NW Cyclist: Outdoors News Briefs for Spring 2014

Big Finn Hill Park Trails Plan Underway

Photo at right: Evergreen Mountain Bikers Alliance volunteers hard at work at Big Finn Hill Park in Kirkland, Wash. Photo by Troy Kaspar, courtesy of Evergreen Mountain Bikers Alliance

Kirkland, Wash.

King County Parks approved the Big Finn Hill Park trails plan last September after a year of committee meetings attended by local residents, pedestrians and mountain bikers. And, volunteers from Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance began work on implementing the plan shortly afterward.

The plan is designed to improve existing trails in the 220-acre park to increase usability and sustainability, and create fun, well-built challenges for mountain bikers.

Volunteers clearing a trail during a Big Finn Trail School work party in Kirkland, Wash. Photo by Scott Edison, courtesy of Evergreen Mountain Bikers Alliance

“Demand for great trails close to Seattle is growing,” says David Kismet of King County Parks. “And, Big Finn Hill provides many opportunities to create a terrific, sustainable trail network in an area that many hikers and bikers already visit.”

 

The trails plan includes new signage, improved drainage and hazardous-object removal, as well as rebuilding mountain biking features to match industry standards. In addition to these changes, some trails will be rerouted to maximize the enjoyment of the park for all user groups.

While the plan has been approved, work is temporarily on hold while King County Parks forms a group called Friends of Big Finn Park. The group will provide a channel for two-way communication between King County Parks and key stakeholders to ensure that local concerns about the park can be addressed in an effective manner.

Volunteers will resume work once Friends of Big Finn Park is formed. For information about trail work parties visit the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance calendar at www.evergreenmtb.org/recreation/calendar_view.php

Commuter uses Bike Share to get around town. Photo courtesy of Alta Bike Share

New Bike Shares Coming this Spring!

Seattle, Wash./Portland, Ore.

Commuters in Seattle, Wash., and Portland, Ore., will have a new option for getting around town this spring. Both cities are expected to launch bike share programs with the help of contractor Alta Bicycle Share.

The first phase of the Puget Sound Bike Share is expected to provide 500 bicycles at 50 docking stations (complete with helmet vending machines) for subscribers and walk-up users in several Seattle neighborhoods, including South Lake Union, Downtown, the University District and a portion of Capitol Hill.

For more information, go to www.pugetsoundbikeshare.org

Portland’s bike share program is expected to launch 750 bicycles and 75 docking stations throughout the city. They are accepting suggestions from the public as to where those stations should go.

To give your input, go to www.portlandbikesharestationmap.com

A family rides on the Centennial Trail in Snohomish County, Wash.

Snohomish Centennial Trail Open from End to End

Snohomish County, Wash.

All 30 miles of the Snohomish Centennial Trail are now open from end to end. The well-maintained, even path caters to cyclists, walkers, runners, skaters and horseback riders.

There are 10 trailheads spanning three cities along the route—including four in Arlington, four in Lake Stevens and two in Snohomish.

For several years, portions of the Centennial Trail remained uncompleted, making it difficult for commuters to use the trail as a through-path.

According to the county, an estimated half a million people use this trail each year. Now that the trail is complete, it is expected that this number will continue to grow.

For more information about the Centennial Trail, go to www.snohomish.org/explore/detail/centennial-trail

RAPSody riders cross the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Photo by Miles John

11th Annual RAPSody Ride Aug. 23–24

Tacoma, Wash.

The 11th annual RAPSody (Ride Around Puget Sound) Ride will take place on Aug. 23 –24. The two-day, 170-mile route starts and ends in Tacoma—and includes a trip over the iconic Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

Cyclists travel 89 miles the first day and have the option of camping for free at the half-way point in Shelton, where they can enjoy food and festivities. On the second day, riders pedal another 81 miles to finish-line celebrations.

This all-volunteer bicycle event raises money for Washington Bikes—a nonprofit bicycle advocacy group. Bicycle clubs and members from Tacoma, Olympia, Seattle, Kitsap and Snohomish counties are all involved.

For more information, go to www.rapsodybikeride.com

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