Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Bellingham, Washington, USA
Bikes: Novara Randonee
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This may not be enough hill for you, but my regular hilly loop goes from my house in Bellingham's Lettered Streets neighborhood up Lincoln past Fred Meyer, continuing past Lake Padden, up the hill to the Galbraith parking area, down to Lake Samish, loop around, then back up with the return a nice long downhill on Old Samish to Chuckanut and back home through Fairhaven. It's about 1300' total gain and 25 or so miles. Lots of folks ride the route.
For a slightly longer loop, continue south from Lake Samish to Alger, then head home via Cain Lake and Lake Whatcom.
Mosquito Lake Road from Hwy 9 at Alger has a good climb (I've only ridden the other direction, coming down).
South Pass Road east from Everson is a nice uphill with some rollers.
In town, you could always do loops on Yew Street Road or Alabama Hill. Barkley Blvd always gets me huffing in low range.
Those should get you started. I don't think any really compare to riding up to Artist Point, but as you say there's still too much snow to be comfortable doing that in April.