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.