This year's looking good as far as biking plans go. As of today, I have signed up for or will sign up for the following rides:
Chilly Hilly has been kicking off the cycling season in the Northwest on the last Sunday in February for the past 44 years. The 33-mile route around Bainbridge Island starts with a scenic early morning ferry ride across Puget Sound from Seattle, or you can join the crowd directly on Bainbridge Island.
First time doing this ride and to say I'm excited is the understatement of the year. This ride is going to prove whether I'm a man or a mouse because I get to see how much progress I've made since I started out biking eight months ago.
Flying Wheels weaves its way through Western Washington’s Snoqualmie Valley. This fertile valley is home to many organic farms producing some of the area’s highest quality produce, meats and cheeses. You will spend your day rolling from the valley floor to the ridges that define this beautiful place, a peaceful getaway not far from the city.
There are four different riding options for the event. Riders can choose the 23-, 46,-, 67-, or 100-mile routes. The 23-mile route heads from Marymoor Park around Lake Sammamish. Staying close to the shore it is mostly flat with just a few ups.
Never done this ride before and will probably do the 100 mile option. Oh, wait, who am I kidding - of course I'll do the 100 miles. Duh!
The Red-Bell 100 route features rolling hills, pastoral farmland and the stunning backdrop of the Olympic Mountain range. Enjoy organic fresh fruit, snacks and a fully catered lunch along the way. The rides ends in downtown Bellingham with a Finish Line party and BBQ at Boundary Bay Brewery.
As I've mentioned before, I'm considering doing my own version of this ride. I'll most likely turn around before Chuckanut Drive and bike back home again. That should make the ride close to 200 miles. Yeay!
Group Health STP:
This 200+ mile bicycle ride is the largest multi-day bicycle event in the Northwest, with up to 10,000 participants riding from Seattle to Portland in one or two days. The route takes you through the scenic valleys, forests, and farmlands of western Washington and Oregon.
Second time doing this ride. Think the first time was eight years ago or so. This time I'll be a little wiser and more prepared. Last time I had no idea what I was doing and the only reason I finished was stubbornness. I almost died that time. Of all the rides, this is the one I'm looking forward to the most. The one day option for sure.
This 175+ mile route of scenic backroads is one of the best the NW has to offer. You start at the north end of the University of Washington's E1 parking lot and finish in downtown Vancouver, BC over two days.
This year I will actually cross the border. Last year I didn't have my new passport yet so I couldn't do the real deal because the stoopid border guards wouldn't let me into Canada without a passport. Very unsportsmanlike. I mean, Canada should be so lucky as to have me grace them with my presence.
High Pass Challenge:
The 600 riders on HPC will embark on a challenging event, leading them through the beautiful Gifford Pinchot National Forest, including the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Starting from Packwood, Washington, cyclists will climb over 7,500 feet in elevation gain over 114 miles. The halfway point is at scenic Windy Ridge, overlooking the Mount St. Helen's blast zone. this event will be timed to the top and results will be posted online post event.
I am back for more punishment. That is, if the temperatures don't rise above the mid seventies. I am physically unable to do that amount of climbing in high temps.
Kitsap Color Classic: (my second time)
On Sunday, Sept. 25, Cascade Bicycle Club presents the 23rd Annual Kitsap Color Classic, our season finale. Pedal along the gorgeous Kitsap Peninsula and through some of the best riding country in the state! Friendly communities and terrific fall scenery make this a fun, must-do event.
Bittersweet ending to the organized rides season. My second time.
In addition to these rides, I'll be doing a few select non-Cascade rides.