Stretching 29.7 miles along the beautiful Boise River waterfront, the Boise River Greenbelt offers pretty, mellow riding suitable for all setups. Challenge the kids to a trainingwheels trip to Lucky 13 ($; 3662 S. Eckert Rd., 6 flat miles from downtown; 208/344-6967) for pizza on the patio, or cruise about 5.5 miles farther to Lucky Peak Reservoir (cityofboise.org/parks)―and beyond, if you’re up for a climb.

 

Pull over for a play
Tucked into a nature preserve just off the Greenbelt bike path, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s Elizabethan-style amphitheater is one of Boise’s cultural icons. This month, enjoy The Comedy of Errors or The Seagull before biking back as the sun goes down. Tickets from $18; 5657 Warm Springs Ave.; idahoshakespeare.org

John Clark

Tour Idaho's most bike-happy city this June

Jess Thomson

Why go now: This city is made for cyclists―and now is an especially great time, with leafy streets, wildflower-lined trails, and cool high-desert air.

Population: 215,630

Dress code: Kits and cleats

Miles of paved bike path: 22

Miles of on-street bike lanes: 180

Miles of maintained mountain-bike trails reachable from town: 130

Getting There: Boise is 430 miles along I-84 from Portland, but a quick (and cheap) hour-long flight from Portland or Seattle.

Best use for your old bike: Equal parts bike co-op, community workspace, and educational center, the Boise Bicycle Project (boisebicycleproject.org) refurbs bikes and donates them to lowincome families.

Hot wheels: BOB, which makes strollers beloved by outdoorsy parents nationwide, is Boise-based. Who knew?

Coolest race to watch: Wells Fargo Twilight Criterium, held downtown July 18 (boisetwilightcriterium.com).

Local cycling hero: Beijing Olympics gold medalist Kristin Armstrong

Post-ride rubdown: $85 for the signature Floating Feather massage at Floating Feather Day Spa (602 W. Idaho St.; floating-feather.com).

Make it an overnight: For chic digs just two blocks from the Boise River Greenbelt, bed down at Hotel 43 (from $119; hotel43.com).

Three great spins―and snacks

  • Hidden Springs:

In the hills beyond north Boise is legendary Cartwright Road, which leads to Hidden Springs, Boise’s own mini Pleasantville, with adorable cul-de-sacs, a neighborhood farm, and Old West–style grocer Dry Creek Mercantile ($; 5892 W. Hidden Springs Dr.; drycreekmerc.com).
The reward: Choose a mid-route “snack” of homemade biscuits and sausage-studded gravy at “the Merc,” or hold out for a cold pint and grilled chicken sandwich at Highlands Hollow Brewhouse ($; 2455 Harrison Hollow Lane; highlandshollow.com).

  • Bogus Basin

If you’re a serious cyclist in search of a good climb, try the winding 16 miles to local ski area Bogus Basin for sweeping city and mountain views and a thrilling ride down.
The reward: A 1/3-pound Herby burger with onion rings from Hawkins Pac-Out ($; 2315 Bogus Basin Rd.; 208/338-9627). Ask for fry sauce.

  • Corrals

The area’s mountain-biking trails are kept in tip-top shape. Our favorite? Corrals, a classic Boise route that brings you down through the Hulls Gulch Reserve to aptly named Camel’s Back Park.
The reward: Java ($; 1612 N. 13th St.; bowlofsoul.com), home of the massive Bowl of Soul―a mix of coffee, espresso, Mexican chocolate, and whipped cream.

More: Biking in Boise

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