Sunday, November 30, 2008

When a Dead End Is Really Just The Beginning

Even though we had family staying with us through the long holiday weekend, I was able to get out for some type of ride each of the last four days and still maintain my stellar reputation as the hostess-with-the-mostest's obedient other half who does exactly what he's told. (When he's not riding.) Needless to say, I'm enjoying a fabulous state of mind right now. (No, not because the in-laws have left. C'mon! It's the riding! ;-)

Today's ride was the way funnest of the four. The mental slate was blank (fancy term for brain dead) and after tossing around a few ideas, I decided to go in search of Spokanarama's stretch of the Ben Burr Trail. I did a quick Google search. Nothing. And that's as close to asking for directions as I get, because, well, I'm a guy. So I bid the IL's farewell and headed off into the glorious fog.

The section of Ben Burr trail that I'm familiar with is between Liberty Park on the west and Ray Street (roughly) on the east.

It ain't paved and it pretty much Dead-Ends into a residential chain-link, where you can then drop down on single-track through a wooded section and get back onto pavement. Instead, I skirted the north side of the fence. On the other side of this property, I was truly at an eastbound Dead End, so I cut south on what looks like an easement and landed back on the street. I crossed Ray and Freya and wound up in this neighborhood.

View Larger Map

At which point I pretty much forgot all about the BBT thing. I was in my rideabout mood and while I've passed through this neighborhood lotsa times, I've never stopped to play.

What's cool about this neighborhood is that is that it's all up and down and a whole bunch of the N-S streets are steep, rutted, dirt jobs.

And it's full of empty lots you can ride through.

A lesser man would dismount at this point. That's mister lesser man, to you.

And the more you ride here, the happier you are to see the next Dead End sign.

Because you start getting more and more confident that there's fun on the other side.

But then things get serious when you get to the NE section of the map, cause that's where there's some undeveloped land. I didn't see any 'no trespass' signs, so I invited myself on in.

Man, if I lived adjacent to this, and assuming the owner was cool with it, I'd build the coolest-ever track and live the life of a king. Right in the damn middle of the city!

But maybe the best part of this find is that it's a killer route between 14th/12th and Hartson/8th. One of my staple W-E routes involes scooting down Carnahan between these two streets. But going up Carnahan sucks big, so I take a different route going E-W. Now I don't have to.

On the way home, this stairway stood between me and my house on the hill. Fortunately, I'm fully trained in shouldering techniques, so I hoofed it on up.

Anyway, I give. Uncle. Can somebody tell me where the newly paved section of the Ben Burr is at?

Signing off for Nov. Cya in Dec.


Jacque Hendrix said...

What a great post/ride! It gave me a good bicycle tireness reading it.

John Speare said...

I want to explore that area by Carnahan now. I've always wondered about that space.
The new bit of paved BBT, I believe, is up by the Palouse. My understanding is that the original BB line ran through by LIberty park then hung a hard right south, to connect with what is Ben Burr road now. There's a section that for years was an abandon rail trail from 57 to around 45 th ave. I think that's what got paved. But that is a guess.

Pat S said...

Appreciate the info John. Gets me headed in the right direction.