By: David Robbins
Mark your calendars for August 4 through 10—that is when this year’s Ride Idaho cycling tour will take place. The annual 400-plus mile bike ride is well known for its beautiful scenery, diverse and enjoyable routes, and for educating cyclists about the state’s rich history and heritage.
Ride Idaho is a non-profit organization staffed by enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers, according to rideidaho.org. Since the first race in 2005, Ride Idaho has strived to boost the local economy, encourage a healthy lifestyle, and raise awareness about how to be a safe cyclist. Participants build camaraderie with participants who share passion for cycling.
Anyone Can Ride
One of the things that helps set Ride Idaho apart from other bicycle races is that all ages and abilities are welcome to take part in the experience. Riders ranging in age from 16 to 84 have registered for past tours. From devout cyclists who have all of the latest equipment and the most expensive touring bikes available to people who have a more casual relationship with cycling, Ride Idaho truly offers something for everyone.
Get to Know Idaho
The Idaho Statesman noted, Ride Idaho features a different region of the state each year. For instance, last year’s tour focused on north central Idaho.
This year’s route begins in scenic Coeur d’Alene. On the first day of the tour, riders will travel to Sandpoint. On the second day, riders will experience the beauty of the Sandpoint Loops. Routes will also take riders to Thompson Falls, Wallace, and Chatcolet before finishing up back at Coeur d’Alene. In between stops, riders often enjoy taking advantage of Idaho’s recreational opportunities like four-wheeling and other adventurous activities. Adjacent to Coeur d’ Alene lies the Canfield Mountain Trail System, an ideal locale to ride your ATV through lush forest scenery. However, the trail requires that your vehicle be fitted with Honda ATV parts like a spark arresting silencer or end cap, according to RiderPlanet-USA.com.
Registration for this year’s Ride Idaho tour costs $735, or $295 for non-riders. The fee includes camping spaces, mobile shower services, and portable toilet facilities as well as daily meals, snacks and beverages. Luggage transportation and entertainment is included in the price, as is a bevy of course-related support services like maps, well-marked routes, multiple aid stations and more. Registration is limited to just 350 riders, and people must sign up for the full course, as opposed to individual segments.
Ride Idaho supports local communities. The routes are designed to go through smaller towns. Ride Idaho hires local non-profit organizations, clubs and businesses to help provide the riders with food, camping, entertainment and porter services. The event helps fund local development projects like city park playground equipment, bike racks, city benches and more. The organizers of the event are not only committed to providing each and every rider with a fun, safe and enjoyable experience, but to giving back to the local Idaho communities.