Kamloops, Okanagan cyclists welcome to join this gruelling 6-day tour of Washington State | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops, Okanagan cyclists welcome to join this gruelling 6-day tour of Washington State

The Cascades Bicycle Club offers numerous cycling options in Washington State.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Cascade Bicycle Club

While there’s been a huge focus in recent years on building a rail trail from Sicamous to the U.S. border at Osoyoos, there’s many cyclists in the Thompson-Okanagan who don’t mind riding a few hills.

A great way to do that in an organized setting is the 23rd annual Ride Around Washington (RAW) event starting July 31 in Chewelah, WA.

“The heart of what attracts riders to RAW remains the same – stunning routes, variable terrain, low-traffic roads, challenging climbs and thrilling descents, all coupled with great support,” reads a description of the event on the Cascade Bicycle Club’s website. “There is a lot of mileage for those who want it, but on most days there are shorter options for those who prefer a more moderate ride.”

READ MORE: We are so close to a rail trail connecting Osoyoos to Sicamous

The ride starts at Chewelah, which is about 350 kilometres southeast of Osoyoos.

Day one is a 105 km ride from Chewelah to Cheney where riders will camp for three nights (or stay in motels if they really want to).

Day two and three are loop ride days to Palouse and a wildlife refuge before returning to Chewelah for two other loop days. One is over the Flowery Trail pass to Pend Orielle River and the other is a ride along the Columbia River.

READ MORE: Dream of connecting Okanagan's rail trails to new Washington state trail still alive

Route details are not finalized but a similar route on the website from 2020 shows daily climbs range from 1,588 to 5,268 feet (484 to 1,600 metres) so it’s not for the faint of heart.

Much of the ride is on designated bicycle trails but some is on roads.

The 250 available spots for the ride are generally sold out within 45 days of registration opening. That starts on Jan. 11 this year.

There is a US$1,100 cost but that includes three meals a day, hot showers, daily ride support (rest and meal stops, mechanical services and vehicle support), luggage transportation and organized camping locations.

There is a US$300 non-refundable deposit due with the registration with the remaining US$800 due on May 1. If you have to cancel, there’s an option to try to sell your spot to another rider and recover your deposit.

Get more information on the RAW ride here.

Cascade Bicycle Club organizes a number of rides in the state throughout the year but this is one of the bigger ones.

See the calendar of rides here.

Their biggest event is the RSVP (Ride Seattle to Vancouver and Party) which is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 27 and 28, depending on COVID border crossing rules at the time. If the border is closed, the ride will go from Seattle to Bellingham and back.

It draws 4,000 to 5,000 riders. More information is available here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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