If you’re not ready to let summer go quite yet, plan to head on up to the Northeast Washington for the Blazing Saddles and Spoons Bike Ride and Chili Cook-off (blazing100.org) September 19 at the fairgrounds in Colville. The quality of cycling on the back-road byways in the Colville area is phenomenal: spectacular scenery, little vehicle traffic, fun flats, and enough hills to challenge any rider. The local cyclists (colvelo.org) will never miss a chance on any Blazing Saddles group ride to call attention to their good fortune of being able to ride these roads every day. Check out OTM contributor Katie LeBlanc’s article from last summer highlighting some of the local favorite road biking rides around Colville.

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Blazing Saddles offers four fully-supported rides: a 100 mile that shoots north through pastoral ranch lands that skirts the border for a while before dropping down for the return trip along Lake Roosevelt; the 66 miler that offers a challenge with an elevation gain of 3,174 feet along with a route through beautiful forest and farmland and along the lake; the 40-mile route that covers similar terrain as the 66-miler, with about 1,000 feet less climbing on a shorter ride; and a 20-mile route for riders looking for a fun taste of the local riding scene before heading into the post-ride festivities.

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All of the rides finish back in Colville at the fairgrounds, where the Chili Cook-off competition, that includes all-you-can-eat chili, will be underway. There’s also a beer garden and live music by local acts The Sarah Brown Band and Murphy’s Law. Ride registration comes with a ticket to the chili festival, and you can purchase additional tickets for $12 if you bring non-riding family or friends with you. The Hometrends Show will be going on at the same location (entry $1), so there really is something for everyone. Your entry will help support the work of the Rotary Club of Colville, which is a peace-building service organization. Through cycling, the club helps promote fitness and economic development, in addition to many other projects, both local and international.

Register for Blazing Saddles and Spoons Bike Ride and Chili Cook-off at blazing100.org. To join Northeast Washington’s cycling forum or to view mapped routes, check out ColVelo’s website: Colvelo.org. //