The fall shoulder season with its shorter, often wetter and colder days, is prime time for bike rides to your neighborhood pub or longer adventures to drinking establishments a bit further afield. Creative routes, including forays through parks and other urban wilds with sections of singletrack thrown in, can make the ride much more fun and interesting, and your beverage of choice that much more earned when you arrive at your final destination. Be sure to dress for the weather, wear your helmet, and bring along bike lights to help you see and be seen. And don’t forget your bike lock. Here are a few ride recommendations and group ride suggestions to help motivate you to get outside to pedal for your beer this fall:
South Hill/Bluff Ride
There are plenty of options for different pub rides on Spokane’s South Hill, ranging from singletrack dips down into the vast network of dirt trails on the Bluff (make sure you have a quality bike light for any night time trail rides), to more mellow cruising along High Drive Parkway. From High Drive, work your way east on residential side streets between 14th and 29th Ave. towards Manito Park, where one can wander around on the park’s paved pathways until you’ve built up a sufficient thirst for your final destination. Manito Tap House is right around the corner from the park and one of the most bike friendly pubs in Spokane, with prime bike rack placement, a repair stand with tools, and they sell bike tubes if you happen to need one. As a Bicyclebenefits.org business partner, once you have your $5 helmet sticker, which you can get there, Manito Tap House offers 10% off their non-happy hour food menu for members who show up on their bikes (see sidebar for details).
Downtown Spokane River Loop Ride
Start this ride at the Rocket on W 1st Ave. and Cedar – they have a surprisingly good selection of bottled and tap beer and of course baked goods to carb load for your excursion (they close at 8 p.m.). Head south to Riverside Ave. then east towards Riverfront Park. Pick your bridge over the river, then turn west and hop on the new addition to the Centennial Trail at Monroe. Pedal along the Centennial Trail past Kendall Yards until you’re pretty much above the confluence of the Spokane River and Latah Creek, and then take the side trail down to the Sandifur Bridge and People’s Park. Hang a left on W Riverside Ave. up the hill into Browne’s Addition, then right on S Hemlock St., and left on Pacific Ave., pedaling the few blocks to Pacific Avenue Pizza to get your Bicyclebenefits.org helmet sticker ($5, see sidebar), and a discounted slice and a beer. After that well-earned pick-me-up, head north a block to W 1st Ave. and continue east back to where you started. Your last stop is Andy’s Bar next to the Bike Hub for a nightcap or two. Andy’s is a great place to park your bike for a while – they have a full bar, rotating beer selection, board games, and menu with perfect post-ride burger and pub food selections.
Missing FBC Spokane rides? Head to Sandpoint next full moon for a wild and crazy time. Sandpoint’s FBC rides each have a theme (check their website) and start at Eichardt’s Pub. Next ride is set for Nov. 17. www.fbcsandpoint.com
The Swamp Ride is one of a few pub rides that have popped up to meet Spokane’s growing demand for social gatherings that involve bikes and beer since the FBC Spokane went buh-bye. They are billed as casual, full moon rides that begin at the Swamp Tavern in Browne’s Addition. www.facebook.com/swampride
Fourth Friday Pub Peddlers
Another newish pub ride worth checking out, the Fourth Friday Pub Peddlers, also meet at the Swamp Tavern on, you guessed it, the 4th Friday of each month with stops at different drinking establishments. www.facebook.com/pubpeddlers
Spokane Party Trolley
What better way to entertain visiting friends and family over the Thanksgiving or Christmas/New Years’ breaks or bond with co-workers (make it a holiday office party on wheels?) than by bundling up for a tour of downtown Spokane watering holes on a guided, pedal-powered, music pumping party trolley? The Spokane Party Trolley is a fun and unique way to explore the city in the winter, enjoy a few drinks, and get just enough exercise to stay warm between stops. Spokane Party Trolley is offering discounted winter rates starting Thanksgiving weekend, including rides on Black Friday that make for the ultimate calorie burning alternative to the biggest shopping day of the year. As long as the streets are clear, the trolley will roll all winter long. www.spokanepartytrolley.com
Bicyclebenefits.org—Ride Your Bike, Save $$ on Food and Drink
Did you know you can get special discounts for riding your bike to a handful of restaurants and bars around Spokane? To start enjoying discounts at places like Manito Tap House, The Lantern Tavern, Pacific Avenue Pizza, and other Spokane area eating and drinking establishments, ride your bike to any one of the local Bicycle Benefits Business members listed on their website and pay $5 to get your all-weather, reflective helmet sticker that will serve as your ticket to Bicycle Benefits discounts at participating locations in cities around the country. www.bicyclebenefits.org