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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Permanent Route Updates

Two routes were added this week:

In Factoria, 02795 Leschi-Hobart-Redmond Loop was rerouted for the new bike flyover across Factoria Blvd.

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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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Chehalis Western Trail Construction

Contributed by Josh Morse

Thurston County is improving a section of the Chehalis Western Trail (CWT) between Lacey and Rainier. The CWT is closed now between 89th Ave SE and 103rd Ave SE with a scheduled reopening on September 15, 2021.

Thurston County Project Site

There was not an obvious detour instruction on the trail.  When riding from the north (away from Olympia/Lacey) the following route will bypass the construction and rejoin the trail:

  • Ride east 1 mile on 89th AVE SE to right turn on Rainier Rd
  • Go 0.9 miles to Right/south on Stedman Rd
  • Ride 2.8 miles on Stedman Rd to left turn to rejoin CWT. 

The reverse works for the return. The detour adds about 2 miles each direction. 
There is a good size shoulder on Rainier Rd, less so on Stedman Rd but traffic is lighter than on Rainier Rd. 
Olympia/Lacey Area Trails Update- Impact on:

  • 100k Permanents 2985 and 3056
  • 200k Permanent 749

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Summer 400 km Pacific Beach Brevet Pre-Ride Report

Pre-drive by Bill Gobie

This ride starts and ends in Bremerton. If you have not been to the Seattle ferry terminal recently give yourself plenty of time to find the entrance. You can buy your ferry ticket online. The “mobile delivery” option will give you a bar code that can be scanned from your phone. If you are riding onto the ferry you can use the bike scanner to the right of the vehicle lanes at the fare booths.

The route is final pending a final review. The link (same as on the SIR ride page):

The biggest changes from the previous running of this route are:

  • Massive rerouting of the southwest corner of the route due to horrible construction on WA-109. I think the inland route from Copalis Beach is nicer anyway.
  • Slight rerouting in Hoquiam and Aberdeen.
  • The grill at You & I Market in Pacific Beach is not operating. The store has the usual convenience store items, but fresh teriyaki or burgers are not available.
  • All intermediate controls are info controls.

Other points:

  • The gravel portion of Cougar-Smith Rd is in very good condition. There are no large holes. Stretches are extremely rough, however.
  • Slower riders will have to cover the final 125 km from Montesano without resupplying.

Full disclosure: The picture was taken about 5pm near Union. Only very fast riders will get to view this scene… perhaps make this a stretch goal!

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Permanent Route Updates

Robert Hendry designed a new route, 04176 PTQ-Pretty Flat for this Side, 100 km. Flat Earth Randonneurs will be disappointed to learn the route is in Jefferson County, which is mostly unflat.

By popular demand (well actually one person asked for it), the canceled Summer 400 km brevet from Issaquah to Yakima Valley & back was turned into a permanent, 04180 Wet Side-Dry Side, 403 km. About half of this route is on the gravel Snoqualmie Valley and Palouse to Cascades Trails. Intermediate controls on the brevet were removed to allow one to free-route on even more gravel on the PTC east of Cle Elum.

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