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  1. #1
    slow up hills kudude's Avatar
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    Good rides leaving from Seattle

    I hope I'm not polluting the forum asking for something too specific.

    I'm moving to Seattle in a couple of weeks. I'll be traveling a lot for my job, but am hoping to keep up my riding on the weekends. To that end it'll be awhile before I can properly "explore."

    I started riding my bike while living in the bay area and just used these routes to learn the area:
    http://www.calcycling.org/?q=view/routes

    Does anyone have a similar website of rides I can access from near downtown Seattle? (obviously I can ride somewhere to pick up on a route).

    Feel free to include mtn or trail type rides. Honestly I just have no idea where to get started. Is there a mountain around to ride up (we have 3800ft mt. diablo here -- is there an equivalent) or a set of hills people ride around?

    I'm mostly just looking for some direction. Hope I haven't come across as too impertinent.

    Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_tom View Post
    Cycling isn't a sport. It's more like a really, really expensive eating disorder.

  2. #2
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    For a ton of routes between 100 and 200k check out The Permanator, maintained by the Seattle Int'l Randonneurs.
    There are 34 routes between 100 and 150k, many of which leave from near downtown or a rideable distance.

    For mountains, take your pick:
    For a short ride you can hop across the I-90 bridge into Issaquah and have a go at Squawk Mtn (2.25mi, 1170') or Zoo Hill (2.25mi, 1280') both with sections of 20%+ grade.
    For a longer ride you can head out of town on I-90 from Issaquah and ride to the Snoqualmie Summit (3022') or you can drive out to North Bend and start from there.
    On the east side it's a quick zip to Monroe where you can pick up SR-2 for the Stevens Pass Summit (4056'). It's a 200k if you start it from Duvall.
    Heading north, you can start in Arlington, Concrete, Sedro-Woolley, or Marblemount and pick up SR-20 over Washington Pass (5477') and Rainy Pass (4875').
    Going south there's Cayuse Pass (4675'), Chinook Pass (5430'), and the Sunrise Climb on Rainier (6400').
    These are all within a 1 - 1.5hr drive from downtown for start points, with the exception of the SR-20 rides which are closer to 2 hours drive time.

    Then there's the King County Parks and Rec website which has their cycling map. There's the Lake Sammamish Loop (25-ish), the Lake Washington Loop (40-ish, IIRC), the Inter-urban Trail, the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish River Trails (54mi r/t end-to-end) which connects with the Lake Sammamish Trail (crushed limestone) and the I-90 Mountains-to-Sound Greenway. There's the Tolt Pipeline Trail, the Powerline Trail, and a ton of others suitable for off-roading or monster-cross. And a new mountain bike park in Issaquah.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  3. #3
    slow up hills kudude's Avatar
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    awesome. Thank you.
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_tom View Post
    Cycling isn't a sport. It's more like a really, really expensive eating disorder.

  4. #4
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    Here's another good list of routes: http://www.seattlebicycleclub.org/members/library.html

  5. #5
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I think you're going to find Seattle a lot like the bay area by bike but with a lot less traffic.

    a fair bit smaller, less dense. easier to find country roads to ride on. nothing quite like Marin within striking distance, but the Olympic Peninsula holds lots of riches similar to Marin.

    popular rides of short length are the mercer island loop, the north or south lake washington loops, seattle to edmonds via the hills of Innes Arden and Woodway, Seattle to snohomish -snohomish pie company - a couple of laps of Magnolia, Seward Park, West Seattle, there's Vashon Island, Bainbridge Island, Edmonds Ferry to Bainbridge ferry loop,

    its about 100 miles to Port Townsend from Seattle over on the ferry and back, a fantastic summer century. Hood Canal loop in a day if your into 120 miles or so, fantastic.

    All those rides clifton mentioned are stellar. ride the mountain passes, autumn over the north cascades, the old highways to Snoqualmie or Stevens Pass, Old Blewett Pass, Mountain Loop Highway........ a cyclocross or sport touring bike with wider tires opens up lots of gravel over the mountains riding....

    You will find the riding to your liking.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 02-03-11 at 01:16 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  6. #6
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I like Whidbey Island. It's like an easy-access San Juan Island. Ride up through Edmonds to Mukilteo. Take the ferry across. You can ride up the spine of the island on the highway. It's not bad until you get to where the highway from the ferry terminal at Fort Casey joins. Then the shoulder disappears.

    There are plenty of roads off the highway that would be beautiful, I'm sure, but I haven't taken them. (I've passed through on bike tours a few times, but never explored off the main road.)

  7. #7
    slow up hills kudude's Avatar
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    I'm really loving what I'm reading so far.

    I appreciate all the help, and may eventually post some ride reports in this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_tom View Post
    Cycling isn't a sport. It's more like a really, really expensive eating disorder.

  8. #8
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
    Old Blewett Pass, Mountain Loop Highway........ a cyclocross or sport touring bike with wider tires opens up lots of gravel over the mountains riding....
    Even the gnarlier gravel passes like Babyshoe can be done with 28mm tires. If you're a lightweight, you can get by with 25s. I rode Babyshoe Pass last year with a guy who was on a 23 front and 25 rear. I'm a bit on the heftier side, and I was comfortable on 32s.
    Mountain Loop is a beautiful ride, but try to hit it when there hasn't been any recent rain. That hardpack dirt/gravel road gets slick when it's muddy.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  9. #9
    slow up hills kudude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    Even the gnarlier gravel passes like Babyshoe can be done with 28mm tires. If you're a lightweight, you can get by with 25s. I rode Babyshoe Pass last year with a guy who was on a 23 front and 25 rear. I'm a bit on the heftier side, and I was comfortable on 32s.
    Mountain Loop is a beautiful ride, but try to hit it when there hasn't been any recent rain. That hardpack dirt/gravel road gets slick when it's muddy.
    I've ridden my race bike on muddy fire trails. Wasn't super fun, but it's not made of sugar.

    On that note, maybe a long day with my cx bike and a front pannier would make for a beautiful way to kill a Saturday
    Quote Originally Posted by mr_tom View Post
    Cycling isn't a sport. It's more like a really, really expensive eating disorder.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    If you're moving to Seattle, and will be living near downtown, you need some rides that go from your door to your door.

    Head up Capitol Hill to Interlaken Park, down the hill, and catch the Lake Washington Loop. It's not very hilly, but it's gorgeous. After doing a loop around Seward Park, you can do some climbing on Orcas Street, which has a fwe short 15 % grades. Just before you hit Beacon Ave, get on the Chief Sealth Trail, heading either way. Basically, enjoy for a while and then make your way home.

    Circle Lake Washington, or go about 50 miles doing the north or south half and come home on the I-90 Trail.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  11. #11
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    You Mountain Bike as well? Plenty of places to ride, near and far.

    http://evergreenmtb.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

  12. #12
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    Even the gnarlier gravel passes like Babyshoe can be done with 28mm tires. If you're a lightweight, you can get by with 25s. I rode Babyshoe Pass last year with a guy who was on a 23 front and 25 rear. I'm a bit on the heftier side, and I was comfortable on 32s.
    Mountain Loop is a beautiful ride, but try to hit it when there hasn't been any recent rain. That hardpack dirt/gravel road gets slick when it's muddy.

    yes, riding gravel roads and mountain passes can be done on 28c tires, or even narrower. it doesn't mean it's wise, as fun, safe, protective of equipment or rider than riding wider tires.

    Riding over Nason Ridge between Stevens pass and Lake Wenatchee the rocks are the size of softballs.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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