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Old 08-26-10, 12:23 PM   #1
lhbernhardt
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Grades on Hwy 2 westbound

I'm thinking of riding a BC Randonneurs 1000km brevet Sep 4 weekend. The US part of the route goes down Hwy 97 from Osoyoos, Canada and turns right at Hwy 2 around Sunnyslope, following 2 past Monroe and then back north on Hwy 9. Curious about the grades on Hwy 2. Where does it summit? Is it good shoulders/smooth pavement all the way? Thanks for any info!

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Old 08-26-10, 07:35 PM   #2
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Summits at Steven's Pass, roughly 4000ft. There is good shoulder from what I can tell all the way between the pass and monroe. Some sections between the pass and leavenworth get narrow albeit, super beautiful.
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Old 08-27-10, 01:43 PM   #3
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How far do you travel on SR-2?

Coming in from Leavenworth and crossing Stevens Pass (4061') has a nice shoulder, as well as the 16 mile descent from the summit down to Skykomish. With nice weather, you can coast it in under 30 minutes.
If you're travelling on SR-2 through Index and on toward Sultan, there are a couple of narrow bridges that you have to cross. If you want, you can always hop off the bike and take the narrow footpath if the traffic is too heavy and angry. I've never had much problem with riding that section, but others with SIR have reported some hassling.
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Old 09-08-10, 11:17 AM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I did the ride (1000 km brevet), and that was one tough climb, coming at 31-34 hours into the ride. I left Leavenworth at about 1 pm. The grades were very easy, but the shoulder was narrow and bumpy in places, although the traffic almost without exception gave me plenty of room (you could hear the tires on the median rumble-strip before and after passing). It is one hell of a long climb, though - 36 miles, the second half (after the "Hoffway haus") much steeper than the first. You keep working your way around long, broad turns only to find another long ramp you have to climb. It was interminable. And unfortunately, I hit the descent right in the middle of a torrential shower. The first part of the descent you have to ride out in the motorized portion of the roadway in order to avoid the wide drainage grates occupying most of the shoulder. But the turns are nice and wide, although I could only hit about 55 kmh due to strong headwinds. At the bottom, I was able to warm up at the gas bar/convenience store in Skykomish, though. The clerk let me stand next to the heat lamps keeping the burritos and hot dogs warm, and I used the blow dryers in the restroom to warm up the damp gloves.

I finally finished the ride at 3 am Monday. This is a leadup to Paris-Brest-Paris, but it's got to be way tougher, with three 1st categorie or hors categorie climbs to conquer.

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Old 09-08-10, 11:26 AM   #5
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If those climbs are honestly categorized, they will be a lot steeper than anything on US2!
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Old 06-16-13, 10:24 PM   #6
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On your trip from Leavenworth west over US 2, any food / water / drink stops? Ken
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Old 06-17-13, 03:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kenski99 View Post
On your trip from Leavenworth west over US 2, any food / water / drink stops? Ken
There isn't much from Leavenworth to the top of the pass other than one rest stop that I think has water fountains. You may be able to get food and water from the ski resort at the top of the pass; they rent mountain bikes during the summer so I expect some of their dining services might be open. After that there are many places to stop for food and drink, including the gas station in Skykomish and a variety of gas stations and restaurants in other towns along the corridor, including Startup, Goldbar, Sultan and Monroe.
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