Fundraiser provides chance to shake rust off bikes, benefit Olympic Discovery Trail
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Tom Michowski, owner of Bike Garage in Port Angeles, makes adjustments to the gears on a bicycle in his shop on Wednesday. —Photo by Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

With spring slowly emerging across the Olympic Peninsula, many residents looking to enjoy the increasingly warm, sunny days in the outdoors are eyeing their old bikes, sitting in sheds and garages for months, or even years.

A quick ride around the block may result in squeaks, groans, scraping and other unwelcome sounds from the many moving parts — not to mention the rider.

Bicycles, like cars, need oil and tune-ups.

This weekend will be the first of a two-weekend tune-up event — “The Peninsula Trails Coalition Bike Shop Tune-Up Benefit,” hosted by all seven North Olympic Peninsula bike shops.

Friday and Saturday, and again on April 11 and 12, the seven bike shops will donate all of the labor charges for bicycle tune-ups to the Peninsula Trails Coalition in order to fund maintenance of the 126-mile long Olympic Discovery Trail, as well as work projects on the trail and the eventual completion of its path from Port Townsend to LaPush.

Shops also know the best places to ride, especially for a beginner, someone out of shape after the long winter or for families.

Port Angeles

When asked about the best ride, Tom Michowski, owner of the Bike Garage at 403 S. Lincoln St. Suite 2, didn’t hesitate.

“Crown Park [W. 14th and M streets] to the Elwha River,” Michowski said.

Michowski described the newly built section of the Olympic Discovery Trail as “very smooth, an easy 1 percent grade and beautiful.”

“Even kids and old people love it,” he said.

The Bike Garage is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., each day.

Jake Gammill, shop manager at Sound Bikes & Kayaks, 120 E. Front St., said that he prefers to head east, and recommends the stretch of Olympic Discovery Trail between Port Angeles and Sequim.

“It’s the most mellow ride. It is 12-feet wide the whole way and stays away from the road,” Gammill said.

Sound Bikes and Kayaks is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, but will not take part in the April 11-12 portion of the fundraiser due to participation at the Port Angeles Kayak & Film Festival on April 12-13.

Sequim

The Sequim area offers an unusual but easy bicycling experience — riding across the Dungeness River Bridge and stretching to Robin Hill Farm, said John Porlier, a bike mechanic and salesperson at All Around Bikes, 150 W. Sequim Bay Road.

“It’s flat and has the bridge and park. You can ride across the train trestle,” Porlier said.

All Around Bikes is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Participants must identify themselves for their tune-up to be eligible for the fundraiser.

Sam Chandler, owner of Ben’s Bikes, offered two slightly more difficult routes for those who are in better shape.

“Brownsfield Road to Soloano Road and back is a good way to get your legs going, and it’s close to town,” Chandler said.

The Olympic Discovery Trail heading east toward Blyn, where the trail is shadier for warmer days and has spectacular water views, is very popular, he said.

Ben’s Bikes will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Port Townsend

Pete Sexton, owner of The Broken Spoke, 230 Taylor St., pointed out Port Townsend’s classic ride — the Larry Scott Trail, now part of the Olympic Discovery Trail.

The trail leads 8.5 miles from Port Townsend Boat Haven, follows the water’s edge, then turns inland to the Cape George Trailhead.

Riders can ride the entire route, or turn back at any point, according to their ability, he said.

The Broken Spoke will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and accepts checks or cash payments.

Participants must identify themselves for their tune-up to be eligible for the fundraiser.

Bob Chung, owner of Port Townsend Cyclery, 252 Tyler St., recommended Fort Worden State Park’s five miles of trails, or anywhere on Marrowstone Island, as good places for beginners.

Marrowstone Island’s roads are mostly flat with some rolling hills, and Fort Flagler State Park has traffic-free trails similar to those at Fort Worden, Chung said.

Port Townsend Cyclery will be open 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays.

Chauncey Tudhope-Locklear, of The ReCyclery, 1925 Blaine St., Suite 500 — the only nonprofit bike shop on the Olympic Peninsula — offered an off-road option for beginning cyclists — Gibbs and Anderson lakes.

“The lakes offer some great riding,” Tudhope-Locklear said.

ReCyclery will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Only the first participant to mention the fundraiser each day will be eligible.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 26. 2014 6:47PM
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