September is becoming the month of the bicycle in the Northwest.
A cycling event of some sort for a wide range of abilities is scheduled every week through the month and into October.
On some weekends cyclists must choose from one of several tours, races or fundraisers on a single day.
"Bicycling has caught on in this region," said Bill Bender, a Spokane physician and director for the SpokeFest event that debuted last year in Spokane with 1,255 riders.
The events this month range from one-mile loops through Spokane's Riverfront Park to a lung- and thigh-busting tour de pain over Cascades mountain passes. The variety offers cyclists of all abilities a ride worth joining for prizes, exercise and two-wheel camaraderie.
Many of the tours are fundraisers that feature great food, with cyclists happily donating to charitable causes in return for the pampering of a well-oiled event.
Following is a list of coming cycling events around the Northwest:
-- Kootenai River Ride, Sept. 12: Ride 16, 60 or 100 kilometers near the Kootenai River out of Bonners Ferry supported by Rotarians, followed by baked potato feed. Info: www.ruralnorthwest.com/rotary
-- Pedal Around a Glacier, eh!, Sept. 12-13: From Nelson, British Columbia, this two-day, 135-mile ride paces along Kokanee and Slocan Lakes and twice across the spine of the Selkirk Mountains to loop around Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. Overnight in New Denver along Slocan Lake. Info: (250) 352-7199; www.firstbaptist.kics.bc.ca
-- Bike MS-Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, Sept. 12-13: Runs 150 miles in two days, fully serviced with three meals each day, rest stops every 12-15 miles, bike mechanics, medical support and Saturday Night Celebration. $250 minimum pledge. T-shirt, prizes. Info: (509) 482-2022, www.nationalMSsociety.org/wai
-- Grand Columbian Triathlon, Sept. 19: Several course length options for run, bike, swim event out of Grand Coulee Dam, plus group meals. Info: (800) 268-5332; www.thegrandcolumbian.com
-- SpokeFest, Sept. 13: Attracted 1,200 riders in first event last year; a family event with rides starting with 1-mile loops in Riverfront Park to 21 miles through Riverside State Park. Food, music, entertainment. Registration accepted through day of event. Info: www.spokefest.org
-- High Pass Challenge, Sept. 13: A Cascade Bicycle Club thigh-burner gives up to 600 riders 10 hours to pedal 114 miles and conquer 7,500 feet of climbing around Mount St. Helens. Info: www.cascade.org
-- Trek Tri-Island Bike Tour, Sept. 19-21: An American Lung Association fundraiser in the San Juan Islands. Info: www.cleanairadventures.org
-- Tour Des Lacs, Sept. 19-20: Routes range from 40-122 miles over one or two days from Spokane to Coeur d'Alene area and back. Some routes include the Centennial Trail and boat cruises on Lake Coeur d'Alene. Info: www.roundandround.com
-- Dam2Dam, Sept. 26: Routes of 25, 50 and 100 miles between Rocky Reach and Wells Dams, based out of Lincoln Rock State Park in Wenatchee, includes food. Pledge-raising required for paralysis research. Info: www.mikeutley.org
-- Tour de Whidbey, Sept. 26: Ride 50, 60 or 100 miles on Whidbey Island, a health-care fundraiser, with food. Info: www.whidbeygen.org
-- Swan Lake Mountain Bike Festival, Sept. 26-27: Family event with clinics, kids' courses, poker rides and more, south of Republic. Info: (509) 775-7400; www.republicwa.com
-- Stroke Stampede Ride & Run, Sept. 27: Team event in Riverside State Park, participants alternate walking or running with horse riding or mountain biking. Benefits Stroke Association. Info: Crysti Gray, (509) 869-4681; www.strokestampede.com
-- Manastash Metric Century, Oct. 3: Choose from 50K or 100K options in a ride along the Yakima River from Ellensburg to Cle Elum and back. Info: www.drier-ride.org
-- Methow Fall Bike, Oct. 2-4: Cross country races, 35-, 70- or 100-mile road rides, mountain bike rides, clinics, kids' rodeo and more based in Winthrop. Info: (509) 996-3287; www.mvsta.com
-- Chewelah Valley Lions Fall Half-Century Bike Tour, Oct. 4: Ride 25 or 50 miles from Chewelah to Springdale and back via a Stevens County loop around Waitts Lake. Signups allowed up to the 10 a.m. start time in Chewelah City Park. Info: Contact: Becky Washington, email@example.com