Rides for 2016: The Lapwai Loop ride of 50 miles has been redirected west of Clarkston to Wawawai Canyon on the Snake. This is an out-and-back of 53+ miles.
Half-Century: Wawawai Landing
Avoid the ridges! Enjoy the Rivers. This year’s 50 miler stays flat on an out-and-back course to Wawawai Landing. No you can’t see the dam or ride to it, but you will be close. WSU Crew use this landing to store their sculls and riders are often treated to a morning practice session. The course has no climbs save that to Red Wolf Bridge, but you’ll find it challenging never-the-less. Nearly always a wind in hte canyon. Could we get a tail-wind out and then enjoy the wind switching to be at our backs on the return? Well, yes. It could happen.
After leaving the port, we’ll swing south to Fleshman Way, cross the Snake on Southway Bridge and take Snake River Avenue past Hell’s Gate State Park to Tammany Creek Road. This presents a gentle climb for about 10 miles through farm fields along a small stream. From the flats of Tammany we’ll climb a bit more to Web Ridge where the route dives into a steep banked canyon. We have entered the Lapwai Valley, home to appaloosa, Sweetwater, and the Spalding Historical Museum at Spalding Park. Take a few minutes to visit the museum. A ride through the park takes us to the old highway running along the Clearwater River.
Century riders leaving Arrow Bridge head north and east on Highway 3 toward Julietta and Kendrick. This road twists and turns with short rises along the Potlatch River,
scarcely a trickle this time of year, Finally, the road quiets into a long, straight ribbon stretching to Julietta. At the ball park we’ll jog onto the bike path which will dance with the river taking us four miles on to Kendrick.
The Grade: New for 2016. If the climb is going to be too much for you, we will offer a shuttle to the top of the worst of the climb. Oh, there will be plenty of climbing, just not the long steep pitch.
A break at Kendrick will prepare us for the Troy Grade. The first couple of miles are a challenging 9% or better up a forested canyon with a steep bank to our right and a deep chasm to our left.. The climb continues for five miles, but much more gently after the third mile. We have a 360 degree view of the Palouse. We’ll continue to climb including a hump just before we drop into Troy, Idaho.
At Troy we’ll have another break before tackling the longest leg of the day to Genesee. We take the Latah Trail up a winding section through dense trees, parallel the highway to Moscow until we pass under it through a tunnel. Now we’ll descend until the trail intersects with a road curving to our left at Cornwall. We’ll leave the trail, follow the road until we take a left on the Troy-Genessee highway. This route takes us through small farms until it climbs a hill and drops into a second drainage. We’ll enjoy the full Palouse-rollers experience before this road, too, seems to give up the battle giving us a long, flat stretch into Genesee where we’ll have our last water stop.
We’ll need to swing out onto 95 now to reach the top of the Lewiston hill. The road is four lanes but we’ll have plenty of shoulder. This is a gentle climb, but we’ll have in mind the Spiral Highway, a 6 mile descent around sweeping, carefully engineered bends. This is a descender’s dream, but we’ll sit up, relax, enjoy the wide open views of the Snake and Clearwater and all of Lewiston, Clarkston, and Asotin spread out before us. The day is nearly done. A couple of miles on Down River Road and a trip across Red Wolf Crossing Bridge will take us back to the Port of Clarkston and ValleyFest.