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Posted on Jul 24, 2018

The tricky task of bicycling in and around Quincy

If you love your bicycle rides, summer is the time for you. The question is: Is Quincy the place for you?
For Russ Harrington, director of recreation for the city of Quincy, the answer is a definite maybe. It depends on where you ride and for how long you ride. 
“There are a lot of streets that are pretty wide,” Harrington said, “so there’s plenty of room, you don’t have to worry about cars right on top of you. “ In addition, there is a trail on the southwest end of town, from Seventh Avenue or 10th Avenue all the way to Lauzier Park.
The neighborhoods in the north end of town offer a good share of wider roads, particularly the newer developments by Aho Construction, Harrington said, so that makes it a little safer for cyclists to share the road.
The contrast begins, and the troubles for cyclists do too, when talking about longer rides and rides outside the city limits.
“There isn’t any shoulders on the road,” Harrington said, “and during different times of the year we get heavy harvest traffic, with spud trucks, and cherry trucks and apple trucks and things like that. With limited shoulder places to pull off it makes it tougher to get those longer bike rides in.”
It is still possible to get a two-to-three-mile ride by mapping a route around the southwest end of town, Harrington said.
People seeking to ride with children might want to favor the trails to and from Lauzier Park and around Monument Elementary.
People seeking longer rides might want to go for a drive, first, Harrington said, offering Wenatchee’s Apple Capital Loop Trail as an option.
“If you’re looking for a longer stretch and a longer ride, you definitely find it’s a lot tougher in Quincy than, say, going to the Apple (Capital Recreation) Loop (Trail),” Harrington said.
That trail is 10 miles long. and is split between Wenatchee and East Wenatchee.
At one point, the city entertained the idea of building a path from city to city, Harrington said. The idea is still being talked about, he said, noting that it was a group of volunteers and not a municipality that brought the idea to the table.
Still, the thought of building something for cyclists in Grant County persists,
One of the hurdles an idea like this faces is the issue of right-of-ways. For example, before it can build a trail between Quincy and George, the city of Quincy needs to get a variety of ducks in line.
For starters, the city does not have any right-of-ways, Harrington said. Building a path on the west side of Highway 281 would also require easements from Grant County PUD and the state.
Plus, some farmers who own land next to the road might need some convincing, and that takes time.
“To do it legally and with the approval of everybody is a little bit more tedious of a task,” Harrington said.
Nevertheless, Harrington said, going for a ride in town is not an impossibility, even if it comes with a chorus of barks.
Dogs are always making their presence known, coming out of yards to bow-wow at pedestrians and cyclists.
“That’s always something to watch out for,” Harrington said.

By Sebastian Moraga,