Monthly Archives: April 2021

Permanent Route Updates

01306 Maltby-Granite Falls, 103 km, was added thanks to Jeff Loomis’ work.

Mark Thomas created a new route, 04104 End of Mann, 110 km.

Another new route, 04106 Tulip Tangle, 200 km, was also approved. Enjoy wandering about the Skagit tulip fields while wondering whether your gps is keeping you on route.

Factoria bike flyover and new SE 36th bike trail

The news about cycling on SE 36th east of the bike flyover is not good. At the east end of the new trail you must turn onto SE 36th to continue east. Due to construction of the rest of the trail, the road has been narrowed, eliminating the old bike lanes. A better alternative is to detour to SE Eastgate Way on the north side of I-90. After the new bike flyover, take the spur down to the traffic light, loop under I-90 on the sidewalk alongside Richards Rd, then turn east on SE Eastgate Way. These maps show options if you are headed east, or north/northeast. They are linked on the SIR RwGPS Library home page.

Online maps of the bike flyover and new trail are in flux. Last week I reported that in RwGPS, the new trail was plotted on the RWGPS map. Then the trail disappeared from the map. Now it is back. The trail is also plotted on the OSM map. (But not the OSM Cycle map.) The flyover and trail are not routable on either map at present.

West Seattle News

Starting Saturday April 10, the Spokane St Bridge aka Lower Bridge will be open on weekends to all traffic until 8 AM in the morning. Provided half of West Seattle is not enticed to drive to Snoqualmie Falls for breakfast mimosas, this should help West Seattle randos drive to far-flung morning starts. SDOT Blog (scroll down).

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Travelogue Mann

Mark, Greg, Rose and Jan pre-rode the Spring 200K last week. Here is Mark’s ride report. Enjoy!

The SIR Spring 200k route, The End of Mann, offers a scenic and relatively gentle reintroduction to brevets after our extended pandemic hiatus. With only 1430m (4700ft) of climbing, the route is less hilly than most brevets, but features some really nice scenery.

The first quarter of the route has the substantial climb from Woodinville up to Maltby, but is otherwise quite gentle, with roughly half on gentle multiuse trails (Sammamish River Trail and Centennial Trail).

The climb rewards with some nice views of the hills and mountains to the north and east, including Mount Baker in the distance.

After leaving the trail, a short section of busy road leads to some really nice quiet riding west of Granite Falls, including a pretty stretch along the Stillaguamish River.

The town of Granite Falls, about 1/3 of the way through the ride, offers a few options for refueling, including a couple of gas station convenience stores and coffee stands. (Please wear a mask). River, lake, and mountain views dot the nice rural riding from Granite Falls to Sultan via Lake Roesiger.

Don’t forget to say hi to the locals.

The halfway point of the ride, Sultan offers the last services opportunity for 55km. A convenience store on the left just before you reach US-2 provides an opportunity for ice cream bars on the curb in classic randonneur style.

Please note that the least stressful way through Sultan is to stay on the north side of US-2, using sidewalk (and a bit of shoulder) to reach the pedestrian bridge across the Sultan River. That lovely new bike/pedestrian facility avoids the very bicycle-unfriendly US-2 bridge. After Sultan, the route crosses the Skykomish River and heads out to the end of the pavement on Mann Road, where some overly friendly SIR volunteers will be stationed. The quiet stretch out Mann Road has some nice views of the Cascades foothills and a few curious cycling fans.

After the control, Mann and Ben Howard roads take you over to the Snoqualmie Valley with just a few short, but leg-busting climbs to keep you focused. SIR-familiar farming roads in the valley bring you to Carnation.

If you are comfortable going into a coffee shop, I highly recommend patronizing Sandy’s Espresso on the left at Commercial Street. Sandy and her friendly staff are long-time supporters of SIR rides and the nicest folks in town. The shop has nice (newly expanded!) outdoor seating allowing comfortable distancing.

A quiet flat stretch along the river with views of Mount Si leads to the route’s last significant climbing stretch from the Snoqualmie Valley near Fall City up to the Sammamish Plateau. I won’t lie, Issaquah-Fall City Road hurt me. But soon enough, the route descends to Lake Sammamish and Marymoor Park for a flat finish up the Sammamish River Trail. Please take the trail section slowly and respect the slower users out having fun.

Really hope to see many of you out there. And maybe to share a beer in the large, distancing-friendly outdoor garden of Good Brewing near the finish.

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End of Mann 200K

If you have not yet registered for Seattle Randonneurs “End of Mann” 200km brevet on April 10, there’s still time.  And you don’t want to miss it.

A group of us pre-rode the brevet course last weekend, and we all think you’ll enjoy this ride.  It follows a generally clockwise loop north from Woodinville to Granite Falls and then back south towards Sultan and Fall City before coming back to the start.

Taking in some familiar roads along with a few that we have not ridden in several years, the course passes by rivers, lakes, horse farms, and valleys with mountain views, as well as through a few small towns so that you can replenish your supplies along the way.  Keep your eyes open for eagles, llamas, horses, cows, ducks. You might even see a long-horned steer if you are lucky.  Because this is our first brevet in a long time, it’s not too hilly (although it would not be a brevet without a few bumps here and there.)

Almost all of the course follows quiet roads or trails.  There is one stretch of busy road after leaving the Centennial Trail along 84th Street NE for 3 miles.  The road has a wide shoulder, but please be very careful at the end of this stretch when turning left across the road onto 147th Avenue NE due to oncoming traffic.  Your reward after this stretch is one of the most beautiful parts of the course.

Here are a couple of reminders/suggestions for the ride:

  • Remember that there is no day-of-ride registration/payment.  Please pre-register and pre-pay online at the SIR website.
  • Bring your own pencil or pen. There will be several information controls, and you will need to write the answers to the control questions on your card.
  • Although there are services in towns along the route, none of the controls will be at convenience stores or supermarkets.  For this reason, you might wish to bring some extra food on the bike, and make sure that your water bottles are full.  Best stops for services are probably Snohomish (mile 16, with public restrooms on Main St on the right), Granite Falls (mile 39, with various choices), Sultan (mile 62, various choices but the Arco minimart is well-stocked and has restrooms, located on course at the left turn for Stevens Pass HWY), and Carnation (mile 98, various choices including Sandy’s Espresso, our favorite)
  • If the weather looks inclement, you will make more friends if your bike has fenders and a buddy flap.
  • It’s an early season brevet, so your bike should have a fixed taillight and headlight, and you should have a reflective vest with you.
  • The brevet finishes by taking the Sammamish River Trail from Marymoor Park in Redmond towards Woodinville.  If the weather is nice, the trail may be crowded, so please be respectful of other trail users – don’t ride too fast or in large groups.
  • Make sure you come to the correct starting location:  The Northshore Athletic Fields are the ones located off of NE 145th Street close to Hollywood Hills and the Chateau Ste Michelle winery, just off the Sammamish River Trail.

Finally, please observe good social distancing behavior:  Wear a mask at the start, finish and all controls, and don’t congregate closely; keep some distance from other riders on the road; bring some hand sanitizer; be self-supporting to the extent you can.

Bonne route!

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Permanent Route Updates

Jeff Loomis put 02249 Rome to Blaine and Back, 100 km, back in commission.

A couple of new routes are in the works. Hopefully I can announce them next week.

In other news:

  • The construction closure on the I-90 trail at the future Light Rail station at 23rd Ave S/Judkins Park is over.
  • In really big news, the I-90 trail bike flyover in Factoria across Factoria Blvd is open! A bonus is by not descending to Factoria Blvd, the flyover reduces the climbing on 36th Ave SE. The flyover connects to a new trail on the north side of 36th. Presently the new trail terminates at 132nd Ave SE, where a traffic light aids turning left to the old uphill bike lane on 36th. (The top of 36th is still steep.) Seattle Bike Blog article.

    If you are doing routing work in Ride with GPS, the new flyover is mapped on the “RWGPS” map.

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