First off…here’s our thoughts on road riding in North Idaho. Potholes. Railroad tracks. Way to much chip seal. This ain’t no sissy riding up here in the far north. Be prepared, be careful, give way.
Second…we hate riding on the main highways here. We avoid Hwy 95 North & South and Hwy 200 east (toward Hope) like the plague. Lots of trucks, narrow to no shoulders, and lots of debris. Hwy 200 west toward Priest River is better with a wider, but still debris filled, shoulder. That being the case, the routes suggested here will generally minimize time on these roads in favor of less travelled back roads which we’ll often ride out and back. In the case of 2 of the suggested routes we even prefer riding on a short section of gravel with our 23c tires & carbon fiber bikes instead of experiencing the abject terror of multiple semis screaming by at 65+ mph. Your choice, but this is the way we do it.
All route descriptions begin at the store.
Bottle Bay Loop
(with side trips to Gamlin Lake and Garfield Bay)
Mileage: 38 miles.
Less if you don’t do the side trips.
Description: The quintessential road ride of the area. Good climbs. Good views. Opportunities to visit a museum or take a dip.
Available on Map My Ride here…http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/363035123
PDF of directions for printing or download available here
Selle Valley Loop
Mileage: 32 miles
Description: A beautiful ride through farms & ranches in the wide glacial valley (Purcell Trench) north of Sandpoint. Mostly flat. A great breakfast or lunch ride because you can stop at the Pack River General Store…for some local color and some of the best food in the area.
PDF for printing or download…here.
Priest River Loop
Mileage: 51 miles
Description: A longer ride following backroads on the south side of the Pend Oreille River to the town of Priest River and then back on Highway 2. Relatively flat (although there are a couple of good climbs) this is a good training ride for getting in some mileage. Opportunities for food in Vay (at a nice little General Store/Cafe) and Priest River.
PDF for printing or download available…here.