Two Wheels After Turkey: Below Freezing Benefit Bike Ride for Washington Bikes in Spokane


Two Wheels Ater Turkey Group Pic_no Adverts

Our festive group gathers together before pedaling off the pie.

Last weekend’s Washington Bikes benefit ride in Spokane was the type of ride that reminds you how dedicated some cyclists are regardless of the weather. Leading up to the ride weather reports were looking pretty grim. Some reports predicted rain that would turn to ice before a layer of snow settled on top. It just doesn’t get much much worse than that. So we devised a plan B: reserve space in a warm building to socialize and serve hot apple cider… and wait to see what the weather would bring.

Two Wheels After Turkey Katherine and Wilma

Katherine Widing warms up with Wilma Flannagan before Saturday’s ride.

Saturday arrived and the weather was a perfect 24 degrees Fahrenheit. (Perfect, that is, as long as you were smart with the layers, gloves, wool socks, hats….)

We gathered the group in Riverfront Park at the Rotary Fountain, took advantage of the relatively new connection for the Spokane River Centennial Trail across the Post Street bridge, rode through Kendall Yards, and dropped by Monkeyboy Bicycles.  We headed north in the bike lane on Howard around historic Corbin Park before returning to the fountain and heading to the hot apple cider and delicious bars donated by KIND.

Wilma Flanagan, a member of the Spokane Bicycle Advisory Board and the Belles and Baskets women’s riding group, led the riders. Her route was inspired by the recent Spokane urban bike tour for Dr. Zorba Paster while he was in Spokane for a visit to Spokane Public Radio. Wilma was joined by her friend Katherine Widing, who volunteers for Spokane Summer Parkways. An experienced bike travel writer, Katherine is also a co-author of the bike touring book we helped bring out spring 2014, Cycling Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Bike Tours in Washington.

We were joined by friends from these area bike clubs:

Swamp Ride Bike Club: Meets on occasion for a costume-party ride and surprise live bands. The Swamp Ride schedule is announced by the ride organizers through their Facebook page. The group meets at The Swamp Tavern.

Numerica Credit Union Employee Bike Club:  Organized by Numerica employee Matthew Callier, these riders volunteer at cycling events such as SpokeFest and Pedal for a Purpose, organize group rides, and attend group rides organized by others. CORRECTION: they have not donated their bike mechanic skills as was previously published.

Fourth Friday Pub Peddlers Bike Club: Organized by a father-son duo, this ride takes riders on a safe, casual ride from pub to pub in Spokane on the fourth Friday of most months.

Two Wheels After Turkey Mariah McKay and Katherine Widing

Mariah McKay, Don Barden and Katherine Widing roll through Riverfront Park on the home stretch.


Two Wheels After Turkey_Barb and Grant

Barb Chamberlain rides behind Grant and his boom-box, which played a well-selected mix of tunes for the pleasure of fellow riders and passers-by.

Although it was daytime in Spokane we could still see the newly placed lights in Riverfront Park for the first annual Winter Glow Spectacular  a stunning display of holiday lights that makes Spokane’s Riverfront Park look more like Times Square than it ever has before (in my recollection). One participant named Grant brought along his boom box to add some jolly tunes to the festive scene.

This ride gave participants a great reminder of the growing hustle and bustle of walkers and bikers in downtown Spokane, regardless of the temperatures. Our respectful group of riders shared many smiles and waves from people all along the route.

It’s not too late to pedal off the pie in Spokane. The streets are still mostly free of ice and there is no precipitation predicted until Thursday. Join us in working off the whipped cream this year– whether your bike is indoors or out (I just got an indoor trainer!). Send us your stories about riding in Spokane:

Special thanks to all the riders who made a tax-deductible donation to Washington Bikes, KIND for the bars, and Empire Health Foundation for their warm lobby and ongoing donation of office space and administrative support for the Spokane office of Washington Bikes. Those who donate $100 or more get a photo of their bike turned into an original sketch by artist and member Andy Goulding (sent via JPEG).

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