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Old 06-20-09, 10:24 PM   #1
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Spectacular ride today - Native Planet Classic - North Cascades

This could be my new favorite - close tie with the Tour de Blast.

Small ride - maybe 60 to 100 riders doing the full 128-mile ride? Great weather (a little wet and cold at the top, but no rainfall or snow).

Well organized ride - great support, great food, SAG wagons were out in force.

This is one of the most spectacular highways in North America, but tough to do without support (no services between Mazama and Newhalem). Great ride to do with a group, like this.

Full report and many pics over at the 50+forum.

133 miles over the spectacular North Cascades Highway - new p.r. bike ride
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Old 06-21-09, 09:33 AM   #2
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Good meeting you over here, Steve! Great day.

Here's what I posted in C&V
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Old 06-21-09, 10:55 AM   #3
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Glad you made it, Jan. I think you won the prize for oldest bike on the ride. I just got back from a nice "recovery ride" this morning and am headed home...
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Old 06-23-09, 08:31 AM   #4
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for those doing it unsupported,at least there's water at a few spots between Newhalem and Mazama.

Twin Pines (?) CG is just a couple of miles on the east side of the pass with a water pump, and there's the visitor center at the top of course. and the waterfall on the west side around Ross Lake right next to the road.

bring a little extra food and clothes
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Old 06-23-09, 09:41 AM   #5
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Wow, looks like a great/epic ride.

Thanks for posting!

Is Washington Pass the highest in wa?
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Old 06-23-09, 11:22 AM   #6
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i believe the road to sunrise at mt. rainier is the highest paved road in the state at ~6,400 feet. AFAIK, the highest "pass" (i.e. road up and down both sides) is Hart's Pass at around 6,100', but gravel road. there are plenty of FS roads that go higher but most are dead ends.

in terms of riding hwy 20 unsupported, marblemount - washington pass - marblemount is a reasonable day (regular people reasonable, not randoneur reasonable) or you can ride over to mazama or winthrop one day, stay in a hotel and ride back the next day. In addition to the places listed, during the summer, you can get water from a drinking fountain at Newhalem, Diablo, Colonial Creek campground and the Washington Pass overlook. But in addition, remember that in the Cascades, there's always water around. The highway crosses hundreds of creeks, you just need to take some precautions to make sure it's safe to drink. i usually carry a tiny bottle of water purification stuff (iodine tabs or aqua mira drops). I almost never actually use it, but it's good to have just in case.
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Old 06-23-09, 01:27 PM   #7
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i believe the road to sunrise at mt. rainier is the highest paved road in the state at ~6,400 feet. AFAIK, the highest "pass" (i.e. road up and down both sides) is Hart's Pass at around 6,100', but gravel road. there are plenty of FS roads that go higher but most are dead ends.

in terms of riding hwy 20 unsupported, marblemount - washington pass - marblemount is a reasonable day (regular people reasonable, not randoneur reasonable) or you can ride over to mazama or winthrop one day, stay in a hotel and ride back the next day. In addition to the places listed, during the summer, you can get water from a drinking fountain at Newhalem, Diablo, Colonial Creek campground and the Washington Pass overlook. But in addition, remember that in the Cascades, there's always water around. The highway crosses hundreds of creeks, you just need to take some precautions to make sure it's safe to drink. i usually carry a tiny bottle of water purification stuff (iodine tabs or aqua mira drops). I almost never actually use it, but it's good to have just in case.
With regards to drinking from streams, what are some rules of thumb around that? I've heard you want to stay away from standing water, but would something like the waterfalls seen on the highway be legit? Or would you still want to purify it? I've heard of people drinking from them and living, but I wouldn't want to risk it.

Still, it would be awesome to use natural resources on a ride like that.
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Old 06-24-09, 12:45 PM   #8
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With regards to drinking from streams, what are some rules of thumb around that? I've heard you want to stay away from standing water, but would something like the waterfalls seen on the highway be legit? Or would you still want to purify it? I've heard of people drinking from them and living, but I wouldn't want to risk it.
My rule of thumb is that I treat everything unless I'm above timberline and I can see the water flow coming out from the snow it is melting out of. I've broken this rule a few times when I was really thirsty and nothing bad has come out of it, but it's really impossible to tell visually whether the water is safe to drink. The main risk is giardia, a GI parasite that is very unpleasant. Giardia can be spread by wildlife AND can remain dormant even in icy cold water for years; tests have found giardia in very remote lakes and streams in the cascades and sierras. Since an iodine tablet sufficient to purify and a bike bottle is about size of a lentil, there is little reason not to carry a couple. Your best bet for filling bottles is not the big waterfalls, but smaller creeks and streams (the kind that go under the road in a culvert, not a bridge), since they are almost always easier to get to. Try to go to the uphill side of the road so you aren't drinking motor oil.

In the lowlands, all bets are off. There are all kinds of chemicals in agricultural runoff, so I wouldn't drink stream water in farmland even with iodine unless I was truly desperate.
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Old 06-24-09, 01:09 PM   #9
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My rule of thumb is that I treat everything unless I'm above timberline and I can see the water flow coming out from the snow it is melting out of. I've broken this rule a few times when I was really thirsty and nothing bad has come out of it, but it's really impossible to tell visually whether the water is safe to drink. The main risk is giardia, a GI parasite that is very unpleasant. Giardia can be spread by wildlife AND can remain dormant even in icy cold water for years; tests have found giardia in very remote lakes and streams in the cascades and sierras. Since an iodine tablet sufficient to purify and a bike bottle is about size of a lentil, there is little reason not to carry a couple. Your best bet for filling bottles is not the big waterfalls, but smaller creeks and streams (the kind that go under the road in a culvert, not a bridge), since they are almost always easier to get to. Try to go to the uphill side of the road so you aren't drinking motor oil.

In the lowlands, all bets are off. There are all kinds of chemicals in agricultural runoff, so I wouldn't drink stream water in farmland even with iodine unless I was truly desperate.
+1

That's what I learned.

I had giardia once. Not fun (caught it Mexico).

Appreciate the reminder, though -- I think I should get some iodine tablets for future rides, I've always been worried about picking up water along the way.

(Mattm - given your budding racing career, you should find out whether iodine will show up on your post-race blood tests....you don't want to lose a podium place due to iodine doping)

Last edited by BengeBoy; 06-24-09 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 06-24-09, 01:46 PM   #10
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p.s. sorry for the hijack, congrats on the ride!
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