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Cyclists ride on the Sitka Cross Trail (Photo courtesy of KCAW-Raven Radio)

SitkaTrailWorkslogoThe public is invited to join Sitka Trail Works on a free guided bike tour Saturday, Aug. 27, on the Sitka Cross Trial. Meet at 9 a.m. at the Indian River trailhead.

The tour is approximately a 10-mile moderate to strenuous ride to Kramer Drive and back to the trailhead. The trailhead is up Indian River Road, take a right across from Peter Simpson Road to the Indian River Trailhead parking lot.

The Cross Trail is about .2 mile up the Indian River Trail. The trail begins on the flood plain of Indian River among huge Sitka spruce and western hemlock. It continues through bogs with stunted forest fringe, intersects the Gavin Hill Trail at about the 1-mile mark and passes through young forests growing back after harvest. At 1.7 miles the trail branches off to Sitka High School and also widens where it is located over an old logging road. The trail continues on 0.2 mile coming out behind the baseball field; then passes the uphill side of the water tower and continues another 0.8 mile crossing a wooden bridge over Cascade Creek, then a short steep uphill and on to the Kramer Avenue trailhead.

Sitka Trail Works board members Sara Bergendahl and Brian Hanson will lead the tour. For more information, call 747-7244 or visit http://www.sitkatrailworks.org.

GroupPhotoWithKidicalMassPoster

The Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition will meet from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 24, at the Larkspur Café.

The monthly meeting is open to everyone interested in making Sitka an even better town for cyclists of all ages.

Agenda items include planning a Kidical Mass family friendly bike ride on Sept. 17 as part of the national Kidical Massive series of events around the country. Last year, Sitka held its first Kidical Mass bike ride, with kids using pedal power to mix smoothies after the ride was finished.

For more information, call Doug Osborne at 747-0373.

Clyde Young unpacks his electric trimmer from his electric-powered bicycle recently. Young's gardening tools, including his lawn mower, are battery powered and pack up neatly on a bicycle he rescued from the dump and converted to battery power. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Clyde Young unpacks his electric trimmer from his electric-powered bicycle recently. Young’s gardening tools, including his lawn mower, are battery powered and pack up neatly on a bicycle he rescued from the dump and converted to battery power. (Daily Sitka Sentinel Photo By James Poulson)

HPR fundraiser flyer

There’s good news and bad news about the intersection of Halibut Point Road and Peterson Street. After hearing public comments about the dangers of the intersection, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has approved — but not funded — a plan for the City and Borough of Sitka to install lighted crosswalk lights at the intersection.

To raise funds for the new safety lights, there will be a car wash and hot dog fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 18, at the Sitka Fire Hall (209 Lake Street).

Residents also can contribute to this special public safety fund by mailing or delivering  a check made out to the Sitka Volunteer Fire Department (in care of Dave Miller), 209 Lake Street, Sitka, Alaska 99835.

Project sponsors include, the Sitka Police Department, the Police & Fire commission, Sitka Volunteer Fire Department, Sitka Rotary Club, Girl Scout Troop 4140, the State of Alaska Department of Transportation, Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, and Sitka Community Hospital.

For more information, contact Retha Winger at 738-2073.

DougOsborneLeadsBikersDownLincolnStreet

The Sitka Bicycle Friendly Community Coalition will meet from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 22, at the Larkspur Café.

The monthly meeting is open to everyone interested in making Sitka an even better town for cyclists of all ages.

Agenda items include a debriefing of our recent National Bike Month events, and looking into what we can do to improve our Bicycle Friendly Community status when we reapply in four years (we recently were upgraded from Bronze level to Silver).

For more information, call Doug Osborne at 747-0373.

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Tour de Sitka riders meet at Sea Mart on Sunday, June 12, before riding to the end of each road in Sitka (Photos by Bill Foster)

IMG_0675Even though the City and Borough of Sitka has an area larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined, there aren’t that many long roads in Sitka, about 15 miles from the end of Halibut Point Road to the end of Sawmill Creek Road, and a few roads radiating out from there.

But every year a group of Sitka cyclists gets together for an informal Tour de Sitka, where they meet at Sea Mart, then ride to the end of the road at Starrigavan Recreation Area on Halibut Point Road for a photo, ride to the end of Sawmill Creek Road, then ride over the O’Connell Bridge to have a meal at the Nugget at the Rocky Gutierrez Airport on Japonski Island. This year’s Umpteenth Tour de Sitka took place on Sunday, June 12.

IMG_0676The event was first organized by former Sitka school teachers John and Cheryl Hedden, who have since moved, as an excuse to cruise Sitka’s road system by bicycle and afterwards have a hearty brunch at one of Sitka’s restaurants. The event tends to be impromptu, with limited media coverage.

Cyclists pose before the Sitka Community Bike Ride on Saturday, May 28, 2016, through downtown Sitka.

Cyclists pose before the Sitka Community Bike Ride on Saturday, May 28, 2016, through downtown Sitka. The Petro Marine Dock is where the steamer The Mexico would have docked 125 years earlier with the first bike seen in Sitka.

BikersWithStMichaelsBehindSitka cyclists were in the mood to celebrate on Saturday, May 28, and they had two reasons for celebration during the Sitka Community Bike Ride held through downtown.

On May 28, 1891, the first bicycle was seen in Sitka (link goes to a Sitka History Minute episode), when a man (C.H. Calhoun of Washington, D.C.) arriving on the Pacific Coast Steamship Co.’s steamer The Mexico brought one to town. Saturday was the 125th anniversary of the bike’s arrival in Sitka.

The other reason to celebrate was the announcement a week earlier that Sitka had been upgraded to a Silver level Bicycle Friendly Community award level, after earning Bronze in 2008 and 2012. Sitka was Alaska’s first community to earn a Bicycle Friendly Community designation.

Here is a slideshow of photos from Saturday’s Sitka Community Bike Ride.

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