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Old 04-02-10, 10:09 AM   #1
Seattle Forrest
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What's your favorite ride?

Every place I live, I wind up having a favorite ride. I don't sit down and pick one; I like to explore, take back roads, and routes I've never been on. After a while, I just find myself preferring one path over the other ones available. Like a favorite song, I keep doing lots of other rides so that it doesn't get "played out," but always seem to prefer one ride over the others.

Hopefully lots of people from or near Seattle will post a few suggestions for rides I haven't done yet, but since this is for the Pacific Northwet, nothing anybody will post in here will be all that far away.

So, please, describe your favorite ride, and why you like it? Photos would be awesome, and if you have one, a gpx file would probably help other people who might want to check your route out.
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Old 04-02-10, 10:57 AM   #2
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ride to edmonds to Port Townsend for pizza at Waterfront Pizza and return. Lap the bunkers at Fort Worden before leaving PT.

Woodinville, top of the hill, maltby to springetti road to Snohomish Pie Company, high bridge, woodinville-duvall highway with old road option on return.

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Old 04-02-10, 11:47 AM   #3
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Any of the social rides I've done with the Seattle Randos, where we stop at 3 coffee shops in 100k. The Tour de Donuts started at Peet's Coffee and Tea (Redmond), wandered through the Carnation Valley for a stop at the Snohomish Bakery, then headed back to Redmond via Tolt, for a stop at Sandy's Espresso. We tend to navigate by food stops. Mark T. especially.

If there's 1 ride I have to claim is my favourite, though, it's the 25 mile Lake Sammamish loop, following the course from the Flying Wheels Summer Century.
There's some good climbing in there, but nothing too hard. A few fun downhills, resdential/park-ish streets for over half the route, and even the section on E. Lk. Sam. is pretty nice with the repaving and widened shoulder/bike lane. Just be careful of the root heaves on the little segment of the MUP from when you cross the I-90 bridge until you get back onto the roads.
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Old 04-03-10, 03:23 PM   #4
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My most favorite places to ride can only be found via Mountain Bike. Places like:

The spectacular ride to Mt. Margaret at Mt. St. Helens:
P8260212..JPG

or riding across the Plains of Abraham at Mt. St. Helens
DSC01581..jpg

or the view from Kachess Ridge above Kachess Lake:
DSC00858..jpg

Do these count?
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Old 04-03-10, 03:35 PM   #5
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My most favorite places to ride can only be found via Mountain Bike. Places like:

or riding across the Plains of Abraham at Mt. St. Helens
Attachment 144662]

Do these count?
I wonder if that is part of the upcoming 3-Volcanos 300k in August. Certainly not a MTB ride, but I've been warned about the 15 - 20 miles of gravel over the course of the nearly 195 total miles. The warnings I've been given are along the lines of "get whatever the fattest tire you can get on your bike" and "I won't ride it on anything less than 38's".
If most of that road/trail is like the picture, then a stout pair of 35 or 38mm tires and some careful handling should do the trick. I hope that is part of the course, because from that picture it looks beautiful.
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Old 04-03-10, 03:43 PM   #6
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Start in Vancouver, Washington, go east into the Columbia Gorge along SR-14 with a possible detour along the Washougal River. Cross over at Bridge of the Gods, go west on the Oregon side using the Historic Columbia River Highway and up to Vista House.

A write-up is here:
Bridge of the Gods - Columbia River ride (many photos!)

This the view from Vista House:

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Old 04-04-10, 09:09 PM   #7
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I wonder if that is part of the upcoming 3-Volcanos 300k in August. Certainly not a MTB ride, but I've been warned about the 15 - 20 miles of gravel over the course of the nearly 195 total miles. The warnings I've been given are along the lines of "get whatever the fattest tire you can get on your bike" and "I won't ride it on anything less than 38's".
If most of that road/trail is like the picture, then a stout pair of 35 or 38mm tires and some careful handling should do the trick. I hope that is part of the course, because from that picture it looks beautiful.
Clifton - I am not familiar with the ride you are speaking of, but to ride the Ape Canyon trail to the Plains of Abraham, you'll want a Mountain Bike. Riding across the Plains of Abraham is a pretty fricking exhiliarating experience. Let me know if you want to try it sometime - you can borrow on of my Mountain Bikes and I'll give you a tour!
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Old 04-07-10, 05:48 PM   #8
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My favorite ride is the ride home. Every day.
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Old 04-08-10, 11:56 AM   #9
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My favorite ride is the ride home. Every day.
Best answer so far!
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Old 04-08-10, 01:01 PM   #10
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Do these count?
Only if you send me directions to the trailheads. I've done my share of hiking above and around Kachess Lake, but didn't know there was any cycling to be done there? And I've never been to Mt St Helens. I've got a skinny-tire cross bike, and I'm not sure which of these I'm up to ... although I can go slow and give things a try. Seriously, care to suggest some scenic mountain rides ( other than the Iron Horse Trail )?
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Old 04-08-10, 04:23 PM   #11
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Only if you send me directions to the trailheads. I've done my share of hiking above and around Kachess Lake, but didn't know there was any cycling to be done there? And I've never been to Mt St Helens. I've got a skinny-tire cross bike, and I'm not sure which of these I'm up to ... although I can go slow and give things a try. Seriously, care to suggest some scenic mountain rides ( other than the Iron Horse Trail )?
I have a cross bike as well, and I would not dare bring it on any of these rides. You'll want a Mountain Bike.

You can find more information on these rides here:
Mt. Margaret
Ape Canyon/Plains of Abraham
Kachess Ridge

Some of my other favorites:
Mt. Constitution
Angels Staircase
Skookum Flats
Palisades

Plus many, many others...

All require a Mountain Bike and off-road riding skills. I think every roadie should do some Mountain Biking. It will make you a better rider!
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Old 04-08-10, 06:15 PM   #12
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Best answer so far!
Oh, I don't know. I like my ride to work more than my ride home. Things are much more peaceful on the roads at 6AM than they are at 4PM. I like the ride so much that sometimes I don't want to stop- just go past and keep on ridin'.
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Old 04-09-10, 07:24 AM   #13
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I have a cross bike as well, and I would not dare bring it on any of these rides. You'll want a Mountain Bike.

You can find more information on these rides here:
Mt. Margaret
Ape Canyon/Plains of Abraham
Kachess Ridge

Some of my other favorites:
Mt. Constitution
Angels Staircase
Skookum Flats
Palisades

Plus many, many others...

All require a Mountain Bike and off-road riding skills. I think every roadie should do some Mountain Biking. It will make you a better rider!
I don't know if a 'mountain bike' is an absolute prerequisite for riding a lot of terrain in the NW- some of us have ridden technical trails at Galbraith with a 'cross bike' and take cx bikes to places most people think can't be ridden on a mtb.

An epic, favorite ride of mine ride is seattle to sequim, dungeness forks campground, roads 27/28 over Bon Jon Pass and descend into Quilcene, and return to Seattle. I like to do it as an ultralite overnight, but an animal with an early start could do it in one.
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Old 04-09-10, 01:31 PM   #14
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I don't know if a 'mountain bike' is an absolute prerequisite for riding a lot of terrain in the NW- some of us have ridden technical trails at Galbraith with a 'cross bike' and take cx bikes to places most people think can't be ridden on a mtb.
Galby is generally not considered to be overly technical by most Mountain Bikers (with the exception of the freeride stuff like Evolution - if you rode that on a cx bike you are DA MAN ). Compared to the technical you get on the rides I linked, Galby is downright tame.

The WHIMPS up there keep the trails at Galby in pretty good shape. The rides I linked to, OTOH are pretty much all backcountry rides and these trails don't get much, if any, pulaski love. Mt. Margaret for example - I would never consider doing that ride on my cx - both bike and rider would get beat to hell. Ape Canyon/Plains of Abraham - yeah I could probably do that on my cx bike, but when climbing Ape Canyon I would be wishing for the gearing of my Mountain Bike. Etc.

So, fair enough that you can ride a lot of the NW terrain on a cx bike, but just like I would never take a Mountain Bike in a weekend group road ride, I would never take a cx bike onto a backcounty ride where a Mountain Bike would be more fun and a heck of a lot safer.
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Old 04-09-10, 08:21 PM   #15
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- i think i've ridden 911 and dans up on galbraith, from the top down -

Oh,, certainly some bikes are more suited for different types of terrain,

i was just mentioning that a lot of backcountry riding can be executed on a cross bike with suitable tires....no need for a mtn bike. I'd probably take my mtn bike up mt margaret too.


Is there such a thing as transportational freeriding? I was kind of thinking of bicycle rides that could be executed door to door, favorite rides out of seattle.

Driving to start technical mountain biking wasn't what this thread seemed to be about, but of course does not discredit favorite rides of others in this thread.

Rough riders of the Northwest unite.

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Old 04-13-10, 12:55 PM   #16
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Yeah, I was more thinking of rides that leave your front door, and bring you back there when you're done. In fact, I was hoping people would chime in with rides in the 5 to 50 mile range, some of them right here in Seattle. The longest rides I personally do are in the 65 mile range, and that's further than most of my friends will tolerate ... surely there are other people who might read this thread, hoping to learn about a new route they can try. I'd personally love to know where I can take my 'cross bike into the mountains, but I was hoping people would share more accessible rides they enjoy, when I started this thread.

On that note, I like the waterfront trail. "Start" in Pioneer Square ( however you get yourself there ), and head up the waterfront to Myrtle Edwards Park. Take the multi-use path up through the end of the park, and through the train yard past Smith Cove. At this point I generally climb to the base of Discovery Park, then drop down and cross the water at the Ballard Locks, and again take the Burke Gilman Trial down the water - this time the shipping channel that feeds into Lake Union. I live in Eastlake, just south of the University. This is a short ( ~15 mi for me? ) loop, and a very scenic trail.

Another favorite is to "start" on Cap Hill, and take Interlaken Park down to the Arboretum. Come out at ( and cross ) Madison, heading onto Lake Washington Boulevard. Stop at an overlook just before a steep descent - there's a stone bench and a little garden, with a view of Bellevue rising out of the lake with the Cascades behind it. Enjoy a drink of water or whatever, but mainly the view. Then get back on the road and drop down the hill, which isn't terribly steep, but windy, and fun. Continue south until you reach Seward Park, do a loop, and climb Orcas on the way out. This takes you to the top of Beacon Hill, although I've been enjoying a detour down the Chief Sealth Trail, and then finding my way to Beacon. From here, ride north until you hit the 15th Ave Bridge, or pull off onto Columbian Way, which ultimately leads you back to Beacon. Once you find yourself in the International District, find your way home depending on your mood ... I often like to begin the waterfront trail from here. This ride can be anywhere from 20 to about 35 miles, and is incredibly scenic, taking you through more parks than you'll have fingers to count.

There are longer rides - circumnavigating Lake Washington will put more miles and hours under your belt - but these two are fun, offer great views, wonderful on a sunny day, etc, and you can roll out your door on a Saturday if you slept in and missed your other plans. They're pretty simple, and easy to follow, although if anybody wants to give either of these a first shot ( most Seattlites have probably done both of these rides a hundred times ) I can send a GPX file.
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Old 04-17-10, 11:35 PM   #17
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Marymoor park as starting location:

Lake Sammamish loop

202 to North Bend and back

202 to roundabout, 203 toward Duvall, return via Tolt or Novelty

Many more country roads in that general area. Reining, etc...

Really, anything with a good shoulder and no stops for miles and miles.
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Old 04-18-10, 09:04 AM   #18
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Novelty hill road towards the 203 oh yeah, but from the 203 uphill not so much!
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Old 04-21-10, 11:09 PM   #19
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Here's mine...

Start at Marymoor Park, take Samm Trail north then connect to Burke Gilman... BG to UW then LK WA loop route to I-90... accross LK WA on I-90 trail... take side streets (multiple options) through Bellevue north to Kirkland... over Jaunita... connect back onto BG Trail at Kenmore... then back to Marymoor. About 80 miles.
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Old 04-22-10, 07:35 AM   #20
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Novelty hill road towards the 203 oh yeah, but from the 203 uphill not so much!
Only when I'm in the mood for some pain. The Avondale side of Novelty Hill is my regular commute (I live up on the Ridge, so I've got few choices).
Steep side of Novelty for a real grinder, or head out to SR 202 and pick up 208th up the Ridge for a super mega quad killer. (14.7% grade)
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Old 04-22-10, 01:34 PM   #21
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Ride around Hayden Lake North Idaho 26 miles of up and Down, and the Trail of the Couer d' Alenes 144 mile round trip of North Idaho Heaven.

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Old 04-22-10, 09:34 PM   #22
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Here's mine...

Start at Marymoor Park, take Samm Trail north then connect to Burke Gilman... BG to UW then LK WA loop route to I-90... accross LK WA on I-90 trail... take side streets (multiple options) through Bellevue north to Kirkland... over Jaunita... connect back onto BG Trail at Kenmore... then back to Marymoor. About 80 miles.
I do a version of this ride starting in Seattle but my route is only 53 miles.That's about as much as I can do right now but I am looking to expand.
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Old 04-23-10, 09:11 AM   #23
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Ride around Hayden Lake North Idaho 26 miles of up and Down
I used to do this as a teenager in the '70s.
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Old 04-24-10, 02:28 PM   #24
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I used to do this as a teenager in the '70s.
Then you rode it when it was mostly gravel. It is now paved all the way around and is one fine ride.
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Old 04-24-10, 03:20 PM   #25
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It is now paved all the way around
Really? Cool!
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