Let the riders come!

Actually, they’ve been trickling though here for years on their heavily laden touring bikes, traversing scenic North Idaho from Newport, Wash., to Clark Fork, Idaho, along either U.S. Highways 2 and 200, or along an alternate route that follows the southern shores of the Pend Oreille River.

But now that Idaho has an official bike route, it’s likely we’re going to see a lot more bicycling tourists-due to the promotional activities and maps of Adventure Cycling.

Thanks to the efforts of Pend Oreille Pedalers bike club members, Idaho Bike Walk Alliance and primarily the dogged cat-herding by Don Davis at Idaho Transportation Department, the Idaho portion of U.S. Bicycle Route 10 was made official in May. (Davis got every community along the route in Idaho to endorse the designation.)

This is the first official U.S. Bicycle Route in Idaho, and part of a network of about 9,000 miles long and growing. The goal is to have 50,000 miles of official bicycle routes connecting communities throughout the United States.

Last year, the USBR 10 route was established through Washington state, and this week, The Spokesman Review is featuring a day-by-day first-person account of traveling along USBR 10.

S-R reporter and cyclist Nick Deshais is expected to arrive in Sandpoint Friday. If you see him, be sure to say “Hi” and “Welcome to Idaho!”

You can expect to see this route included in the Bonner County Trail Plan, which will be unveiled for public feedback at the county fair in August.