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
Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13803049

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

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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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Flèche NW 2016 — 4/15 to 4/17

It’s time to plan for this year’s Flèche NW! Design your route, click sign up your team, find and get all that information turned in by April 1st.

The Fleche-eating Zombies

The Flèche is a 24 hour team event of at least 360 KM in distance and run similar to a brevet. Each team plans its own route with a common destination in mind. The Flèche is a fun event fostering friendships, buy cialis teamwork and camaraderie during the planning, riding and finishing celebration of the accomplishment. This year we are returning to Olympia, WA for our finish location. You again have a myriad of route possibilities.

Destination: Olympia

Finish: Governor Hotel in Downtown Olympia; 621 Capitol Way S; Olympia, WA 98501

Questions? email: randotheo AT gmail DOT com

Start time range: Noon Thursday, April 14th through 08:00 Saturday, April 16th

Finish by: 8:00 AM Sunday, April 17, 2016 – All Control Cards due at this time!

Fleche Brunch: 09:00 Sunday April 17th, Governor Hotel

Entry Fees: $25 per person

Banquet Brunch: We will hold our banquet celebrating this year’s Flèche Northwest on Sunday morning April 17th at 9:00 a.m. The banquet will cost $20 per person (includes tax and gratuity). Payment for the brunch must be made at the time of team registration.

Registration form and full details available on the SIR event page.

Designing your route:

Ed and Asta Navigate

Each team is to design its own route that is at least 360 KM in length. The traditional format for a Flèche is point-to-point, like an archer’s arrow (flèche in French) flying toward its target. In France, the destination is usually a resort community providing a festive surrounding for waiting family and friends. We try to replicate some of this by ending our Flèche at a nice locale and having an awards brunch with our friends and families.

Though not a classic Flèche route, a large circuit or loop may also be used, such as to make a scenic tour of a region. However, an out-and-back route is not consistent with the traditions of the Flèche. A short out-and-back route segment is permitted, such as to obtain food and supplies in remote regions, but no control may be used more than once and no road segment may be used more than once in the same direction. If an out-and-back route segment is utilized in the overall route design, a control point must be located at its turnaround.

Distance traveled is calculated on the basis of the shortest route between checkpoints that can be legally traveled by bicycle. Maps or mapping software with accurate mileages will be used to determine distances.

No rest stop may exceed two hours in any one location.

If more than one team uses the same starting point, then starting times for individual teams shall be spaced at least one hour apart.

Each team may start its ride between noon Thursday April 14th and 8:00 AM on Saturday April 16th. Cards are due at 8:00 AM on Sunday April 17th.

The start time and starting place approved with the team’s registration must be used.

22 Hour Control: At least 25 KM must be ridden between the end of the 22nd hour and the end of the 24th hour of the ride. Under no circumstances may these two checkpoints be the same place, even if the planned distance has already been completed. The exact time and the location of the team at the 22 hour point must be noted on each control card and verified by the signature or business receipt imprinted with the time, date and location. (In the event that the 22 hour point is reached where no verification is available, the time, distance, and location of the team shall be noted by the team members on their route card and verification must be obtained at the next available location along the route.)

Final 24 Hour Control: Teams may stop their Flèche at any point after reaching a total distance of 360 KM and a minimum of 25KM past the 22 Hour Control. This means that the Governor Hotel in Olympia does not have to the final end point.

One last break

Team Composition and Riding Rules:

Each team is limited to a maximum of five members (machines) and a minimum of three members. Tandems or other multi-rider vehicles count as a single member.

Members of the same team may assist one another. However, teams are expressly forbidden to aid each other, even teams from the same club. The one exception to this is in the event of a medical emergency.

During the event, riders may not draft anyone except their own Flèche teammates.

At least three team members (read machines) must have ridden the same distance and arrive at the finish together.

No following cars are allowed under any circumstances. Teams using a support car can receive support from their car only at the control points listed on their route cards.

Assistance from other motorized non-participants is also not permitted, except in the case of a medical emergency. There may be secret and roving checkpoints.

All riders are reminded that any failure to conduct the ride in accordance with SIR Brevet Rider Expectations, RUSA Flèche Rules, applicable laws, or any special instructions or equipment requirements for this ride may result in a time penalty or disqualification.

All riders are reminded to please conduct themselves per SIR standards. Be courteous to control workers and staff.

All the team’s Brevet Control Cards are due to the organizers no later than 8:00 AM Sunday, April 17th, 2016.

Logistics:

We would like everyone to stay at the Governor Hotel. We have negotiated a very reasonable rate of $89.00 per double occupancy (a little more for 3-4 in a room). Please make sure to make your reservations early and to mention Seattle Randonneurs to get the discounted rate.

The Governor Hotel has indicated they accept packages for guests. You can send clothes and other items to the hotel within a couple of days of our Flèche. Please contact the hotel in advance.

Additional logistics information, including suggested routes into Olympia, permanent routes home to Seattle or Portland, and a nice way to get from the hotel to Amtrak on the SIR event page, here.

Team F.R. after Brunch in Olympia
Awards:

Awards will be presented at the brunch banquet on Sunday. We are considering the following:

Over Achievers (Longest distance)

Lowball (Shortest distance – closest to 360KM)

Newbie (Highest average RUSA number)

Grey Hair (Lowest average RUSA number)

Highest Flyers (Most elevation gain on planned route)

Pancake Award (Least elevation gain on planned route)

Drunkard (Most circuitous route)

William Tell (Most direct route)

Herding Cats (Most team members)

Xena Award (Team with most female members registered)

Mark Twain (Best tale from ride) to be voted on at brunch

Best Handle (Best Team Nickname) to be voted on at brunch

Completing a Flèche is required for attaining a Randonneur 5000 or 10000 standing with Audax Club Parisien, and counts as a Team Event for the RUSA Cup

Flèche NW SPOT Tracks

Satellite (SPOT) Tracking:

Michal Young will be setting up optional satellite tracking (SPOT) for any teams that have a tracker. If your team has one or more SPOT trackers and would like to be included, your team captain should email michal.young AT gmail DOT com Please include the device identification and preferred label for each SPOT tracker.

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March Olympia 200K Update

 

Six Olympia-area randonneurs pre-rode the Olympia 200k route yesterday. We left from ask -122.7662564, nurse 910m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!1m2!2m1!1srichmond+controls+lacey+wa!3m1!1s0x0000000000000000:0x73df23e632664d6a”>Top Rung Brewing in Lacey. We chose Top Rung as start/finish for a few reasons:

  • They have excellent beer for post-ride rehydration
  • It moves the start a little farther north on I5 for people coming from Seattle
  • It positioned the route with easy access to brand-new-to-SIR roads
  • The owners work with Andy Speier and agreed to let us use the bathrooms pre-ride

We’re moving the start time to 7:30 am to avoid some traffic, sale and we’ve rerouted through back byways in Yelm. We’ve also rerouted to avoid a road closure near the Shell station in Oakville due to flooding.

You’ll see very few cars (especially after the first 36k), and just lovely roads. A large portion of the route is on low-traffic roads, but some unavoidable sections are high-traffic, although most of those have wide shoulders. The ride has only about 3000 feet of elevation gain, and that’s mostly rolling hills through the country. Harts Lake, Bald Hills, and Vail Cut Off are all new for SIR, and favorites like Johnson Creek and Mima Gate Road are not to be missed.

 

 

Most of the controls are info controls, but there are lots of provisioning opportunities on the route or really close. Some will be marked on the cue sheet.

This was a great ride, even with the unusual headwinds this weekend. We’ve ordered partly sunny skies and high-50s to low-60s temperatures for the ride.

Please preregister so we have enough cookies at the secret control.

Park in the lot behind the Top Rung building or in the Richmond Engineering lot (there’s an orange realtor sign in front) at 8365 Hogum Bay Ln NE, Lacey, WA 98516. Check-in starts at 7:00!

Kirk says: Don't forget to preregister for the Olympia 200k.

Kirk says: Don’t forget to preregister for the Olympia 200k.

Text and photos by Stefanie Randolph.

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Spring 200K – Preride Report

(L to R) Mark Thomas, <a href=

prescription Doug Migden, case Bob Brudvik, Mark Roberts, Andy Speier, Rick Blacker, Mitch Ishihara, and Shan Perera. Not pictured: the camera-shy Tom Brett and the camera-wielding Lyn Gill).” width=”800″ height=”359″ /> (L to R) Mark Thomas, Doug Migden, Bob Brudvik, Mark Roberts, Andy Speier, Rick Blacker, Mitch Ishihara, and Shan Perera. Not pictured: the camera-shy Tom Brett and the camera-wielding Lyn Gill).

On Sunday, March 6th, an intrepid crew of volunteers braved the rainy forecast to scout the course for the upcoming 200k brevet (March 12th). With Mitch in charge of managing the micro-climate around us, however, we had almost no rain and a few glorious helping of blue skies. Flats were a different story as Ricky and Andy were cursed by the flat gods. The cue sheet was in pretty good shape, but the eagle eyes of Andy, Ricky, and Mark caught a few “opportunities for improvement.” (The RideWithGPS route has been updated and a revised cue sheet will be published shortly). All in all, it was a lovely day on the bike with good friends on a really nice route. Some notes about the route follow.

By and large, the route was on low-traffic roads. A couple of places to watch out:

(1) 1.5 miles of Woodinville-Duvall road early in the ride have a good shoulder, but please be cautious making the left onto 222nd Way noting that the road ahead is coming around a curve.

(2) Airport Way into Snohomish at the beginning and out of Snohomish near the end can be busy and it has no shoulder. (They can’t make a trail out of the train tracks from Snohomish to Woodinville soon enough for me. Maybe in my lifetime.)

(3) A half-mile on Machias Road after leaving the Centennial Trail outbound was a bit unpleasant.

(4) A little bit of uphill on Broadway after Snohomish on the way home can be unpleasant, but then the route turns left onto Connelly for a very nice back-road alternative to climbing the rest of Broadway.

(5) Caution also is advisable on the last part of Yew Way and the crossing of WA-522 near the end of the ride.

The route has a pretty decent amount of climbing – about 6000 feet of elevation gain. The route has a few steep pitches but no sustained double digit grades. We may have happened on the climb-iest way to get to Granite Falls on pavement, but the nice climb rewards you with views of Lake Bosworth before descending down towards Pilchuck Creek before Granite Falls. Save some of your climbing mojo for the end – more than 20% of the elevation gain in the ride comes in the last 17 miles. I’d say the climbing is all quite manageable unless you have Bob and Dr. Doug goading you into sprinting up all the hills. But we took one for the team and brought them with us on the pre-ride, so the regular ride should be quite ok.

Please note that there is nearly a mile of the route that is not paved (at mile 9). Two thirds of that is hard packed gravel, but there is about a quarter of a mile of dirt horse track. It was muddy and pocked with puddles on the pre-ride, but rideable on road bikes without issue. Be prepared, however, to walk some of it, depending on conditions, next Saturday. It’s a single file ride for all but the most skilled (and trusting) of randos.

Some notes on services:

(1) Don’t know if bathrooms will be open at the start. You are welcome to use the facilities at the house and then come down to start. Public restrooms (and bakeries) are available in Snohomish at 22 miles.

(2) There is a store at the Machias Road / OK Mill Road intersection (28 miles) before the climb up to Lake Bosworth.

(3) Mark’s Country Store (the Granite Falls control at mile 38) has good food options, tables, and nice people.

(4) The Bryant store where the Centennial Trail crosses WA-9 (mile 54 and again at mile 79) has the usual convenience store fare and offers growler fills if you happen to bring some along and need to take some beer home. A Mocha Death from the brewery that makes Irish Death looked quite interesting. But we forgot our growlers.

(5) We will have a manned control at a fire station near Big Lake (mile 68) with snacks and lunch-y sort of food. Andy has worked his fireman’s magic to get us access to the bathroom in the firehouse.

(6) The control at the Lake Stevens Mini-Mart (mile 98) does not have public restrooms. You can find facilities right afterwards – where you turn right onto the trail, look left instead and there is a sani-can in the trailhead parking lot. (The Machias Station on the trail three miles later has nice bathrooms. They were open when we came through, but no guarantees.) Also, this is an “open control” so feel free to stop at one of the other restaurants or markets near the Lake Stevens control for food or supplies and ask them to mark your card.

(7) The route follows 2nd Street through Snohomish (mile 106) to pass by two convenience stores (on left – Shell and 7-11). If you’d rather have a sit-down dinner, feel free to go down 1st Street instead and have a burger and beer with the weekend revelers.

(8) Convenience stores are also available at mile 117 and 121 if you need that one last Red Bull to get it done.

We will have food and drink at the house after the ride. It’s 2 miles downhill from the house to the start – https://goo.gl/maps/zp4QqzuEiaJ2 – you are welcome to leave your car in the neighborhood in the morning or drop off a bag of clothes at the house in the morning if you’d like to change after the ride. Or you can turn in your card and ride down and bring car back at the end. But please plan to spend some time after the ride. Tales of the day’s triumphs and old faded glories will be freely traded. Along with big talk about plans for the year.

Click here to register now for the ride on March 12th, starting at 7:30 AM. This will save you time at the start and helps the organizers stay organized.

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Sunny Spring Populaire Photos

The Spring 2016 Populaire went off beautifully, and in no small part thanks to Lyn and Anita having arranged for summer weather. I can’t remember my last ride with short sleeves (PBP 2015?).

 

Here are a couple of photos from the start snapped by paparazzo Jeff Loomis:

Lyn, Populaire Organizer Extrordinaire

Getting Signed In

Click here to visit a photoset on Flickr of all photos with the tag 100KMar052016. If you’re on Flickr, add the tag to include your photos. If your computer isn’t allergic to Flash, you can see a slideshow of the entire photoset at the end of this post.

Cheers! Dan J and Narayan K. Photo by Lyn Gill.

Cheers! Dan J and Narayan K. Photo by Lyn Gill.

Did you write a ride report? Or share photos on another website? Please leave a comment with a link!

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Island Views 300km Brevet – 3/26

Scenic Views

Organizers Adam Glass and Mitch Ishihara are inaugurating a new 300k route this year.  The Island Views 300 will take you from Snohomish, sildenafil north to Fidalgo Island, pharm across a trestle bridge to Anacortes, and then across Deception Pass onto Whidbey Island.

A Bridge

An SIR-manned stop will await you at Fort Ebey Park, followed by a return north via Oak Harbor,  La Conner and back to Snohomish.   The route features many pretty views and settings.  We think you’re going to like it!

A Park

The ride starts 3/26 at 06:00 in Downtown Snohomish (exact location TBA). It will help immensely if you pre-register (and prepay) before the day of ride to reduce the congestion at the start and to give us a sense of what supplies we need.  For more details and to register, click here.

Please remember that your bicycle should be equipped with a taillight and headlight and you should come to the start wearing your reflective gear. The days are still short in early March.

We hope to see you out there!

Click here for additional ride details and registration.
Preliminary route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/12393704

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