SIR Summer 600K Information and Pre-ride Report

Since the SIR site has been unavailable and the Summer 600k brevet is rapidly approaching (9/3 – 9/4), I wanted to provide some updated information on the ride:

Ryan Hamilton, Mark Vande Kamp and I did the pre-ride of the route this past weekend. Mark’s pre-ride report is below. I’ll let you read Mark’s excellent report to get the full story, but I’ll sum up my experience by just saying… Holy crap, this is a challenging and beautiful ride!
The RwGPS route has been updated with a few minor route revisions and is posted here: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14276651
The Cue Sheet has also been updated and is available here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1kmEDHMQ5va6O4Fd7IV_loW81XWVgUQQr957M5YN3U8U
And if you’re interested in registering, the registration page is still accessible here: http://brevets.seattlerando.org/registrations/for_event/364
– Steve Frey
Mark’s Pre-ride Report

This is the best of rides. This is the worst of rides. Apologies to Dickens, but after pre-riding the summer 600k I can tell you that I believed each of those statements wholeheartedly at different points this past weekend. It’s really a hard ride and it’s sometimes hard in ways that most brevets are not. At the same time, it is extremely scenic, beautiful, and grand.

Getting out of Seattle to the south looks complicated on the cue sheet but uses the standard route that’s familiar to locals. The Green River trail gives the first taste of gravel and leads to the familiar control at Black Diamond Bakery. The Green River Gorge is not far away, and is the first of many incredibly scenic viewpoints.

The dues of not-so-interesting roads with substantial traffic are paid on the way to Enumclaw. After that, it’s mostly the Ramrod route. Orville Road is the best section of the route to Eatonville. We were getting hot as we climbed the last mile into town and stocked up at the control.

We were careful on the narrow and busy Alder Cutoff Road, then felt more comfortable on the wider shoulder of Highway 7 and 706. Because of long lines at the entrance to Mount Rainier National Park, the route turns right at Kernahan road/NF 52 and follows Skate Creek Road to use the “back entrance” to Longmire 9.5 miles later. There’s a gate at the Park boundary, but it’s fine to just walk around it and continue to Longmire. Fill up your water bottles at Longmire. If it’s even close to hot you might want an extra bottle to hold water for squirting on yourself. The climb is not super steep, but the sun is intense and the grade is unrelenting. We were all amazed at how thrashed we felt when we reached Paradise. We ate heartily because the availability of food is uncertain from Paradise until the overnight control in Naches, almost 90 miles away.

The descent on Stevens Canyon road goes by quickly. We figured we had more than paid for the miles of descending that went by easily. If you expect the climb up Backbone Ridge, it goes pretty quickly. If you expect to coast all the way to Highway 123, it’s much longer.

The last few sweeping switchbacks before Grove of the Patriarchs are some of the best road in the Northwest. The last water for 40 miles is at the Grove of the Patriarchs trailhead, so we made sure to top off our bottles there.

After our experience climbing to Paradise, we were worried about the long, steeper climb to Cayuse and Chinook Passes. The sun, luckily was low enough that the road was almost entirely shaded. It made a huge difference. For me, the best part of this climb is looking back down the valley and seeing how far I have climbed. The smells of the forest and views of Mount Rainier go well with a steady climbing effort. Mercifully, the grade drops substantially on the last mile of the climb to Chinook Pass.

After crossing under the huge log NPS boundary marker you have passed the true crux of the first day. The road descends steeply for many miles, and then rolls along the river, losing elevation and making it easy to maintain good speed. The Cliffdell general store/grocery closes too early (9 pm) for many randonneurs to stock up there. Food might be available later at a few lodge restaurants and roadhouses along the road from Cliffdell to Naches. The road continues its descent as the forest gives way to open sagebrush. We rolled easily on this section, helped by a slight but consistent tailwind. We talked about how difficult it would be to ride in the opposite direction.

There will be solid food at the overnight control in Naches.

We left Naches at 4:00am and immediately started climbing into the sparsely-populated hills. A few sections had me reaching to shift and finding I was already in my smallest gear. It sure was beautiful though. Big rounded hills, some farm buildings, a few roosters crowing, and a gradually brightening sky. Maybe it was the novelty of riding it for the first time, but the 10 miles of North Wenas Road were my favorite of the ride.

Then the pavement ends. The sign says, “Rough road 9.5 miles” and the sign speaks truth. It’s rocky and often washboard –there is no smooth line to be found. The best you can do is grind along avoiding the biggest holes and rocks. It’s hard on hands and hard on butts. There is a particularly steep section or two where there would be no shame (and almost no time lost) in walking. Really pretty country though. Finally the crest becomes obvious and the descending starts. The road seemed slightly smoother on the descent, but it was still rough enough that I managed to pinch flat a 42mm tire. Along the way we saw several deer, and a herd of more than 20 elk, so keep an eye out until you reach Ellensburg.

We felt that our breakfast in Ellensburg was well deserved. After a refreshing break we set off for Cle Elum, riding another road for the first time, Highway 10. The road climbs right to the base of a wind turbine farm, so this is a good time to remind yourself that effort doesn’t always equal speed. Beautiful road though, rolling above the river.

Cle Elum isn’t even 30 miles from Ellensburg, but we stopped again for food and water. The Iron Horse Trail isn’t hard to find if you know that the brown signs that never use the word “Trail” actually lead to the trail.

Unfortunately, the Iron Horse from Cle Elum to Easton is a dusty, wind-swept, grind. Something about the East Side seems to make the trails and roads rougher. The trail is too rough to draft effectively, and whatever trees there were didn’t shelter us from the wind. Again, the surface takes a toll on hands and butts. It also requires your attention and punishes you when attention drifts. We were very glad to reach Easton where the trees get bigger and all aspects of the trail improve. There is about 600 feet of climbing between Cle Elum and Hyak, and it’s basically imperceptible. At Hyak we got water and put on our cold-weather gear to ride through the tunnel. We were glad we did as the inside of the tunnel is strikingly cold and damp.

Once through the tunnel you get more than 26 miles of much smoother, mostly shaded, west-side gravel trail. We know it was more than 26 miles because some folks looking for unofficial personal-best times had just run a marathon down the trail ahead of us. We didn’t see any of them until the finish, but we saw their mile-markers.

The control QFC in North Bend has a deli and Starbucks. We used both. Then it was a short pavement ride to the trailhead for the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. Be careful on the steep, loose footpath. It’s only a short bit, but by this point we weren’t at our best.

About 4.5 miles past Carnation, the Snoqualmie Valley Trail has some construction. There was a big, self-contradicting sign that seemed to say there would be some short closures when work was being done. Press on, as we did.

The climb out of the valley on Woodinville Duvall road isn’t a highlight of this ride, but there’s enough shoulder outside the fog line to be usable and you have to get out of the valley one way or another. By this point we were counting kilometers. After reaching the Burke Gilman Trail, we rode side by side and debated the merits of an immediate shower or an immediate cold beer.

Here’s my mental tally as we rode the last miles: we felt heat-stress, cramps, sleepiness, muscle fatigue, hunger, thirst, hand pain, butt pain, neck pain, nausea, and general discomfort. On the other hand, we saw volcanoes, glaciers, rivers, rain forests, dry pine forests, shrub-steppe, and sub-alpine environments. We saw an orange moon rise over the ridge. We rode in the silent pre-dawn darkness and saw the pink light on the hills. We had a big 600k experience.

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Doug Migden’s Transcontinental Race

Doug Migden on his bike with flags of Turkey and Greece behind him, showing that he has just crossed the border into Turkey.

At the border of Greece and Turkey with less than 300km to go…

Doug’s goals were simple: ride all the way to Istanbul, and finish the race. Doug was clueless about what he was really getting himself into; but why not give it a go?

Doug Migden started randonneuring in 2010 and the distance bug bit him hard. 1200km PBP 2011, 1600km Miglia Italia 2012, 2200km Giro Ciclistico delle Repubbliche Marinare 2014, 15, 16…

What’s next when you’re riding that kind of distance? For Doug, the Transcontinental Race (TCR) from Belgium to Turkey presented an attractive answer and an irresistible challenge.

You can read about Doug’s 2015 TCR in a piece by David Longdon on The Seattle PI Blog, which also includes Doug’s detailed ride report and photos. Check it out here: http://blog.seattlepi.com/velocity/2016/07/10/doug-migdens-2015-transcontinental-race/

Doug will be riding the TCR again this year, starting on July 29th.

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White Jersey Reorder

sir-white-coffee-jersey

Doug Migden is coordinating a reorder of the Seattle Randonneurs White Coffee Bean jerseys from Voler (designed by the talented Robert Higdon). The ordering deadline is August 8. We need a minimum of five jerseys etc. and 5 caps etc to be ordered for the order to go through. Doug highly recommends the FS Pro jersey with reflective back pocket and the wind jacket.

Full details below the fold.

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2016 Summer 200K

UPDATE: Finish location has been moved to Postdoc Brewing. Be sure to download the most recent updates to the cue sheet and GPS files, here.

image

The SIR 2016 Summer 200K is coming this Saturday, 07/16. The route starts at Peet’s Coffee in Redmond and follows mostly familiar roads through King and Snohomish counties, with a few surprises thrown in for good measure. The ride is mostly unsupported, but there are plenty of services available along the way. Finish is Postdoc Brewing, just a few blocks away from the start.

Registration, route, and cue sheet may be found here.

Please don’t park in the shopping center parking lot. It gets crazy busy on weekends with the usual load of shoppers. There is limited parking at the trailhead adjacent to the lot, as well as street parking on the south side of NE 65th Street. For $1 you can park at one of the many lots in Marymoor Park. [Update:Mike McHale has pointed out that parking is also available at the nearby Bear Creek Park & Ride.]

See you Saturday!
KM

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Cascade 1200 Updates

Updated June 13th, 2016: 

Brevet Cards for Cascade 1200K

Brevet Cards for Cascade 1200K

Cascade 1200 cuesheets have been updated (as of 6/10) to reflect notes from the pre-ride. The RWGPS files are good to go as well. As always, the cuesheet is the master reference document, and the one handed out at registration is the only one considered official. That being said, we don’t expect any further changes, so feel free to download and format to your heart’s content. Links here: http://seattlerando.org/C1200/route/

– Susan Otcenas

 

Pre-riders and support at sunset

L to R: Mark Roehrig, Ward Beebe, Hugh Kimball and John Pearch.

The pre-ride for the Cascade 1200 finished yesterday at 9:00 pm. Congratulations to both John Pearch and Ward Beebe for completing this ride and providing us with valuable information on what to expect on the actual event.

John and Ward cycling up White Pass

John and Ward climbing White Pass

As an observer, I must say that their ride was nothing short of epic. Nutrition issues, mechanical issues, route sheet errors, GPS errors, and triple digit heat did not dissuade these two from finishing. Hopefully they took all the heat out of this ride, and the weather during the actual event will be much more conducive to 200 mile days.

Look to the Cascade website (http://seattlerando.org/C1200) for updates to the route sheets and Ride with GPS routes in the next day or two.

– Charlie White

Several moose in front of the Packwood motel

Some of our friends in Packwood. Riders will need to be careful not to run into one of these fellows. Apparently they show up every evening and morning. The young bull got so close that we had to retreat to the steps of the motel.

URGENT CASCADE NEED: Do you have an RV that you can park at the first overnight control in Packwood on June 18th?

Our overnight facility is 100% occupied by riders. We need an RV parked at the overnight so that our hard working Packwood volunteers & our drop bag drivers will have some place to get some rest on Saturday night. We did have a vehicle lined up (Thanks, Ken Ward!!) but it has had a mechanical failure that will preclude its use for Cascade.

If you can help, please email me at susan dot otcenas at gmail dot com.

Many thanks!

– Susan Otcenas

mountain top in the distance framed by trees

photo by Charlie White

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Preride Notes For Spring 2016 600 km

Pre-Pre-riders Rick, Peg, and Noel

This is not a flat ride – 14,000 feet of climbing, the bulk in the second day. It is a beautiful ride and ranges from bucolic roads through farms in the Chehalis River Valley to views of The Toutle River and the implied natural destruction of St. Helen’s.

We Start and end at La Quinta Motel – very modern and reach by going north on Capitol via the Trosper Exit from I-5. Motel on right as you go north from Trosper.

At 17.1 miles is a turn onto 185th. The main route is Marble so don’t stay on into the trailer park on 185th. We climb on two roads with Hill in the name.

Vader control is actually at Mt. St. Helens Grocery – Peggy had to call on her Social Work skills to wake up the old fellow tending store – He didn’t seem like the weekend guy but, if he’s there, remind him of his stamp so he doesn’t have to try and sign your card.

Pre-rider getting a break Bright green Thompson rando bike

Eric made a cue sheet remark about chip seal ending before Winlock – there is some on the route but it has either mellowed or been replaced with smoother asphalt.

We come out to Raymond to the south of all the usual spots to eat (Dairy Queen and downtown) but the grocery and Subway/MacDonald’s are on our route going toward South Bend. Sadly, it looked like the Bowling Alley was gone in SB?

Caution on the shoulderless roads before Willapa Bay – hopefully the RVs will have gone to ground and the logging trucks that we saw in abundance will take the holiday weekend.

The distance between Long Beach and Kelso is only 80 some miles but very lonely and serviceless – your last water is in Long Beach. A smart organizer would have a secret control along there. This is where my low training miles for the year were evidenced and I lost valuable time.

I have moved the overnight control to the Econo Lodge mainly for lower cost and that I had reserved months before the Memorial Day weekend – this puts you back and forth over a bridge on a busyish road – if you’re as fast as me there won’t even be drunks out by then. There will be beds and some breakfast and dinner selections – simple because no kitchen.

Eggs on toast for breakfast

I don’t think this breakfast is to be expected in Kelso… – Editor

US -12 is a way to get to Morton, wide shoulder and busy on a weekday. The Morton Country Market is a grocery store that affords a quick in and out and has a covered area right of the front door to hide bikes out of the weather.

The Alpha road is my favorite, certainly a few steep parts, but rolling in a way that you can play at keeping momentum and fly along. This is the dessert of the ride!

Coming out from Centralia on 507 seems long and the turn in Bucoda onto Wichman now has double yellow striping so crossing to the sidewalk on the west or going around the turn and picking a clear view is advised.

Keep moving on the first day – you may need the time in the bank for the hilly bits later.

Additional details on the SIR website.

Please pre-register by Thursday night (5/26).

5/28 – 5/29/2016 Start 6:00 AM
Bike inspection begins 5:30: lights, extra batteries and vest/sash and leg bands.

Note: bring a towel and change of clothes for the finish – the drive home will be better!

There will be parking updates to this post soon.

CUE SHEET: Now available on Google Drive, click here.

Route on RWGPS: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13981403

TCX file is available here.

Parking: We have permission to park at the Tumwater school district building at 621 Linwood Ave SW, Tumwater, WA 98512.

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Sinlahekin 1000 km Brevet

Wildflowers & old farm equipment.

Conconully Rd

 

1004. km; 10,500 m climbing
Seattle International Randonneurs
August 11, 2016
Organizer: Bill Gobie
Email: SIRsummer1000k2016@gmail.com
RwGPS with controls, times, & resupply points: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14084385 (Revised 5/30)
Route sheet (Google Sheets): http://tinyurl.com/grawlpx

Expression of interest requested: If you are interested in riding this brevet please email the above address. Registering for the ride at this time is not required. A preliminary count of riders will help me reserve rooms.

I once remarked to a fellow rider on a tour, “Randonneuring is easy.” We were discussing route finding. On a self-designed tour you can never be certain the lesser roads are as mapped. On a brevet riders are assured the designer has verified the course is passable. One road I intended to put in this course, which the maps implied was a good secondary road, dwindled into a narrow Forest Service road with deep streams running across it. The portion I could drive passed through some beautiful country. Perhaps that road will appear in a future route. But not this year.

Water running across road with X.

Not this road.

The Sinlahekin 1000 makes a large loop from Monroe to Republic, traversing mountains with alpine climbing and descending, the dense wet forests of the western Cascade slope, the dry open forests and scrubland of the east slope and Eastern Washington, and a portion of the Washington Scablands. Grand Coulee Dam, the Columbia River, Lakes Wenatchee, Chelan, Diablo, and Ross are notable sights visited along the route.

This will be a minimally-supported brevet. Drop bags will be transported to the overnight controls. Registration includes accommodations at the overnight stops at the rando standard 2 riders per bed. Some food will be provided if riders are projected to arrive after nearby restaurants close. Riders are responsible for their own accommodations at the start/finish.

Some of Washington State’s prettiest country is only accessible from gravel roads. Beginning at kilometer 596 south of the village of Loomis, the road through the Sinlahekin Valley to Conconully is such a road. I chose to name the ride after this valley due to its remoteness and beauty. With 25 km of gravel, or 2.5% of the route, Sinlahekin Road should not present an enormous challenge. The photo below provides a small sample of its scenic appeal. I was relieved to see last year’s terrible wildfires did little damage to the valley. While you will pass through one burned-out area of dead trees, most of the valley was either untouched or the trees were singed yet not killed, such as the tree in this photo.

Tree and road.

Sinlahekin Valley near Blue Lake

The road surface varies from excellent hardpack to average gravel with moderate washboarding. I encountered one 50 yard patch of soft sand. Apart from the sand this road should be ridable on any road bike. Wider tires will improve your experience, of course.

At the south end of the Sinlahekin Valley the road climbs to Conconully Lake and the small resort town of Conconully. Most riders should pass through the Sinlahekin-Conconully area in the afternoon or evening of the second day.

Lake

Lake Conconully

What of the other 975 km? The route starts in Monroe and heads east over Stevens Pass on WA-2 or side roads where possible. Reiter Rd before Index gives an early taste of the forested roads ahead. The route climbs the pass on the Old Cascade Highway, impassible to cars, across the valley from noisy WA-2. Descending the east side of the pass the route leaves WA-2 for a glimpse of Lake Wenatchee, then descends on the Chumstick Highway. I could nudge the route into ersatz-Bayern Leavenworth if enough people express a desire for beer and brats. The route completes the descent to the Columbia River on side roads as much as possible.

The route runs upriver along the Columbia, taking a side trip over Navarre Coulee to Lake Chelan. The route returns to the river until Bridgeport, where it climbs over a large hump and finally descends to the first overnight at Electric City in the shadow of Grand Coulee Dam. With a little luck tailwinds will propel you through this section.

The second day opens with a stiff climb out of Electric City to views of Lake Roosevelt from Manilla Creek Road. Following a quick descent the road runs north climbing at river grade through open forest along the Sanpoil River to Republic. From Republic you turn west, climbing to Wauconda Pass. Forty-five kilometers of descending later you arrive in Tonasket. The final descent into Tonasket will make you glad I ran the route counterclockwise. After riding north a few miles you turn west to the Sinlahekin Valley.

After the Sinlahekin the taverns in Conconully may beckon but you must press on to refuel in Okanogan for the push over Loup Loup Pass. The east side of Loup Loup irritates with an 80 m drop forcing you to re-climb those 80 m. Crest the summit, then hang on the for the descent and you will reach the second overnight which will likely be in Winthrop.

The final day you can warm up gently, cruising through the lovely Methow Valley. However, you must summit Washington Pass, the highest on the route. With only a little luck the weather in August will be splendid and the scenery will distract you from the steepness of the final two miles. But wait! There’s more! The North Cascades challenge you with a final 100 m climb over Rainy Pass before rewarding you with the 60 km descent to Newhalem.

From Newhalem the route works west and south, climbing a bit to Darrington before descending to Arlington. En route it passes the site of the tragic landslide in Oso, where the road has been rebuilt through the landslide debris. In Arlington you pick up the Centennial Trail for 33 low-stress kilometers to Snohomish. Twelve unremarkable kilometers later you arrive at the finish, back in Monroe.

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400K brevet – 5/14 Le Tour d’Hood Canal

by Joe Llona

13094244_805453366252040_3030815409099073836_n

Pre-riders: Jan Acuff, Joe Llona, Rose Pantley, Greg Cox, Albert Meersceidt, and Anita Schiltz

First, the pre-ride team must apologize to all of you good people. Apparently we were overly gluttonous with the good weather and used it all up. We were so bad that we even ran out of good weather before we finished and wound up riding in the rain the last couple of dozen miles as we finished after dawn on Sunday morning.

I  want to be clear about something: this is not an easy ride. It took a fairly strong pre-ride team nearly (or in two cases, over) 23 hours to finish. Now pre-riding has its own logistical issues and maybe a couple of hours could have been shaved off that. But it would not have been enough to catch the last ferry out of Bremerton Saturday night. Besides the difficult course this ride has some difficult logistics, such as parking in Seattle for more than 24 hours and ferry timing.

Parking – I strongly suggest you figure that out now and not Saturday morning. I must admit that even though I work in downtown Seattle I know little about parking there as it is something I find easier to just avoid altogether. Here are some suggestions you might research for parking options:

I would suggest finding a spot on the outskirts of Seattle and riding a mile or two into the ferry.

Ferries – The last ferry for Seattle leaves at 11:40 pm (not 12:50 am as I incorrectly reported on the website). Few of you will make that. The first sailing out is 6:20 am Sunday morning. Some of you will arrive in Bremerton during that gap, but many of you will still be riding when the ferries start running again. For those of you fortunate enough to get in during the ferry gap we will have two rooms available at the Fairfield Inn. This will be a rack and roll flophouse operation though, so if you feel you want some more privacy or want to sleep in I would encourage you to make your own arrangements.

Dropbags – We will be able to take small dropbags. We will not pick them up until you get off of the ferry in Bremerton though, so they have to be something you can ride onto and off of the ferry with. Think toothbrush and a change of clothes. Toothpaste and deodorant too if you insist. Post-ride, the dropbags will be available at the Fairfield Inn only.

Ok, so with the course difficulty and the logistical issues, why do you want to do this ride anyway? Well because you love to ride your bike of course, and this gives you the opportunity to do it for a very long time. Oh yeah, and there’s a definite WOW factor for some of this course. I’ve ridden the Tahuya hills many times, but it’s usually towards the end of an otherwise challenging ride and occasionally in the dark. On this ride you get a whole new perspective on this area because you’ll still have fresh legs and it’s a definite eye pleaser.

Pre-riders Take In The View

A rare bit of flat road, says Jan Acuff

You’ll start at Bremerton, but instead of rolling past the shipyard you’ll go east across the Manette Bridge. Do take note of the grade of this bridge as you descend across Dyes Inlet. After some rollers you get to Silverdale where you’ll have to take a detour off of Bucklin Hill Road due to a bridge reconstruction project. This will be noted in the final versions of the cuesheet and RWGPS file.

After Silverdale the real fun begins. First Anderson Hill with what looks and feels like a wall. After Anderson Hill is Seabeck where your first control (info) will be. Make sure you replenish your water in Seabeck because you’ll be climbing up Seabeck Holly Road shortly thereafter. After an exhilarating descent from Holly you’ll be turning up Dewatto Road and into the Tahuya Hills.

After you descend from the Tahuya Hills you’ll get to the second control at Kay’s Corner. There you will be able to water up before heading to Belfair. As you get nearer to Belfair you’ll start encountering some denser traffic and probably some impatient motorists, so please be careful. After Belfair you’ll head south on SR 300 where some road construction has made the shoulder of little use, so again please be careful. After a few miles you’ll turn onto SR 106 where for a while you’ll still be encountering heavy and sometimes impatient traffic. This seems to calm down by the time you get to Twanoh State Park, where you can find restrooms and water. The shoulder on 106 is on again off again, with a few places where there are some pretty bad cracks. There’s also a lot of parking on 106 so watch out for residents and car doors.

When you get to US 101 you’ll turn north to Hoodsport. There are services along the way. Please make sure you have full water bottles for the Climb to Lake Cushman. At Hoodsport you turn up to Lake Cushman. This is the biggest climb of the ride. The first two miles of the climb are fairly steep running at over 6% but then it transitions to 1% to 3% with some rollers for the remainder. As in last year’s 400 at Baker Lake, we could not find a suitable location to station the third control at the far turnaround point, so that will be turned into an info control with support (snacks and beverages) available about 3 miles after the turn-around point. After this you will descend back to Hoodsport among some more impatient motorists and then continue north on US 101 over Walker Pass. Like the climb to Lake Cushman, Walker Pass starts out steep at about 6% the first 1.5 miles and then tapers off to more like 3% for the remainder.

Pre-riders at Lake Cushman

Lake Cushman. This beautiful spot will be the lunch/control location. Photo by Anita Schlitz

Another view of Lake Cushman. Photo by Jan Acuff

Another view of Lake Cushman. Photo by Jan Acuff

After descending Walker Pass you’ll go through Quilcene. Peninsula Food Market on the left and a couple of cafes on the right. Here you turn onto Center Road to the right for another climb up to Dabob Road. More climbing and rollers bring you to Coyle. Make sure you don’t miss the left turn onto Hazel Point Road. It’s easy to miss as you bomb down the descent towards Coyle, especially in the dark. Your fourth (and final staffed) control will be here to provision you with hot soup, and other snacks and beverages at the Laurel B. Johnson Community Center.

The Laurel B. Johnson Community Center fills several roles in the community, one of which is a food bank, which is utilized by a surprising number of the local residents. You’ll still have a lot of climbing ahead of you so you might want to lighten your wallet a bit at the collection jar we’ll have set up there.

With your wallet a bit lightened and your belly filled you’ll climb back out of Coyle and backtrack your route a way before turning onto Thorndyke Road which will take you to SR 104, then to SR 19 and into Port Townsend. The final control is at the Safeway on your left at the bottom of a big hill. Not much happening there, but at least it’s open, there are restrooms and groceries, but nothing hot at this hour.

Backtracking again from Port Townsend you’ll turn off of SR 19 onto Irondale, SR 116, Oak Bay Rd, and Paradise Bay Road. Please be careful on the final descent of Paradise Bay Road before SR 104. There are two sets of rather aggressive stop sign warning rumble strips that could cause you to lose control of your bicycle.

Also, please be careful crossing the Hood Canal Bridge. Stay to the right of the shoulder as you approach the metal grating sections as that’s where the solid plating is located. Watch for debris – glass, garbage, and usually enough car parts to get a complete build.

After the Hood Canal Bridge you go right onto SR 3 for Poulsbo. Then SR 308 and onto Brownsville Hwy NE. After a few miles on Brownsville Hwy you’ll turn onto Illahee Rd NE. The signage here is misleading (at least it is for me as I repeated the same mistake I made in 2013 on this course). Illahee Road is the second left as you roll into Brownsville. Don’t take the first left down into the Marina.

Following Illahee Road you’ll go south towards Bremerton. You’ll still two pretty good climbs ahead of you, particularly the one just before Illahee Road becomes Trenton Road. As you get into Bremerton you’ll be feeling that you’ve done that last climb, but remember that descent on the Manette Bridge right after you started?

This post wouldn’t be complete without a big Thank You to the pre-riders: Albert Meersceidt, Anita Schiltz, Jan Acuff, Rose Pantley, and Greg Cox.

Start:  May 14th at 7:15am Bremerton Starbucks at the ferry terminal. (Catch the 6am ferry from Seattle and finalize registration on board. We will also have registration at the Starbucks at the Bremerton ferry terminal. Note the control closes at 8:15am.)

Finish: Frairfield Inn & Suites 239 4th St. Bremerton

Register here: http://brevets.seattlerando.org/register_for_event/355

Full ride details here: http://seattlerando.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=573:400k-brevet-514&catid=59:2016-brevets

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Olympia 300K Pre Ride Report

Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Photo by Lynne Fitzsimmons

Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Photo by Lynne Fitzsimmons

 

The Olympia rides starts in Tacoma, cialis just to make it easier for our riders up north. We begin at Bertolino’s Coffee Bar on S Union; plenty of dining opportunities.

It’s a new route out of the city as you fly down Chambers Bay into Steilacoom and nice views of the Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Thru Dupont, plenty of services, into the Nisqually valley and south on some familiar roads into Centralia. The route then heads west into the Independence valley. There are no, ZERO, services in the Valley, ’bout 50K: plan according.

The first half of the ride is basically flat. As your cruise up Moon road there are great views of Mt Rainier. Then on thru the Delphi Valley into Mud Bay on the west side of Olympia. Hence the Olympia 300.

Before you up head northwest on Hwy 101, there are services at Steamboat Island. Hwy 101 has its rollers, but a good shoulder. As you leave the control in Shelton, we reverse the route of last year’s 600k, round Lake Limerick and Mason Lake, and descend on the Hood Canal and into Belfair. This is a great place to fuel up for the finial 50K.

Here is where the fun starts. Getting off the Kitsap Peninsula is a roller coaster. Once you start From Belfair it continues thru Gig Harbor. From there you take the Narrows Bike Trail and the Scott Pierson Trail to the finish.

Rick Blacker and Josh Morse bit the bullet and took the rain and the marginal road conditions on the pre ride with predicated a route change.

It looking like the weather gods are on smiling on this ride.
Come on Down.
Sun In the South Sound.

Pre-registration and full ride details, click here.
The peloton rolls out promptly at 07:00, April 2, 2015.

-Millison

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Island Views 300k Pre-Ride Report

Scenic Views

On 3/19, ailment five hardy souls – Adam, stuff Albert, Jason, Mitch and Thai set out to pre-ride the 3/26 Island Views 300k route.  This report is based on their experience as well as an earlier pre-ride by Mark, Mark, and Vinnie.

Parking

There is ample parking at the Safeway about 100 ft north of the Starbucks and at the Park & Ride (.4 miles north).

Do not park at the Starbucks — there isn’t much parking and the signage suggests your car won’t be welcome for long.

The first 100K

After dealing with paperwork at the Ave D Starbucks that’ll serve as our start control, we set out into the morning darkness.  The route heads west, and then north on reasonably quiet roads to Mt Vernon.  We stopped here for coffee and baked goods at Ristretto Coffee Lounge & Wine Bar but you may want to keep moving to add time in the bank for later.  We then proceeded further west and north to State Route 20 before the bridge.  On the bridge we recommend taking the separated pedestrian/biking path.  Welcome to Fidalgo Island.

Island Views

Once on Fidalgo, you’ll quickly leave 20 to explore northwards on quieter roads and trails to March Point.  This segment features views of the bay, islands and shipping as well as the oil refinery.  After the refinery, you’ll take the Tommy Thompson wooden trestle bridge across the Fidalgo Bay Aquatic Reserve.  The bridge (and the subsequent trail) are multi-use and you can expect to encounter a few pedestrians and other bicyclists.  The bridge also features shells deposited by local birds.  We had one flat on an older tire caused by the shells.

Once across the bridge, you’ll head north to Anacortes and and a control at The Market at Anacortes.  The control is open but the market has a good selection of soups, breads, general groceries, and a coffee shop with exterior seating.  The pre-riders recommend you fuel up in Anacortes.  There is also a bike shop across the street.

From Anacortes we headed further west for more coastal views and hilly terrain before turning south towards Whidbey itself. To get onto Whidbey, you’ll be crossing Deception Pass — take the lane here.  There is no control here but it’s worth stopping to take a look.  Once across the bridge you are on Whidbey Island.

On Whidbey, we take you South around the naval base and then down to the coast for quieter riding and some hills.  There are some services on this stretch while it remains on 20 but with decreasing frequency as you venture further south.  At Fort Ebey State Park you’ll find a SIR manned control at a picnic shelter with rando delicacies and a view. You don’t want to rest too long before heading out as more climbing awaits between the park and La Conner.

From the manned control we go west and north around Penn Cove and continuing along the coast collecting views and hills.  Again the services are limited until you reach the city of Oak Harbor — the largest city on the Island where all manner of sustenance can be found.  From there we head back across Deception Pass and on to La Conner.

The last 80k

In La Conner we enjoyed sandwiches at the Pioneer Market but the control is open if you prefer other fare. The route from here will be familiar to many as you race east towards Lake McMurray, and then south on the Centennial trail.   Full services can be found along route 594 and in Arlington (7-11, others).    On our pre-ride, we found the Lake McMurray store closed as well as the Arlington public services.

As you arrive in Snohomish, remember to turn on 10th and head over to Ave D.  There we will await at Starbucks (til 8pm), then Safeway (indoors or in a van in the lot with the flashing SIR sign).

The route features some 8k+ ft of climbing over 308km  You can think of it as a ride of 3 parts — 100 km of relative flat to Anacortes, 100 km on Whidbey/Fidalgo over hilly coastal views, and 100 km of relative flat to get to the finish.

Pre-registration

Help the organizers by pre-registering for this brevet here:

http://brevets.seattlerando.org/register_for_event/369

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