With memories fading of cold spring rains, bicyclists have little to dampen their spirits for a plethora of organized cycling events scheduled throughout the summer.
The list includes low-key local rides such as the Spokane Summer Parkways event on Spokane’s South Hill on June 19.
Some events attract thousands of riders, such as the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, which reached its 10,000-rider preregistration quota weeks ago.
Cyclists should always be on the lookout for new events and rides with preregistration deadlines, such as the new Gran Fondo Kootenai based out of Libby, Mont. Entry is cheaper if you sign up before Saturday.
Some top rides are improved from year to year, such as the Jedermann Gran Fondo, which added 30- and 66-mile routes to its original 112-mile loop staged out of Cheney.
Following is a list of top rides from mid-June through July.
More rides are scheduled in August. A serious cyclist should check some of them out to be in top form for the 17 regional rides scheduled in September. Another four events are set in October.
• Ann Weatherill Cycling Classic, June 15: Ride 30-, 60- or 100-mile routes from Walla Walla’s Pioneer Park, includes food stop and post-ride wine and buffet. Organized by Wheatland Wheelers. Benefits cycling safety. $45.
• I Made the Grade, June 15: Based out of Chief Timothy Park near Clarkston, the 33rd annual 18-mile ride climbs 2,000 feet up the Lewiston Grade via the Old Spiral Highway. Organized by Clarkston High School Band. $25-35.
• Loreen Miller Bike Ride, June 15: choose from 12-, 25-, 50- or 100-mile courses based out of Mt. Spokane High School. Post-ride music and food. Fundraiser for cancer patient care. $25-$50.
• Rock and Ride Through George, June 15: The 8th annual event features 10, 30, 70 or 100-mile courses based out of George Community Hall, coordinated with post-ride Parties on the Green celebration in Quincy. $30-35.
• Spokane Summer Parkways, June 19 on South Hill at Comstock-Manito Neighborhood, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Event designed for families to ride streets free of motor vehicles. Free.
• Ride the Wall, June 21: About 150 riders of all ages celebrate the summer equinox in this 13-mile evening ride along the Coeur d’Alene River from Enaville Resort, followed by a barbecue. Benefits Fuller Center for Housing.
• Cannonball, June 22: A one-day ultra endurance ride totaling 276 miles mostly on I-90. Attracts a small field of top riders, but still considered an easier version of the July 6 S2S ride between Seattle and Spokane via U.S. 2. Entrants must join the Redmond Cycling Club. $20.
• Lake Chelan Century Challenge, June 22: Join 500 riders on one to three loops ranging from 30-40 miles each past Lake Chelan vineyards. Do the entire century ride and bag 8,606 vertical feet of elevation. $55.
• Mazama Ride, June 22-23: Runs 75 miles each day on North Cascades Highway from Marblemount to Mazama for the overnight and back. $140-$190.
• Tour de Hood, June 22-23: Tour follows Mount Hood Cycling Classic race in Columbia Gorge near Hood River, Ore., 42 miles first day, 44 or 72 miles second day. Sponsored by Oregon Bicycle Racing Association. $50-$100.
• Gran Fondo Leavenworth, June 23: Ride 87 miles on mixed surface roads out of Leavenworth; Second of three events in Gran Fondo Triple series. $65.
• GGG Wild West Cycling Tour, June 28-30: Women-only ride, 85 miles in three days out of Winthrop; route scales Washington, Rainy and Loup Loup passes. Sponsored by Go Get It Gal. $175.
• RATPOD, Ride Around the Pioneers in One Day, June 29: Ride 130 miles through Pioneer Mountains out of Dillon, Mont. Rider quota usually fills by March, but waiting list is maintained. $100.
• Bite the Bullet Tour, June 30: Details not available for 2013. Loosely organized by Twin River Cyclists (Lewiston-Moscow area).
• Gran Fondo Kootenai, July 6-7: Ride 76 miles from Libby to Eureka, Mont., and return on a 98-mile route with plenty of elevation gain the next day. Includes a 1.2-mile packed gravel section. Fully supported. Benefits Kiwanis-Lions programs. $125 (more after June 15).
• Seattle 2 Spokane, July 6: One-day ultra-endurance ride totaling 284 miles and 12,000 feet of climbing, mostly on U.S. 2. S2S considered tougher version of the June 22 Cannonball ride between Seattle and Spokane via I-90. Redmond Cycling Club membership required. $20.
• Huckleberry Ride, July 7 (Not confirmed for 2013): Loosely organized by Twin River Cyclists (Lewiston-Moscow area), the ride starts in Deary City Park at 9 a.m. and runs 54 miles to Elk River and back.
• Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, July 13-14: STP goes 200 miles, fully supported. Largest of region’s cycling events with 10,000 riders, sponsored by Group Health. Tight schedule? Ride all 200 miles in one day. Return by bus. (Sold out March 21 in 2011; Feb. 21 in 2012 and Feb. 14 this year.)
• One Helena Hundred, July 13: Ride 63 miles along Missouri River from Cascade to Wolf Creek and back, sponsored by Helena Bicycle Club. $55.
• RedSpoke, July 17-21: Fully supported 26th annual 300-mile tour from Redmond to Spokane, sponsored by Redmond Rotary. $75 plus $675 minimum in pledges.
• CHaFE 150 Bike Ride, July 20: A 150-mile loop, timed Gran Fondo, with five food stops from Sandpoint, through Troy and Bonners Ferry and back. Benefits autism programs in local school district. Sponsored by Sandpoint Rotary. Limited to 500 riders. Team options. $75 (plus $50 pledge requirement).
• Jedermann Gran Fondo, July 20: Timed recreational ride with three distances for second annual event — 30, 66, 112 miles, based out of Cheney, organized by Emde Sports. Supported, cool finisher medals, post-ride BBQ and beer garden. $25-$80.
• 50 Miles at the Pass, July 21: Third annual mountain biking event at 4th of July Pass east of Coeur d’Alene. Gran Fondo format, a timed recreational ride, includes routes of 10, 17, 35 and 50 miles. Benefits Lake City Trailbuilder’s Association. Post-ride BBQ. Info: (208) 667-8969.
• Spokane Valley Cycle Celebration, July 28: Ride 10-, 25- or 50-mile routes based from Mirabeau Meadows Park in Spokane Valley, with food stops sponsored by ValleyFest organizers. $10, $20 for family.