River Clean Up Rocks!


Your humble servant posing with his trash booty. // Photo by Hank.

Despite a flash downpour this year’s Spokane River Clean Up seemed like the best ever. I had a blast, partly because the kids didn’t come this year (although I love doing it with them.) Without having to worry about coming across needles and porn every few feet I was free to roam with the bicycle crew that scoured the riverside near Military Cemetery at Riverside State Park. At first I thought garbage would be slim pickens here, but then I wondered off the trail and hit the motherload: two abandoned homeless camp filled with trash. I also found a pile of target practice cans, a snow tire, and a monster flood light. In the same location I scored a dozen golf balls too. I have no idea where they are being launched from to reach where I found them, but if you ride your mountain bike on the west bank of the Spokane River and a Teitlist beans you in the face don’t say you weren’t warned.

I flew solo on my Diamondback commuter bike so I had to lug all this junk up singletrack switchback by myself. I also raced the clock to make my son’s soccer game. But as you can see, mission accomplished. I have no complaints. The the wet underbrush is so beautiful this time of year.

Later that night I went to see the TGR film Under the Influence, which OTM sponsored. One of the riders in the film had this to say about his big mountain skiing life: “I just love doing it. When I’m out there alone it’s just like . . . total freedom. I feel so alive.” I must be kinda lame because that’s exactly how I felt about river clean-up. It ruled. Thanks for everyone who helped volunteer and organize it.

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