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Old 10-01-06, 07:59 PM   #1
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January Bicycling in Spokane?

Does anyone here cycle, or have an idea of what the cycling would be during the month of January in Spokane, Washington? If so, would it be better to ride a road bike, hybrid, or mountain bike (with studded tires perhaps?) for day to day riding.

I have an offer to lecture as an adjunct professor during the January term at one of the colleges there. I have always figured that, if and when I retire, my second career would be teaching at university so this is sort of a start on that. I would be free about 50% of the time as best I can figure provided I have the lectures squared away before January. I still haven't decided to accept. I am working on the premise that I will get to start riding again in another month or so. Also, I would probably drive rather than fly so could take one or more bikes with me.

I fully realize it won't be like a January in Texas, but I would like to hear from anyone who rides in the winter in the Spokane area.
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Old 10-01-06, 09:00 PM   #2
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Spokane weather can be as fickle as can be. I lived there for a few years and Jan. can be cold and a foot of snow on the ground but a warm Chinook can blow in and then its 45 degrees. Its a lot like central Ohio weather, weird. Make sure you are prepared for the cold just like anywhere else. I think you have a pretty good chance of doing some biking. Make sure you get down to Riverfront park and do some ice skating if they still have the rink under the old USA pavillion from the worlds fair.
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Old 10-01-06, 09:13 PM   #3
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We lived in the Spokane area years ago - but I doubt that the weather has changed much. My take is that you might get lucky and find two or three days in January with clear roads or trails, but by and large it is likely to be some combination of wet, snowy, blustery, cloudy, or bitterly cold. I was out there in January a couple years ago, and it was sunny and 'warm' - 35 degrees F - with only eight inches of snow and slush. That compares favorably to years earlier when the snow was so deep we couldn't get the car out of the garage and down the driveway for nine days (we lived in the country). I suggest you plan instead for skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, etc. You'll be much less likely to suffer disappointment.

Get them to offer a summer teaching gig. It's beautiful then. Ride the Cor D'Alane trail from Harrison, ID to Montana.
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Old 10-01-06, 10:08 PM   #4
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My memories from the 60's was that it varies a whole lot from year to year. Some years it's almost clear all winter and others there's 4' of snow everywhere.
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Old 10-02-06, 11:11 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by cyclintom
My memories from the 60's was that it varies a whole lot from year to year. Some years it's almost clear all winter and others there's 4' of snow everywhere.
Still the same way. The past decade or so, we've had a string of fairly mild winters that have only gotten briefly punctuated. I run in the winter and most of the recent ones have allowed me to keep going even with poor snow removal on the South Hill.

Which school you going to adjunct at - - Gonzaga maybe? If so, campus is right on the Centennial Trail. Good car-free paved riding.

Also, in a snow year, unfortunately, January is usually the worst. By then, we'll have gotten some chinook that's not enough to actually melt the snow away, but rather just let it compact down into itself and become lumpy, mishaped patches of ice.

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