[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.