Where: Sun People Dry Goods Co, 32 W 2nd Ave, Ste. 200. Learn the benefits of cover cropping from Mighty Mustard owners. Cover crops help to build soil and eliminate weeds for the urban veggie farmer. FREE. Info: 509-368-9378, sunpeopledrygoods.com
(September 20) Showing of “`Journey of the Universe”. When: 4 - 5:15 PM. Sun People Dry
Goods Co, 32 W 2nd Ave, Ste. 200. An Epic Story of Cosmic, Earth, and Human Transformation. A collaboration between evolutionary philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme and historian of religions Mary Evelyn Tucker. Info: 509-368-9378, sunpeopledrygoods.com
(September 28) Mead Making Workshop. When: 5:30 to 7:00 PM. Where: Sun People Dry Goods Co, 32 W 2nd Ave, Ste. 200. Join Reggie Mace from Mace Mead Works, Dayton, WA as he demonstrates this ancient technique of fermenting honey and water. $15 Preregistration Required. Info: 509-368-9378, sunpeopledrygoods.com //
OUTDOOR SEPT 2012 CALENDAR
do. A few simple tricks and tools make all the difference. Info: 509-328-9900, rei.com/spokane
(September 22) Yoga for Back Care. When: 8:30 September 2012
/ Out There Monthly
BY: Hank Greer and ANNIE SZOTKOWSKI
Top: Tim Arnold at the Kennewick track - 1978. Photo by Les Bester. // Bottom: Kids racing at Dwight Merkel. Photo by Todd Conley, toddconleyphotography.com.
Out There Monthly / September 2012
BICYCLE MOTOCROSS (BMX) racing was born in California in the late sixties as a way for kids on bicycles to mimic off-road motocross (MX) racing for motorcycles. While waiting for the sport to spread, kids in Spokane made their own trails and jumps for their Schwinn Stingrays. Tim Arnold, owner of Bicycle Butler, recalls hitting the jumps with his friends in the early 1970s at Indian Trail Park and on land that overlooked the dump on Seven Mile Road. “Us kids owned that land back then,” he says. BMX racing arrived in Spokane in 1976. Mic Woodruff, of Wheelsport Central, and Tim were among those who raced “back in the day” and both remember the first racing track at Holiday Hills, a resort located just west of Liberty Lake and the present home of the Legacy Crest development. About 600 kids showed up to race at the grand opening, and in their minds, this was one of the biggest cycling events ever to happen in Spokane. The Holiday Hills track was run by the Spokane Optimist Club and managed by William Deilke. The course was long, exciting, all downhill and very fast. Mic is sure you hit the first jump doing 30 mph. Kids wore whatever protective gear was available to them so it was not unusual to see
Spoke n Sport and other bike shops, like Wheelsport, sponsored teams who raced at tracks in Spokane, Airway Heights, Walla Walla, Kennewick, Wenatchee and Yakima. There was a racing circuit in Eastern Washington and another circuit in Montana in which Spokane teams like Wheelsport DG, the Dirty Diggers and Spoke n Sport consistently dominated the competition. In 1985, David sold the Riverside track to Gary Klawitter who kept it open for about two more years. But BMX racing was on the decline in Spokane and Tim, Mic and Dave offer a variety of reasons for that. The BMX tracks were not as fast and exciting as the Holiday Hills track; BMX freestyle, nearly at its zenith in popularity, was flashy and more fun; skateboarding and skateboard parks attracted kids who might have raced; and there was a lack of strong parent groups to keep the tracks running. After Riverside BMX closed in the late 80s, tracks in the Spokane area seemed to come and
owned land, parking space available and other attractions nearby,” says Mike Aho, Recreation Supervisor of Spokane Parks and Recreation. “A group of volunteers had looked at numerous sites and plans for 12 years leading up to the plan to put the track on our 2008 bond project that the citizens approved,” he says. “This allowed us to
fund the construction and add elements that are very desirable, like lights for night racing, bathrooms and a concrete start hill. All this was made possible by the passage of the bond issue. Due to land availability and costs to contract, it was almost impossible to get a track going in the past.” Many others, along with Mike, noticed the grow-
Tim recalls people using homemade stems and motorcycle handlebars that wouldn’t snap in two. -----------------------------------------------------------------them wearing hockey helmets, hockey pads and motocross helmets. And the bicycles themselves were not necessarily up to the task. Tim recalls people using homemade stems and motorcycle handlebars that wouldn’t snap in two. In 1977, the starting point at Holiday Hills was moved farther down the hill, but it was still unlike any of the BMX tracks elsewhere in the state. BMX tracks had a starting hill, turns, jumps and rollers and they required more pedaling. Holiday Hills had all the turns and jumps but almost all of it was going downhill so riders didn’t have to pedal as much. Local racers had an advantage when visitors came to compete because they were used to the breakneck speeds. The start was quite different, too. Instead of a starting gate that dropped and released the racers, a long piece of surgical tubing stretched across the starting line and the racers took off when it was released. Despite, or perhaps because of, the speed and primitive conditions, at least 300 racers showed up for every race. The track at Holiday Hills operated through the 1979 season before the resort closed. That same year, David Breidenbach, owner of Spoke n Sport (then and now), opened the Riverside BMX track on property owned by the Washington Water Power Company alongside the Spokane River near Spokane Community College. The track was dry, rough, rocky and not as well groomed as today’s courses. Mic remembers that the smell of sawdust hung heavy in the air there. According to Mic, Riverside BMX kept the sport of BMX racing alive in Spokane. “If it hadn’t been for Dave, BMX would have died right then and there if nobody had come in like he did,” he says. The American Bicycle Association (ABA) was the sanctioning body for races held at Riverside BMX. While it was not as fast as Holiday Hills, it was a true sanctioned BMX racetrack. David said he would consistently have 100 to 150 participants on race days. Attendance spiked in 1980 when an ABA tour of professional racers—including Stu Thomsen, a rock star of BMX who dominated the sport from 1976-1985—passed through Spokane and raced there.
go, and the sport never regained the level of popularity it once had. It wasn’t until 2004 that BMX racing regained a solid presence in the area with the opening of the Cherry Hill BMX track in Coeur d’Alene. And in 2010, the long awaited track at Spokane’s Dwight Merkel Sports Complex opened, offering a chance for Mic, Tim and many other racers from “back in the day” to race again. And some of them are. LOCAL RIDING ----------------------------------------------------When the Joe Albi track at Dwight Merkel opened, BMX began to grow in popularity and recognition. Two years after BMX’s first appearance in the 2008 summer Olympics, the sport put Spokane on the map as conversations shifted to the curiosity and fruition of pump tracks, both private and public. Stereotypically a punk, rebel sport, BMX in Spokane created a community that thrives on the support of volunteers who provide kids with ways to enjoy an alternative sport. ABA BMX standards categorize skill levels for beginners and semi-pros, with levels split among age groups: novice, intermediate and expert. To start, grab a bike and a helmet. With a few modifications—such as removing the kickstand, chain guard and reflectors—you’ve got a ticket to ride. Joe Albi’s cruiser class race was created to accommodate bikes with 24” wheels or larger. For pump tracks, an ideal bike, according to Seth Lightcap with Adventure Sports Journal, is a hardtail mountain bike with front suspension because full-suspension bikes prohibit speed and cause++ you to lose momentum while pumping. There is no pressure to be fancy, but for safety, do wear required protective long sleeves, long pants and enclosed shoes. Many hands coordinated, organized and shoveled at Joe Albi. The track allowed the BMX scene to boom in Spokane. Now, two years after opening, it offers something unique—its own center in the heart of the city. “The Joe Albi Track at Dwight Merkel Sports Complex works due to the fact that we had city
The Riverside track run by Dave Breidenbach from 1979-83. // Photo courtesy Dave Breidenbach.
You never know what you might find.
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/ Out There Monthly
support of a $600 matching grant to help with construction. The new public pump track will help the BMX race track go after larger events. Local BMX tracks, whether public or private, are more than places to play in the dirt—and they’re not just for boys. Great Britain’s Victoria Pendleton and Shanaze Reade turned heads at this year’s Summer Olympics. Many dads interviewed for this article commented on the number of girls, and women, who competitively zip around the local track. Whether enjoyed by boys or girls, kids are definitely into this sport—even daring toddlers on their Strider push-bikes join the action. BMX is exciting and invigorating, and tracks provide an open area to jump, ride and speed, from dawn to dusk. Around the Inland Northwest, the fun is just getting started. //
Riverside track run by Dave Breidenbach from 1979-83. // Photo courtesy Dave Breidenbach. ing interest in BMX among local residents. Races are increasing by 20 percent a year, according to Mike. “The best part about the track is its proximity and visibility to the other sports at Albi/Merkel,” he says—soccer, football, softball and baseball players see the track and might get interested. “The nice thing about BMX is that it does not require a team to [participate] and no one ever has to sit on the bench.” NO BENCH WARMERS -----------------------------------------------------“Some kids are not cut out for stick and ball sports, and riding and racing a bicycle is a great outlet,” says Tim Arnold, who is also a personal contact for the Joe Albi Track. Shawn Letson, a local racer briefly retired due to union contracts, agrees. “I think it’s good for kids. I hated ball sports. That wasn’t my deal,” he says. “Then I tried biking and I fell in love with that.” (Shawn works for Spokane Transit and decided to avoid risking his job in case of a racing injury.)
Dave Breidenbach. // Photo by Hank Greer.
Mic Woodruff. // Photo by Hank Greer. 20
Out There Monthly / September 2012
“It’s such a true family sport,” he says. “It’s so healthy for our community.” A FAMILY AFFAIR -----------------------------------------------------BMX has long debunked the stereotype of “youngsters” simply ‘taking some air’ and rebelling against authority. The 1970s movie “Joe Kid on a Sting Ray” portrayed “bad boys of BMX,” a rock star image, where amateurs were given more attention than the pros. Tim Arnold doesn’t notice BMX stereotypes in Spokane. “BMX racing has become a truly international sport,” he says. To someone new to BMX, he points out the difference between BMX racing
believe in the sport and that it’s good for kids,” says Shawn. Tim predicts the Joe Albi BMX facility “is primed for a way bigger event than we have ever had around Spokane before.” PUMP TRACK FEVER -----------------------------------------------------Ever dreamed of turning your backyard into a giant playland? Pat Sprute and his friends did. Private pump tracks are rare in Spokane, but they do exist. But a pump track is more than just berms and dirt and hills and playlands for bikers. They’re a place for community, friendships, support, encour-
“The nice thing about BMX is that it doesn’t require a team to and no one ever has to sit on the bench.” -----------------------------------------------------------------and BMX dirt jumping and freestyle. “BMX racing is like an eight-person drag race on a closed course with jumps and obstacles to go over at speed.” BMX misconceptions may be the cause for negative stereotypes. BMX is thriving as an active family sport. Local racer Eric Carlon, a 42-year-old father of two boys, owes his commitment to his kids’ involvement and enthusiasm for the sport. Reluctant to admit he might be done racing (he recently broke his collarbone), he speaks proudly about his kids’ potential. Eric’s youngest was only three years old when he first tried BMX biking. The all-ages, all-abilities welcome attitude of BMX is part of the appeal. “At the grass roots level, [BMX] is a huge family sport” says Tim. VOLUNTEER EFFORT -----------------------------------------------------The success of the Joe Albi Track in Spokane, and the tracks at Cherry Hill Park in Coeur d’Alene and the Larsen Recreation Center in Moses Lake, is at the hands of volunteers. Shawn, despite a break from personal racing, sees potential in Spokane’s BMX culture. “I think on a Spokane level, the city has a high caliber track, excellent volunteers, and the base is laid to bring in large events,” he says. “People are meticulous and take such good care of this track. No one is making money off the track.” Volunteers grab shovels, patch it up, and do it all for free. “Volunteers are there because they
agement, creativity and strength building. A pump track differs from a BMX racetrack because of its scale. BMX racetracks can be wide open, says Tim, allowing for space to gain speed and pass racers. Pump tracks are narrow and create a cadence for the rider as he or she pumps the terrain. A pump track is a looping trail ridden continuously without pedaling. A rider gains momentum by applying pressure while riding steep berms, rolling over hills (“rollers”) and “pumping” (that is, pushing off a decline and letting off on an incline), and maintaining frequent lower body movement while maintaining a still upper body. “BMX is the hardest of all the cycling,” says Eric Carlon. “It takes a lot of core strength and is a fullbody workout.” Pat’s pump track remains a novelty. It’s a conversation starter, but Pat still encourages others to build their own. “Start with something ridable, like a loop, then grow into it,” he says. He designed his track after reading Lee McCormick’s Pump Track Nation, a guide to surveying land, building your own pump track, and digging your way to a low maintenance, DIY expanse of playland. Pat claims the track is easy to maintain. The winter packs the track down. Even though interest in his track has waned, Pat is not discouraged. “Interest will pick up again. It hasn’t seen its last riders,” he says. Dwight Merkel will be getting a pump track soon, thanks in part to Councilman Jon Snyder’s
LOCAL BMX TRACKS -----------------------------------------------------In order to race at any ABA track, an ABA license is required. It costs $45 and is good for one year from date of purchase (family discounts available). Additional race entry fees apply at each track (usually $8-10), and many offer free oneday memberships to try out BMX. Spectators are always free. Gear requirements: a helmet (full-faced style preferred), long pants, long-sleeve shirt and enclosed shoes; optional to wear elbow padding. Cherry Hill BMX, located at Cherry Hill Park / Coeur d’Alene Founded: 2005 OPEN: public park, fee for races RACES: Every Saturday thru October 27th, registration 10:00am-11:00am (Tuesday evening racing ended August 28th.) MORE DETAILS: cherryhillbmx.org, (208)661-8685 -----------------------------------------------------Joe Albi Track at Dwight Merkel Sports Complex / Spokane Founded: 2010 OPEN: public park, fee for gate practice and races GATE PRACTICE: Every Wednesday evening thru October 24, 6:00pm-9:00pm, costs $3—open to anyone with a BMX membership RACES: Friday and Saturday evenings thru October 27, registration 6:00pm-7:00pm UPCOMING RACES: September 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 28-29; October 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27 COMING SOON: Merkel will get a pump track, thanks in part to Councilman Jon Snyder’s allocation of a $600 matching grant to help with construction. MORE DETAILS: jabmx.com, racetrack hotline (509)625-6952 -----------------------------------------------------Moses Lake BMX at Larsen Recreation Center / Moses Lake FOUNDED: 2006 OPEN: public park, year-round, dawn to dusk RACES: Saturdays and Sundays thru October 14th, registration 10:00am-11:00am UPCOMING RACES: September 8-9 & 15-16, October 6-7 & 13-14 MORE DETAILS: moseslakebmx.com, (509)701-2043 UPCOMING EVENTS -----------------------------------------------------No more local major BMX events happening for the rest of this year, but racing continues thru October. Racing season starts again in April 2013. Check individual track websites or their Facebook pages for schedule updates. ------------------------------------------------------
Mic Woodruff won his class in the single A at the Great Northwest Nationals in Klammath Falls, OR. A fan wanted a souvenir so Mick gave him his number plate.
More racing at Dwight Merkel. Photo by Todd Conley, toddconleyphotography.com.
Kids racing at Dwight Merkel. Photo by Todd Conley, toddconleyphotography.com.
Racing at Dwight Merkel. // Photo by ToddConley, toddconleyphotography. com.
Photos of the Riverside track run by Dave Breidenbach from 1979-83. Heâ€™s the adult with the five racers in front of the sign. September 2012
/ Out There Monthly
THE SECRET IS OUT...THE SPOKANE RIVER ROCKS Fly Fishing the Spokane River / By Brad Naccarato “Keep your rod tip up!”....“Keep your line tight!”....“Get her on the reel!” Sean Visintainer, owner and lead guide for Silver Bow Fly Shop, is doing everything possible to help me land my first Spokane River trout of the morning. Just when I think I’ve got the fish in range of the net—zzzzzzzziiiiiiing, the drag on my reel is singing as she makes a bee-line back into the current and rips another fifteen feet of line off my spool. This is a typical Spokane River rainbow trout—strong, feisty and pushing close to 20 inches. Sean does his best to steer our raft toward the fish as he talks me through the fight. With one last heave from the butt of my rod, the fish finally concedes and we’ve netted our first of the day. It’s a wild female, measuring 17 inches, and the colors on her are simply amazing. As we gently release her back into the water, I take a seat to catch my breath. I quickly realize, this is only the first fish...and we have four hours to go! To say that the Spokane River has had its share of habitat adversity would be a huge understatement. The fact that it’s a remarkable fishery in spite of that adversity is nothing short of a miracle. A century of mining practices in the Idaho Panhandle have forever scarred this river system with trace contaminants. Add to the mix a county of a half a million people at its center, and you can see a whole host of other challenges this river faces—poaching and sewage runoff, just to name a few. Yet somehow, in the face of all these challenges, the fish have adapted and flourished. Spokane River rainbows are predominately wild (non-hatchery raised) and are technically a sub-species of Rocky Mountain rainbows known as ‘red-bands.’ These fish can grow to large sizes and are extremely hearty trout that can survive in marginal conditions in which other trout may not fare so well. But perhaps the biggest component to the success of this fishery is the ‘recharge’ that occurs in several areas throughout the river. Cool, clean water from the aquifer feeds directly into the river through underground channels. This ice-cold water helps to keep the river at a suitable temperature for trout habitat, even during the hottest months of the summer. We began our float trip in Peaceful Valley, just west of town. At no time during our sixmile float did I get the sense that we were anywhere near a large city. It was as if we had been transported to a secluded river valley deep in the mountains. The summer flow made for a gentle float that meandered through forested riverbanks with scattered rapids that were easily navigated. “This is a beautiful urban destination for folks arriving in town that only have a small window of time to fish,” says Britten Jay, one of Silver Bow’s lead guides for the past eight 22
Out There Monthly / September 2012
years. Although I’ve been fly fishing the Spokane River for several years on foot, I had never had the opportunity to float it with a guide. And I must say, it’s an awesome experience—sitting back in my comfy chair at the head of the boat, enjoying the scenery, my guide working his magic on the oars…oh, and I get to bring monster trout to the hand without really ever having to get up. Ya, I’m good with this! Until now, I’ve always been a little secretive about my fishing experiences on the Spokane River, hoping that it would remain somewhat under the radar—but it appears that the secret may already be out. Fishing interest in this river has been steadily on the rise since Silver Bow first started providing Spokane guided trips in 2010. Just this year alone, Sean has seen a 25 percent increase in trips from previous years.
Yet somehow, in the face of all these challenges, the fish have adapted and flourished. As beautiful and strong as these fish are, they are not easy to catch. Fly fishing the Spokane is a ‘sub-surface’ game for sure. Caddis flies are the main course here and these fish usually key on the aquatic stages of that bug’s life. Nymph and emerger patterns are always the best bet and are typically fished deep in the tail-outs. Nymph fishing can be more challenging than traditional dry fly fishing, as the ‘takes’ can be subtle, but the rewards are much greater to those who master it—especially here. The Spokane is definitely a quality-over-quantity fishery. You won’t have 30 fish days here, but the fish you catch are large and they love to fight. Most of the trout in this system range from 15 to 17 inches long, with many fish over 20 inches. “A nine and half foot, six weight rod is the best all-around fly rod for the larger fish in the river,” says Visintainer, who has owned Silver Bow since 2005. The best time to book a trip is usually mid-July to late-October. During this time of year, river flows are generally 1500-2000 CFS. Those levels make for an easy float with tons of great pocket water and plenty of active trout working the banks. Of course, you don’t have to float it to fish it. Many local anglers choose to ‘walk and wade’ several stretches of water near Riverside State Park. So if you do happen to have a great day on the Spokane, just please remember to keep quiet about it—after all, it’s still supposed to be a secret. //
Sean Visintainer of the silver bow flyshop (left, holding a rainbow trout) and Brad Naccarato on the Spokane River. Photo by Michael Visintainer
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Let us show you how to reduce your trash disposal bill while becoming a better recycler Pacific Materials Exchange, in partnership with Spokane Regional Solid Waste System, is offering free assessment services to Spokane County businesses that are interested in reducing their disposal bills and increasing their recycling efforts. The services are provided completely without charge and all collected data is confidential. Several levels of assessment are available, ranging from a packet of information to an in-depth on-site consultation and survey.
For more information or to schedule a consultation: Call 625-6536 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Partial funding provided by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology. September 2012
/ Out There Monthly
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Out There Monthly / September 2012