pre-ride report by RT
Well, this should be a challenging ride for all who signed up!
Unfortunately, due to getting pneumonia and being off the bike for some time, I had to pre-drive the course. So, I apologize that I’m not able to answer questions such as “What’s the chip seal like?” But my observations from that day indicate the roads are in good shape. Typical of Eastern Washington, shoulder space is limited, but traffic is low-volume and so riding is a pleasurable experience.
Ok, now to the ride. You will leave the Ephrata Best Western at 6 a.m. on Saturday, May 5, and will head north along rolling roads toward Moses Coulee. Then you will then turn left onto SR-2 (wide shoulder) and make your way to an SIR manned control at Farmer (52km).
Once you’ve topped off your bottles and snacks, you will continue north towards the fast McNeil Canyon descent and back to the Columbia River for some stunning views of the area. There is a water stop available at Beebee Bridge Park before you cross the Columbia River and continue on your journey north toward control number three in Pateros at the 124.5 km mark. This is a great opportunity to stretch, eat some food, and hydrate before the next segment of the ride.
After leaving Pateros, you will wind your way up WA-153 with a little side track along Gold Creek Loop Rd (152km) before heading towards the big climb of the day: Loup Loup Pass (4,020 ft). But, before that, you will have an opportunity to refuel once again at the Carlton Store (162km) if you can make it before they close at 6pm; otherwise, your next chance for fuel will be Okanogan (220km). After passing through Carlton, you will be presented with an info control (173km), climb up Loup Loup, and descend into Okanogan where there are 24-hour services at Chevron. If you don’t want to stop there, continue on down the road to Omak for control number four (228km) at the 24-hour Conoco. Once you depart from Omak, this will be the longest stretch without services (unless you can make it to the Colville Trading Post at 294 km by 8pm). The next opportunity to refuel is at the Coulee Dam Casino (316km) which is open 24 hours, or control number five at Coulee Gas in Grand Coulee (320km).
Continuing south into Coulee City there is the Coulee City Community Park (365km) which has bathrooms and water and is open 24 hours a day. This is the last opportunity to top off those bottles before heading back to Ephrata along WA-17 via Dry Falls and Soap Lake.
Congrats!! You did it!!
Route on RWGPS: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27355483
Ride details and preregistration: http://seattlerando.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=651:brevet&catid=62:2018-brevets-and-populaires
Summary of Controls and Water Stops
|Location||Distance (km)||Service Hours|
|Start / Control #1: Ephrata Best Western||0|
|Control #2: Farmer, SIR Manned||52|
|Water: Beebee Bridge Park||93|
|Control #3: Pateros||124||Until 11 p.m.|
|Water: Carlton Store||162||Until 6 p.m.|
|Water: Okanogan Chevron||220||Open 24 hrs.|
|Control #4: Omak Conoco||228|
|Water: Colville Trading Post||294||Until 8 p.m.|
|Water: Coulee Dam Casino||316||Open 24 hrs.|
|Control #5: Grand Coulee Gas||320||Open 24 hrs.|
|Water: Coulee City Community Park||366||Open 24 hrs.|
|Finish / Control #5: Ephrata Best Western||414|
This is a very challenging and remote ride. Please inspect your bike and lights thoroughly to ensure that everything is in working order. We will perform a safety check at the start to make sure everyone has primary and secondary front and rears lights, a reflective vest or sash, and reflective ankle bands. (Follow the RUSA reflectivity guidelines: https://rusa.org/reflectivity)
This ride also has a few very fast descents, McNeil Canyon and Loup Loup in particular. Exercise caution when descending these parts of the course. There might be debris or sand build-up from the winter’s de-icing activities on the roadway.
When I was driving along WA-17 through Dry Falls, they were repaving the road. Since it’s the weekend, they may not be repaving due to increased traffic along the section of the course. In any case, be attentive through this section.
RBA’s Note: With long distances between services, I suggest bringing three water bottles and plenty of food. Keep in mind that temperatures can vary widely in Eastern Washington; pack layers for hot and cold riding.
Ride Reports from the 2009 Edition
We won’t be climbing Disautel Pass this year, but otherwise these ride reports may be of interes.
Mark Thomas: http://rusa64.blogspot.com/2009/05/nice-road.html