the Rails to Trails Idaho Bike Tour

Having just finished over 630 miles of riding in Canada, Montana, and Idaho, the supported tour that Darren and I both did with our wives – Audra and Trish – as well as two of our friends – Peter and Leah – was a great way to wind down the mileage and just enjoy ourselves.

Although we’d been looking forward to it for a while, the 6 of us did not plan this ride. We were joining about 90 other people in an organized ride to support MCC. MCC stands for Mennonite Central Committee, a non-profit organization that does sustainable relief and service projects in developing countries. I worked with MCC for a year in Jamaica and can personally attest to the positive mission of the organization. Darren and I arrived in Kellogg on August 1st, a Friday, and most people got in Sunday afternoon to start the supported ride the next day.

The ride took us through most of the rails to trails routes in Coeur D’Alene, which are exactly what they sound like – old railroad tracks that have been converted into multi-use pedestrian trails. We ended up riding just under 250 miles in four days, and with some additional riding that Darren and I did while waiting for the rest of the riders, our total for both trips was about 910 miles.

Overall, Coeur D’Alene’s rails to trails provide some very scenic riding; here are a few of the highlights:

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One of the bridges along the rails to trails. This is actually a shot of Darren and I riding into Kellogg on the last day of our trip.
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Our group. Here we are taking a small detour to an old abandoned mine shaft.
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The actual rails to trails never go past a 4% grade since they were railways at one time, but as soon as you get off the trails, Coeur D’Alene’s hills greet you with a smile.
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Part of the abandoned mine shaft.

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This was the morning of our century day. I’ve said this in other posts, but life doesn’t get much better than getting up early to ride a bike.

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Marshlands, with a blue heron in the center.
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Bathroom break.

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A scruffy selfie.
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The turnaround point for our century at mile 54.
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A moose taking a bath on the century day.
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Our final ride was on the Hiawatha trail, a less tame section of rails to trails which includes many old railway tunnels – one of which was over a mile long, washboard-infested gravel – an unexpected surprise, and smiling couples like Darren and Audra – despite the circumstances.

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The Mines of Moria… I mean, a tunnel.
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Here’s my point and shoot showing signs of weakness in a tunnel. I won’t post any more of these failed attempts at artsiness.
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One of the bridges traversed on the Hiawatha.
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Traversing one of the bridges on the Hiawatha.

 

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