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Wheel Sport Blogs

GRAVEL BIKING 101

Gravel biking has exploded in popularity in recent years, but those who’ve yet to dip a toe (or tire) into the sport may find themselves asking: what is gravel biking, anyway?

Simply put, gravel biking encompasses nearly any surface you want to explore. Want to stay primarily on pavement but are looking for a more comfortable ride than a road racing bike? Want to tackle rugged dirt forest roads and mix in some singletrack? Want to combine all those things into a multi-day—or multi-week—bikepacking trip? Gravel is your go-to.

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EARLY-SEASON RIDES

Fool’s Spring. Second Winter. Whatever you want to call it, the freeze-thaw cycles and just plain freezes of this time of year can toy with the emotions of riders desperate for dirt.

Fortunately, several trail systems have sprouted in the cultivated lands of the Columbia Plateau. And these areas’ arid climates mean they are perfect shoulder-season destinations. Best of all, they’re all close enough for a day trip but have enough trail mileage to sustain a sunny weekend. 

Put this list of dry riding destinations in your back pocket for a rainy (or snowy) day.

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COLD WEATHER TIPS

This time of year, it’s easy to want to put the bike in hibernation until springtime. But the payoffs to biking through the winter are enormous. Come spring, your conditioning will be miles ahead of your couch-dwelling cycling buddies. But more immediately, you’ll get all the health benefits of biking while outpacing the winter blues. (And you can indulge that much more at the holidays.) 

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FALL COLORS RIDES

It’s a scientifically proven fact that fall is the best riding season. Cooler weather and perfect dirt are the payoff to a season’s worth of conditioning. But it’s the fall colors that seal the deal: the golden slopes of western larch and the yellow and orange corridors of aspen trees. Here are five fall classics that will have you skidding through leaf piles like a kid again.

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HUCKLEBERRY TRAILS

In late July and August, as the region’s high country trails hit their peak, Mother Nature provides another enticement to get into the mountains: huckleberries. These purple-colored cousins to the blueberry have resisted any attempts at cultivation, so the only place to get them is in the wild. And while some pickers are fiercely protective of their spots, we’re happy to share a couple of the best-known—and bike-friendly—huckleberry trails in the Inland Northwest.

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FIVE (MORE) TRAIL SYSTEMS TO RIDE IN SPOKANE

Following on from our previous post about five of our favorite mountain bike trail systems in Spokane, we present another work week’s worth of close-to-home classics. Bookmark this link or print it out and tape it to your fridge; either way, consider this your trail to-do list.

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FIVE TRAIL SYSTEMS TO RIDE IN SPOKANE

Between city and county parks, two of Washington’s largest state parks, and nearly ten thousand acres of conservation areas, Spokane’s trail system sprawls. And no matter which direction you go, it’s hard to go wrong; mountain bikers could easily be forgiven for sticking with their tried-and-true trail networks. But the area offers a staggeringly diverse set of riding options, from modern flow trails to cross-country epics to subalpine steeps. Whether you’re new to the sport, new to the area, or just looking to add somewhere new to your riding routine, here are five of the area’s best and most beloved trail systems for mountain biking.

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