I had the good fortune of being able to make the 2nd Annual Black Friday ride this morning. Last year there was some new snow on the ground which combined with the colder temperatures caused me to stay in bed and miss the inaugural ride organized by John Speare. I can't say for certain, but I think the ride was designed as a subtle protest against standing in line for hours and fighting the crowds at the after Thanksgiving Day sales events at national retail stores and malls.
About 11 people showed-up riding mountain bikes, cyclocross bikes and even a couple of 29" single-speed bikes. The single speed guys were very tough riding the variety of terrain with only one gear to work with.
The route is known by locals as the Northwest Passage and meanders from White Road on S 195 all the way to the trails along the Spokane River past Doomsday Hill. There is no way I would have ever been able to negotiate the ride even with a detailed map nor am I certain I could repeat the ride solo again since I was looking down trying not to die most of the time.
It all started with a ride from Hangman Golf Course up to the meeting place on 43rd Ave. The cyclocross tire outfitted Superfly was the steed of choice for this adventure. There was some ice on the road, but the bike handled it without incident. I knew I was in trouble when I saw the serious looking crew assembled at the Rocket Market.
After introductions, we ambled down to the south where the fun began with climbing the grade to the top of White Road. After that it was some technical single track along a cliff, fast descents and a death-defying leap across train tracks in front of an oncoming train blowing its horn for all it was worth.
More trails, fast descents and a spin through High Bridge Park and Peoples' Park put us down by the Spokane River. More trails, a flat tire and some regrouping brought us to the foot of Doomsday Hill. Most went up the hill while those from the south took the highway back to Hatch Road.
It was a great ride with a great group all out for the same reason - the love of riding bikes. It all added-up to about 40 miles for me and a really big grin for most of the morning.
Thanks guys! See you next time.