Sally Phillips joined the Spokane Bicycle Club (SBC) 30 years ago to learn about the best places to ride. “When my husband and I bought bikes, all we knew was to ride to the bike shop to buy more stuff,” she says.
SBC group rides are open to the community, and often offered at different paces, to meet various abilities. The club is a “good fit for people who want to use cycling as a fitness regime,” says the 71-year-old Phillips. “We’re delighted to have families with kids join our club and our rides. Our outreach to adults and families is to help everyone feel comfortable on trails, so they’re inspired to go out there more.”
While most club members are in the 50-60 age range, she emphasizes that SBC is not just for retirees. Currently, there are about 300 members, with about an even split of women to men, according to Phillips, who volunteers as club treasurer and organizes Bike Everywhere Month events.
The most exciting recent venture for SBC, she says, is their schedule of “low-cost bike tours, to fairly close destinations.” They plan 3-5 tours per year, which accommodate a max of 40 riders per trip. “These have been a good way to attract new members, which is something we’re always trying to do. And they give people a taste for bike-touring.” Club membership costs $20-$40 annually (depending on membership plan) and is required for tour participation.
Spokane Bicycle Club is also excited about its new partnership with the city’s “Spokane in Motion” program. One goal is to get more women involved in cycling, and a way to do that is to teach bike maintenance skills. Phillips says, “I still remember when I could finally change a flat tire—it was so liberating.”