Except for a few cold snaps, the weather gods have smiled on both bicyclists and skiers this past winter, but now’s the time to step up the riding to prepare for this summer’s rides. Local and regional rides offer something for all cyclists. Gearing riding toward supported events makes spring and summer cycling all the more fun and fruitful. The following is a round-up of some the best rides in our region.

(April 30) Lilac Century Surprise. Three routes. 15 mile family route plus 50 and 100 miles, all fully supported with potato feed at the end. Century takes riders through Spokane’s West Plains and along the Spokane River/Long Lake/Lake Spokane (call it what you will!). A fair bit of climbing is involved.

http://www.northdi vision.com/lilac.htm.

(May 13-14) Scenic Tour of the Kootenai River (STOKR). If you aren’t signed up for this one, you missed out as the ride’s 350 slots are filled. The ride, 45 or 98 miles on day- one and 37 miles on day-two, is a fundraiser for Libby, Montana’s Habitat for Humanity.

http://www.libbymt.com/events/stokr.htm.

(May 27  28) 24-Hour NORBA NW Regional and Washington State Championship. Round and Round Event that enables you to ride your mountain bike around and around and around Riverside State Park’s 7-Mile Airstrip route for 24 hours, alone or with teammates.

http://www.roundandround.com.

(June 3) Wenatchee Sunrise Rotary Apple Century. Two routes, 50 or 100 miles, take cyclists along the Columbia River from Wenatchee to Lake Chelan and back to a festival complete with no-host beer garden. Late starters may end up battling a stiff wind in each direction so plan on an early start.

http://www.applebikeride.com.

(June 10  11) Tour of the Swan River Valley (TOSRV West). A two-day tour through some of western Montana’s most spectacular scenery. Riders choose from three routes with two start/finish points: Missoula for a 260-mile round trip or Potomac for a 200-mile round trip. A third option is Saturday’s extra-long century (116 miles) along the route of the original TOSRV-West, starting and stopping in Missoula with a turnaround at Seeley Lake.

http://www.missoulabike.org.

(June 24) Ride Around The Pioneers in One Day (RATPOD). Starting and ending in Dillon, Montana, this one-day, 157-mile ride with 7,000 feet of climbing benefits Camp Mak-A-Dream. The route takes riders through southwest Montana’s scenic Big Hole Valley, home of 2005 Tour de France fifth-place finisher Levi Leipheimer. Riders are encouraged to raise donations with prizes for the top fundraisers.

http://www.ratpod.com.

(June 24  27) Cascade 1200. In its second year, The Seattle International Randonneurs ride features 1200 km (767 miles) of riding over four days. Cyclists trundle through the forests of Western Washington and the winds of the Columbia Gorge, through the high desert of the Mid-Columbia Plateau and over the North Cascades. Riders share overnight stops and start together each morning. Accommodations and bag transport provided.

http://www.seattlerandonneur.org.

(July 8) Tour of the Coeur d’Alenes. Round and Round Events sponsors this one-day tour through the heart of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s ancestral territory. Starting in Wallace, Idaho, travel where the Coeur d’Alene tribe traditionally hunted, fished and lived. Distances range from 28 to 130 miles roundtrip.

http://www.roundandround.com.

(July 15  16) Seattle to Portland (STP). Join The Cascade Bicycle Club and 8,999 of your most intimate cycling buddies from nearly every state in the union (38 in 2005) and a smattering of foreign countries for this trek between the Queen (not Emerald!) and Rose cities. Two-hundred miles in one and two-day options with baggage transport and limited overnight accommodations.

http://www.cascade.org.

(July 27) Ride Around Mt. Rainier in One Day (RAMROD). Perhaps the Pacific Northwest’s premiere one-day cycling event, Redmond Cycling Club’s RAMROD combines the beauty of Mount Rainier National Park with 10,000 feet of climbing over 154 miles. The Park Service limits participation to 800 cyclists selected via a lottery on April 1. Register by March 31.

http://www.redmondcyclingclub.org/RAMROD.

(August 5) Eight Lakes Leg Aches. Riders choose from 30, 50 and 80 mile routes that take them to and around some or all of the following lakes in the Cheney/Spokane area: Willow, Granite, Silver, Medical, Clear, Chapel, Kepple and Fish Lakes.

http://www.lcsnw.org/events/eightlakes06/html.

(August 19  26) Ride Around Washington (RAW). The folks at Cascade Cycling Club might better call this Ride Across Washington rather than around as the ride starts near the Canadian border town of Oroville and concludes six days later near Goldendale at Maryhill State Park. Mileage varies from 50-95 miles daily.

http://www.cascade.org.

(September 16  17) Tour de Lacs. Round and Round Events and Group Health Cooperative sponsor this two-day journey from Spokane to Coeur d’Alene and back with routes ranging from 40 to 122 miles with plenty of climbing. Some routes include a boat ride from Harrison to Coeur d’Alene. Baggage transport provided.

http://www.roundandround.com.

(September 24) Livestrong Ride Portland. Along with a registration fee, this ride requires a $500 fundraising minimum. Ride as an individual or part of a team. Course options include 10, 40, 70 and 100-mile routes. Raise $2500 and be invited to a pre-ride pasta dinner (no word if Lance will be there). Raise $15,000 and receive an invitation to the Ride for the Roses in Austin, Texas.

http://www.livestrong.org.

Rest in Peace. Spokane Bicycle Club Midsummer Madness and Autumn Century Classic. These rides have been cancelled due to lack of volunteers. If you would like these rides to return, join the Spokane Bicycle Club and/or volunteer your time and energy!