Category Archives: Permanents

Permanent Route Updates

Lots of new routes have been created since my last post about routes.

#04367 Divas 2 Good 2 Stoup, 105 km, designed by Mark Thomas, was the route used for the Divas Populaire.

#04412 Redmond-Golden Gardens, 102.4 km, was contributed by Randy Oakley. Apart from the Missing Link in Ballard, it is entirely on the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish Valley Trails. At 47.8 km the route has a curious left turn onto the Burke-Gilman from Shilshole Ave that involves getting on the right-hand sidewalk along Shilshole. SDOT has done what it could to ensure cyclists make the turn under the protection of the traffic light. Please study the map and execute the turn as intended for your safety.

#4481 Packwood-Paradise-Packwood, 126 km, should be a spectacular route once the wildfires pass this year. Note Stevens Canyon Rd is only open Fri-Sun this year due to construction.

#4509 Cle Elum-Hyak-Cle Elum, 100 km, is 92% on gravel on the Iron Horse Trail.

#4454 Southworth-Belfair-Keyport-Bainbridge, 104 km, is a scenic and rather strenuous route with 4200 ft of climbing. If you find this route unchallenging you can move on to:

#4518 Vashon Ramble, 102 km. Finally I worked out a route on Vashon! With 6500 ft of climbing don’t let the name lull you into taking it easy. Note Burma Rd is closed. The closure signs are on the side of road to allow local traffic to pass. Don’t mistake that for the road being passable. It is definitely cut.

Geoff Swarts has been busy constructing a loop around the Olympic Peninsula:

He also has some routes to get you down the Oregon coast:

#4536 Mazama-Chesaw-Mazama, 402 km, was created by request.

Reactivated and updated routes

#2342 Four Pass Challenge, 605 km, was reactivated by request. This route climbs Stevens, Old Blewett, White, and Cayuse Passes in addition to traversing the Yakima River canyon.

#4180 Wet Side-Dry Side, 404 km, was updated for the closed trestle on the Issaquah-Preston trail.

Farther Afield

If you are feeling mildewed this winter consider my new routes in Death Valley:

#4387 Dante’s Palette – Death Valley, 120 km, has a devilish 8000 ft of climbing to a peak elevation of 5460 ft.

#4390 Black Mountains Loop – Death Valley, 218 km, has yet more climbing but mercifully below 3400 ft elevation.

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Tommy Thompson Trail Trestle Closed

Someone set the trestle on fire last week. Cascadia Daily News. This is the trestle that crosses Fidalgo Bay approaching Anacortes. Several routes use the trestle:

3040 San Juans Shuttle, 3043 Snohomish-Anacortes, 3044 Snohomish-Anacortes-Snohomish

The routes will remain active. Detouring on highway 20 is straightforward. Leaving Anacortes there are side roads and a bike trail accessible at S Fidalgo Bay Rd about half a mile before the traffic circle on 20. You cannot use this trail and roads going into Anacortes because of the median barrier on 20 at S Fidalgo Bay Rd!

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Permanent Route Updates

Route 01234 Wayne’s Choice is reinstated with new routing on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail in place of the closed bridge on Fish Hatchery Rd.

Longing for warm dry weather? Try the new Death Valley routes (be careful what you wish for!). Both start in Furnace Creek 180 ft below sea level:


Middle Fork Rd is closed due to a slide. No other information is available at present.

The usual roads are flooded in the Duvall-Carnation-Fall City area.

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Permanent Route Updates

Catching up on newly added & reactivated routes

Mitch Ishihara reactivated 02577 Sultan Sandy Coffee Run, 129 km. Many of us have already ridden this route as the 125-149 km Rouleur series route.

Geoff Swarts contributed three new routes:

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Permanent Route Updates

End of the Carbon River Rd, Dec 15, 2021

The Carbon River permanents (2144 MI-Carbon River and 2100 Sumner-Carbon River) are reinstated. The road is closed about 100 yards before the old turnaround point, so even with slight shortening both still qualify as 200 and 100 km routes, respectively. Access is not permitted beyond the closure. The Park Service is exploring building a temporary trail on the adjacent private land. Long-term the Park Service intends to rebuild the road to reopen access to the trails.

Note the snow in the photo! A person might not expect snow at 1800 feet. In winter it pays to check snow conditions for the higher-elevation lowland routes. The Carbon River Rd has a couple of bridges that were entirely iced over on the 15th.

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Permanent Route Updates

Frenchman Coulee

04291 Basin’s Edge, 202 km, was created from the popular Basin’s Edge 200k brevet.

Suspended Routes

02100 Sumner-Carbon River and 02214 Mercer Island-Carbon River have been suspended due to flood damage on the Carbon River entrance road.

01234 Wayne’s Choice has been suspended due to permanent removal of a small bridge on Fish Hatchery Rd. Alternative routings are being considered.

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Permanent Route Updates

Lake Wenatchee

Two new routes were recently added:

04283 Seattle Lakes & Rivers Cruise, 117 km. Mike McHale designed this route. From Factoria it loops through Issaquah out to Carnation, then through Redmond and across the 520 bridge to Seattle, then south through Renton and back to Factoria. The controls offer convenient starting locations for many Seattle and Eastside riders.

04272 Phat Ferry, 100 km. Robert Hendry designed this route. Its 4500 ft of climbing should burn off the calories you consume at the four bakeries along this route as you ride from Bainbridge to Bremerton and back.

In the Almost a New Route department:

01002 Wenatchee-White River, 208 km. Formerly named E Wenatchee-Lake Wenatchee, this is a major reworking of the route to avoid riding on US-2 as much as possible. From Wenatchee the route climbs to Plain, visits Lake Wenatchee State Park for a view of the lake, cruises up to the end of the pavement on White River Rd, and returns through Plain and Leavenworth to Wenatchee.

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Permanent Route Updates

Two routes have been reactivated since the last post:

00536 Hood Canal Loop, 208 km. This was formerly known as Hood Canal Loop 2.0. Only the northbound direction is recommended since this places the rider in the most visible position on curves around the numerous small headlands on US-101.

02100 Sumner-Carbon River, 102 km.

New Routes

04207 Leavenworth-White River, 113 km, goes from Leavenworth through Plain to Lake Wenatchee then to the end of the pavement on the White River Rd and back to Leavenworth.

Seattle to Crater Lake Permanents Tour

The Crater Lake 1200 route was used as a template to create a chain of 100-200 km permanents from Seattle to Klamath Falls. The start was moved to Seattle’s King St Station to facilitate returning to Seattle via Amtrak. Two options are provided for the final day; the longer circles Crater Lake before descending to Klamath Falls while the shorter follows the Craters 1200 route. You can read more about the routes here. The tour routes are also linked on the SIR RwGPS Club Library home page. A big thanks to Crista Borras, who reviews new routes at RUSA, for checking 1300 kms of routes!

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Permanent Route Updates

In Sammamish 3515 was rerouted to avoid private roads. A couple of No Trespassing signs have gone up since this route was created.

Catching up with changes that everyone probably knows about already

In Factoria 3227 and 541 were rerouted onto the new bike flyover. On routes that go eastbound here I recommend climbing Eastgate Way to avoid the construction zone:

The construction zone on West Lake Sammamish Parkway is passable to bikes. 3227, 541, 3502, 517, 2173, and 2292 were put back on the Parkway.

1015 was restored to the 520 trail at the Microsoft campus.

In Issaquah a number of routes were updated for the new connection of the East Lake Sammamish Trail to Gilman Blvd.

As always, you should update the routes on your gps unit to ensure you have the current version.

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New Surface Type feature in Ride with GPS

If you have used Ride with GPS recently you may have noticed the newly added Surface Type feature which attempts to depict unpaved vs paved roads. For example:

The dashed portions of the route trace and elevation profile are unpaved road or trail.

Surface Type is encoded in the route file when the route is created or edited. So older routes may not contain Surface Type data, or only portions that were more recently updated will have this data.

Unfortunately this feature relies on, frankly stated, flaky data. From RwGPS:

We’re using imperfect data to infer the actual surface type of a route, but are striving to improve the quality of this data as folks like you submit inconsistencies. We’re excited about this new tool and will be constantly improving it so that we can provide a robust and reliable source of surface types.

We are utilizing surface data from Graphhopper (our routing engine from OSM and also the same one that all of our competitors use) that identifies surface types based on a number of variables (residential vs. highway, lane count, speed limits, rural vs urban as well as a few other factors) to provide any type of hint as what the surface of a path is. Truth be told, only ~10% of the world has actual surface-type data that is recorded on this source, so it’s a bit of a guessing game to get all results 100% right. 

Right now, we’re inferring the surface type from the road classification. “Unclassified” roads are currently listed as paved in our Route Planner, this is likely why you are seeing some inconsistencies. In some cases we’ve found this to be the best option, in other cases, this is the wrong inference, so we’re trying to work through all those surface-type assumptions we are making to come up with the best solution.

At present it is very common to see improperly classified roads and trails.

If you are inclined to help improve surface classification, here is how:

1. You can update Surface Type information on OSM, which is the main source we pull from. Once Surface Type information is entered in OSM, it will be updated on our system within a few weeks. For more information on OSM Routing data as well as information on how to submit edits to OSM, check out the following link:

2. You can edit Surface Type data on any route – This only updates surface-type information on your specific route.

I’ll emphasize the second option only changes the surface type in the route you are working on. Like other custom-edited items like manually added cues, it is lost if that portion of the route is resnapped.

From my perspective as a route developer and maintainer, this feature’s frequent glitches just add more work. You can turn it off in your personal account like so:

1. Log into your account on the website> Click More> Edit Profile (see image:

2. Click RWGPS Labs> Toggle on or off to enable or disable (see image: 

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