By: Charlie Dahl
Summer is just around the corner. Already Spokane has been experiencing beautiful and rich springtime weather tempting residents with Spring Fever. Cool sunshiney days seem to be inviting outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy this delightful season that seems to always pass by too quickly.
Lately, the popular activity mountain biking has seen significant growth in Spokane. This eco-friendly sport is widely diverse, offering numerous types of riding. Through the miles and demand of strength and endurance cross country riding, down to the thrill and adrenaline experienced through downhill riding. This sport attracts a variety of people all looking to get outside and on two wheels.
Spokane is an awesome area for mountain biking. Spokane provides some of the best local terrain to shred if you’re looking to go up or down. The local biking trails are effectively maintained through the tremendous effort of nonprofit organizations, park administrators, and mountain bikers, promising safe and clean riding. Spokane is honored to have help from the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance to maintain our local spots as well, a nonprofit mountain bike organization dedicated to maintaining and building local trails around this beautiful state.
Several locations in Spokane are described as treasures to the local bikers. A local popular favorite is Beacon hill, located a mile past John Shields Park (Minniehaha) a hot spot for riders who like big jumps and going fast.
“The local biking community is awesome,” Said Albert Hagher, a local downhill rider looking to get sponsored in the next few years.
“We have tons of cool spots, my favorite local spot is Beacon Hill. Downhill riding is my favorite and Beacon has it all. Its got the biggest jumps and most technical lines, good rock drops and rooty sections.”
Beacon Hill is a hotspot for local riders as well as visitors. It is used to host mountain biking events during the good months. Pros attend these events and awards are given to riders who place in their class. Beacon is well maintained. It offers trail maps of the miles of enduro and downhill trails, and includes huge jumps. It also provides a disc golf course for those looking to have the full outdoor experience!
“You’ll meet a lot of new people up here.” Said Hagher. “On saturday and sundays the entire parking lot is packed. Good luck finding parking. Professionals come and do races here. There hitting the 30 foot drops but it’s also a great place to learn. There’s a lot of trails ranging from beginner riders to advanced riders.”
Mount Spokane is also one of the best local spots for mountain biking. Although not as close as Beacon Hill is, the ski resort contains miles of amazing trails running underneath the forest. Mount Spokane State Park provides 3 main multi-use trails used for horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking. Not only does this local spot hold some of the most breathtaking views in Spokane, the trails are amazing, offering tight tracks and speed unlike any other spot in Spokane. There are picnic tables and rest stops along the way as you will be riding for a while to make the long wrong down from the summit.
“Spokane ain’t half bad. I mountain bike with a lot of buddies from school. We go up to Mount Spokane as often as we can bringing about 5 or more friends to shred,” said Allen Kang, local mountain biker.
Mount Spokane requires A Washington State Park Discovery Pass entrance fee. Also with no chair lifts on in the summer, you will have to shuttle up to the summit making a biking trip to Mount Spokane a little tricky. Unless of course you are determined to bike all the way up to the summit, but it is well worth the riding. Make sure to pack a lunch and plenty of water if considering biking at Mount Spokane.
Spokane is full of friendly and welcoming individuals all offering their own advice on the thrilling sport. Spokane not only has some of the best trails, but some of the best shops around this part of the state. If you are interested in trying out mountain biking check out Spokane’s local bike shops! Including several of the many, Spoke N Sport, Bike Hub, and North Division Bicycle Shop. North Division Bicycle Shop, a local bike shop since 1983, is a great local shop to visit for any questions about mountain biking.
“We have some of the best mechanics in town we have one of the biggest inventories in town,” Said Dan Nordendale, a mechanic and salesman at North Division Bicycle Shop, “So if you’re looking for something special we normally have a lot of variety in stock.”
“For mountain biking, there are several types of mountain biking you can do. It’s easy to end up with a couple bikes depending on the style of riding you would do. What’s most popular for riding around here is going to be a trail bike. There’s a lot of good hills here and you’re going to want to be able to descend those hills that you just climbed. A trail bike will let you descend comfortably but climb efficiently.” says Nordendale.
Mountain biking is an expensive sport, agrees quite literally every mountain biker.
“They start around two grand for a decent one they get all the way up to 10 grand depending on what you want to get into and what quality you want,” said Nordendale.
In spite of the fact that mountain biking is so expensive, it is a sport with high reward.
“It’s just been my lifelong passion, It gives you this rush of adrenaline and you just ask for more every time,” said Kang.