The New York Times had a great piece comparing to pieces of environmental futurism last week. Ernest Calllenbach’s Ecotopia, a story where the Pacific Northwest secedes to creates a new country is contrasted with the new James Howard Kunstler novel, World Made By Hand. Peak oil guru Kunstler’s book raises an interesting question; is it impossible to motivate people to change through hope and optimism? Or must we be scared into to doing right by the planet? Kudos to the New York Times for outing Kunstler as Y2K enthusiast. According to the Times, “Kunstler went long on Y2K, predicting ‘loss of comfort and modern convenience,’ possibly escalating into disease and chaos.” Credibility gap? You decide. You can read the piece here.
Everyday Cyclist writer John Speare at last night’s Bicycle Master Plan meeting.
Bicycle democracy to be exact. Last night’s Spokane Bicycle Master Plan at the West Central Community Center was successful and well attended. A hundred or so folks got to see maps of proposed bike infrastructure and long network plans. City Planner Ken Pelton and Bicycle Advisory Board members Bob Lutz and John Speare eagerly fielded questions. WSDOT also presented on state bicycle plans and got an earful from Spokane City Council member Richard Rush, who asked for more state support of bike/ped projects. Councilman Steve Corker was also in attendance. If you haven’t crashed the Bicycle Master Plan party yet there’s still time. Read about it here:
OTM collumnist John Speare has an eloquent posting about the Master Plan here:
Read more about it at Metro Spokane here:
Visit the City of Spokane’s Master Bike Plan site and take the survey and give feedback:
Or attend the final meeting:
Tuesday, April 29, at the Northeast Community Center, 4001 N. Cook, from 6 to 8 p.m.
A few months ago I stumbled across the biggest backcountry trash heap
I’ve ever seen. While rock climbing in Northrup Canyon, near Banks
Lake and Steamboat Rock, I found approximately 2 or 3 acres of rusted
cans. I couldn’t believe it. My climbing partner and I hypothesized
that they came from the workers on Grand Coulee Dam. Roughly 65 years
ago, in the middle of nowhere, it wouldn’t have mattered much if this
is where the dam workers dumped their garbage.
Awhile later, I mentioned this to another climbing friend who happened
to be one of the participants in the massive Yosemite Valley Clean Up
last year. She reported that there was “trash” in Yosemite Valley that
they were ordered to leave be. Some old mining camps, burned down
trapper cabins, and some other odds and ends were off limits from
I always figured that if it didn’t grow there, it didn’t belong there.
Then again, aren’t ALL artifacts trash. Which makes me wonder, how
many more decades until this spot in Northrup Canyon is an historic
site or off limits from clean up.
Jon Jonckers | 4
Sunday’s paper had big news for our family. One of our favorite musicians, Lucinda Williams, is coming to play an outdoor show in Spokaloo this summer. For free. according to the Spokesman Review she’ll be playing Pig Out in the Park on August 31.
Longtime Williams fans will understand just how cool this is. Historically Williams has not toured extensively, and as far as I know, has never been to Spokane before.
It’s been a long time since there’s been a weekend with so many outdoor activities. For your consideration:
Lands Council Auction
Spokane River Kickoff
Earth Day Spokane
Spokane River Run
Komen Eastern Washington Race for the Cure
Paris Rubaix Race Party
3pm Elk in Brownes Edition Vintage Cruiser Ride (see Lemon Peeler pic above)
No mere mortal could do them all, but don’t you owe it to yourself to do at least one?
If you are looking for evidence of progress in all things bicycle related in Spokane County look no further than the Spokane Regional Bike Plan unveiled by the Spokane Regional Transportation Council yesterday.
I’m just starting to make through the document’s 40 some pages but so far it looks thoughtful and comprehensive. Check it out for yourself and give them feedback.
There are also meetings for the City of Spokane Master Bike Plan this week. Check out the meeting time and take a quick survey at the above link.
You could be forgiven for getting all these plans confused. The bottom line is that they are both crucial to the future of cycling in our area. This is a great time to get involved and promote two-wheeled activities in Spokane.
We just received this notice of a local ultimate frisbee pick-up game in Vinegar Flats:
Dust off those sweat socks, invite your friends, and come on down to Wentel Grant this Thursday at 6:00. That’s right, just in time for the return of the rainy season, we are striking up the ultimate again.
We’ll throw off at 6 and play ’til we’re tired at Wentel Grant Park. Wentel Grant is located down in Vinegar Flats on 17th and Inland Empire Way.
Come and run around for an hour or so.
See you then.
A week ago today, an 18-year-old man, who according to police had been drinking, fell 100 feet to his death after slipping while trying climb the steel undercarriage of the Maple St. Bridge above Peaceful Valley. It would be easy to lecture about how senseless this tragedy is but the first thing it makes me think of is stuff I did that was almost stupid at age 18–when death is still an abstract concept to most people.
The other thing I wonder is: what kind of urban climbing is okay? I participated recently in the Peaceful Valley Parks Charrette and one thing that was suggested was to put climbing holds on some of the Maple St. Bridge supports so that people could climb them. This has already been done on the sly in High Bridge Park.
Would adding climbing holds to the bridge be an innovative outdoor recreation idea or would it encourage more dangerous behavior like last week’s bridge climbing fatality?
I don’t usually cover westside news but this is pretty exciting–not just for Seattle area residents with a terrific new trail but also for sustainability folks who will be happy to see the corridor still preserved for rail use. Read about it in the Seattle PI here.
Mountain Gear truly delivered one of best-ever climbing festivals. The 5th Annual Red Rock Rendezvous, held right outside Las Vegas at the end of March, drew its largest crowd ever. The event actually received so much attention in 2007 that this year PodClimber.com decided to make a movie about the 2008 Rendezvous. Sponsored by The North Face and Five Ten, click here to see why this Spokane-based climbing festival is receiving so much attention.