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Return of the Cool

Early Fall Ride Ideas

The long winter and spring made summer feel like it was about 15 minutes in the Northwest this year! But is riding season over? Hardly.

We have a little rule when we're putting on the Rally in The Gorge. If it's raining, simply ride east. It's almost always drier there. Ditto if you live anywhere west of the Cascades like Portland, Eugene, Seattle or Bellingham. Simply get on the bike, make your way over the Cascades and enjoy some late summer early fall riding to the east.

The view from atop Step Toe Butte in the Palouse region.

Need a few suggestions? Here ya go:

Walla Walla (WA) � The sweets are in and the fall colors are kicking in. Take a ride along the Starbuck Highway, venture into north eastern Oregon, check out a winery or two, grab some great food at one of the fine restaurants like 26 Brix or Creek Town Caf�, or take a walk through the local corn maze.

Lewiston/Clarkston (WA/ID) � Your gateway to roads like The Old Spiral Highway (shown at right), the Rattlesnake Grade and the many roads in the Palouse. Take in a cougs game in Pullman and see the world from the top of the Step Toe Butte.

Central Idaho (ID) � Hit Sun Valley before the skiers do, make your assault on Galena Summit, take in the colors around the Sawtooth range and take a eriei ride and walk through the Craters of the Moon.

John Day (OR) � An excellent weekend HQ for a variety of rides, ranging from desert to mountainous terrains. Perfect for pavement riders, as well as adventurous dualsporters. Accommodations are meek as is the level of food excellence, but it's only a weekend after all. For day rides make your way to Condon, Heppner and other twisty destinations.

Eastern BC/Western Alberta (CANADA) � Check the weather, and with high pressure permitting, make your way into the vast solitude of the Canadian Wilderness. Ride across the ice fields near Jasper, wind along Highway 3 from Osoyos to Castlegar, roar up to Revelstoke and take a good look at a star filled sky in Kamloops.

The Old Spiral Highway. Best ridden from about 7-9 am on a Sunday morning. Repeat as necessary.

Before you go remember it's hardly summer anymore � or is it? You'll want to dress in layers and bring along some synthetic heating. Got an electric vest and gloves? Pack it. Any kind of synthetic heating will do on a chilly morning or day. If electrics aren't in your gear bag take along some charcoal activated heating packets .

Rain gear is your friend. Not only will it insure you stay dry if some rain shows up, but it will add a layer of warmth when you need it.

SR!/Fall 2008

Stopped for a history lesson along the Sawtooth range in central Idaho.


For more ideas of where to ride check out our Scenic Byways series:

 

 


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