BONNERS FERRY — The 16th annual Kootenai River Ride started off with a cool, rainy day, but it did not stop the approximately 70 pre-registered bicyclists from putting rubber to the pavement, or others from signing up last minute on Sept. 15.
The Rotary Club of Bonners Ferry puts on the popular bicycle ride every year to raise funds for scholarships for local children.
“It is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year,” said Bonners Ferry Rotary Club President Ron Campbell.
The undaunted bicyclists tackled one of three rides of their choosing, either a 16K, 60K, or 100K, all beginning at the Boundary County Fairgrounds. The 16K ride turned around at the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge. The 60K took it further, navigating the winding Westside Road.
“The crazy ones, who do the 100K, go up to the top of Katka Road, to the Kootenai River Walk Trail, turn around and come back down,” said Campbell. “When they all come back to the fairgrounds, we feed them potatoes and chili and all the fixins.”
After the chill of early morning rain, the sun burned through the clouds and a crisp fall-like day emerged. A rider from Sandpoint claimed that he had brought the sun with him, since it was sunny in Sandpoint when he left.
The riders came from all over, including California and North Carolina.
“I’ve been at the Ball Creek station for four years now,” said Campbell. “We see the same people coming year after year. People come from all over the country for the Kootenai River Ride. A guy from Boise comes every year because they don’t have trees there and he likes to be out in the trees.”
Whatever reason called the riders, they were treated to a beautiful day in Boundary County, all riding for a great cause.