Susan Otcenas and Ian Shopland are organizing the flèche this year, to be held the weekend of 07/23-07/25. Full details will be forthcoming, but if you are interested in riding now would be a good time to start gathering together a team and creating a route. As usual, the destination will be Olympia. In a nod to COVID precautions, we will be foregoing our usual indoor banquet in favor of an outdoor celebration at a city park. With the date shift from cold and rainy Easter to warm and sunny July, we expect there to be a lot of interest in this event. So expect to be asked to have your route finalized and registration complete two weeks in advance of the event. Let us know if you have any questions, and thank you for your patience while we finalize the details.
Author Archives: Keith Moore
[Pre-ride report by John Pearch and Josh Morse]
While everyone else was battling headwinds or flooded roads up north, John Pearch and Josh Morse prerode the Mossyrock 200k with very little rain and no flooded roads.
This route differs slightly from the permanent route (#801) — the brevet takes a more direct route back to Centralia, turning north on Jackson Hwy at 135K. This brevet route was last ridden in 2010 and has about 4600 feet of climbing.
This brevet starts at Olympia Coffee Roasters in downtown Olympia, taking Capitol Blvd/Old Hwy 99 to Tenino.
We chose a great place for control in Centralia — The Station: Coffee Bar and Bistro. Best French Toast Mochas!
Stock up in Centrailia because there is nothing but hills (no services) until you arrive in Mossyrock. Centrailia to Mossyrock is about 55K with 2200 feet of gain. Centrailia-Alpha Road never stops giving.
There are great views of the Mayfield Reservoir while crossing the Tilton River and Cowlitz River bridges.
After Mossyrock there are rollers along Spencer and Jackson Hwy. Enjoy the great views of the Cowlitz River! It’s about 40K from Mossyrock to Mary’s Corner. Services include an on-route Chevron. If you’re trying to avoid gas station services, Avenue Espresso has great breakfast burritos.
Once you get back to Centralia it’s the traditional flat stretch taking you back home to Olympia.
Areas to be extra attentive:
- Caution in the railroad tunnel on Hwy 99 at 17.9K and crossing railroad tracks at 18.5K.
- Heading south out of Centrailia watch for traffic as you make your way from Hwy 507 to the control and then across the RR tracks.
- On Gold St in both directions there are seams in the road that could catch a tire.
- Mossyrock to Salkum is on Hwy 12 with fast moving traffic but mostly a very nice shoulder for a highway.
- There is the bridge crossing Mayfield Lake with no shoulder so check behind you before entering and use caution.
- Northbound as you leave downtown Chehalis on National (becomes Kresky) there is a brief section of road with no shoulder — there is a concrete curb and then a wall. We rode through here at dusk and traffic was not bad but this area and the old pavement deserve some extra attention.
- The transition from Kresky to Gold in Centralia requires you to take the left lane to follow the turn to Gold.
- Northbound on our ride it was just after sunset and dark with a fair amount of traffic on Main St and then Harrison.
- There are good bike lane through the busiest part of town but there can be a lot of traffic so stay visible and alert.
- It was very dark on the side of the road from Centralia up to Grand Mound with a fair number of cars.
- Good lighting will be very helpful if you are here after dark.
- From Grand Mound north to Olympia we saw only a handful of cars to the finish.
Fingers crossed for tailwinds!
[Pre-ride report by Mark Thomas]
Yesterday, Jan, Rick, Vinny, and I scouted out the route for Saturday’s 100k. I’d like to say that we took the rain bullet for the ride, but it seems that mother nature has more ammunition.
We made a couple changes from the route previously posted on RideWithGPS. Those are now reflected at the same link (https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31749069). Here are a few notes.
- Early in the route, there is some construction work along the trail, but we had no trouble getting through. I think I saw a post warning of some work on the trail at around 5km that may cause short delays, but we were able to just ride around the vehicles parked in the trail.
- At km 13, there is an info control. The referenced sign is on the north-east corner of the intersection of Shattuck Ave and Airport Way at the stop light.
- From km 31-32, we made a route change to eliminate the walk up a muddy trail covered with blackberry vines leading to a cafe that no longer exists (at least not under the name in the old route). Some quick instructions: As you head down toward Maple Valley, stay on the trail under SR-18 overpasses, pass through a tunnel, and ride to a bridge over the Cedar River. The information control question is at the beginning of the bridge. This is also the turnaround point. After the U-turn, proceed back through the tunnel and under the freeway again. Just past the freeway, there is a gravel parking lot on the left side of the trail. About even with the north end of that parking lot, you’ll see some posts on the right. Go through those to get to Maxwell Road.
- There are a couple of options to re-stock at the mid-point of the ride. At about 41.1km, just after the left turn onto Issaquah-Hobart Road, there is a convenience store end an espresso stand on the left side. Or at km 49.1, just after crossing busy Front Street, there is a convenience store on the right. Note that all of the controls on the ride are information controls, so if you need to restock, you’ll need to do it outside of a control.
- Just past that, you need to turn from Gilman Road to the East Lake Sammamish Trail. You either need to hop over the curb at the start of the trail or turn onto the sidewalk at the driveway right before the trail (as on cue sheet). If you reach the crosswalk traffic light, you’ve missed it.
- Recent rains resulted in a mudslide on the trail somewhere around km 56. The trail is closed. There is a trail closed sign just after where the trail crosses SE33rd St. The revised route turns right on SE 33rd to get up to East Lake Sammamish Parkway. This is a bit awkward, because you go up a short pitch and then need to stop and cross the busy parkway to turn left. Be careful. More information is available here: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WAKING/bulletins/273c9fe
- Once past the detour, the easiest navigation is to continue on East Lake Sammamish Parkway to the light at NE 65th and go into Marymoor that way. But if you feel comfortable finding your way back to the trail after the closure, that’s ok too. Just be aware that on at least part of the trail, they have just dumped a bunch of new gravel and it’s deep and loose. Ugh.
- At the end of the route, around km105, there is a lot of construction. It’s work on a new flyover for bikes to get past the awful factoria intersection, so they’re doing it for us! We were able to get around on the right side even without a shoulder, but at some point after the Honda dealership, we crossed over and used the sidewalk on the south side.