There's a ride in a guide book that takes you over the Green River Gorge, which is more beautiful than I thought it would be. It was a nice ride overall, but going over a narrow bridge over a river surrounded by woods and fed by waterfalls was great! You start somewhere south of Issaquah and goes through Black Diamond, making a ~30 mile loop. Here's a map if you're interested.
Worked like a charm when I picked up the Surly from Portland :-D
Thanks for the link. I need a new refresh on ride starts. Takes me the first ten miles just to get anywhere near interesting.
Can I suggest a few rides I think you'll enjoy?
In April, go to Leavenworth, park (for free) at the park and ride, and set off on Route 2 heading east. After a block, turn left on the Chumstick Highway. Follow it through the little town of Plain, and out to Lake Wenatchee, then to Cole's Corner, and finally to Route 2 again, where you'll head east for about 15 miles back into town. Those last miles are almost all downhill, very scenic, and there's a wide enough shoulder. The full loop is about 45 miles.
Another ride. Still best in April, at least in typical years. Park in Leavenworth, take Route 2 West until you reach the gas station at the edge of town, turn left onto Icicle Road, and follow it until it's closed for snow or turns to dirt (or keep going if you can, my bike doesn't like dirt). I think this one winds up being more like 25 miles round trip?
Another fun ride. Typically still lots of snow on the high peaks you'll see in March. Drive to Darrington, park somewhere, ride to Rockport and back on SR 530 which is the only choice and there will be no turns. About 40 miles round trip.
Another one, probably best in April typically. Park in Cle Elum (free street parking), head out to Teanaway River Road, and ride up to the end of the pavement or further if you want. Then turn around and go back. About 45 miles round trip.
Final suggestion for now. Great ride just about all year, probably not right now because of the snow the mountains are finally getting. Part in Newhalem, free in a campground, or part at Diablo Lake if you prefer (also free), and ride the North Cascades Highway as far as you like.
Thanks! And you're close enough that you can make a weekend trip up here and make that happen. Shoot me a PM if you need any advice on logistics or routes.
Have you done any rides near Bend, or along the Columbia River Gorge? Two things I want to do this year...
Not close to Bend, but my favorite ride of all time was our club tour a couple summers back. We did a modified version of the Old West Scenic byway with a loop around the Strawberry Mtns. Self promoting bloggery here. I've fallen in love with Eastern Oregon and Washington and want to do more rides on the eastside one of these days.
I've only done a small portion of the Gorge. I was sick the day we rode it, so skipped the climb over Council Crest. We rode out to Bridge of the Gods and back. Gorgeous ride. I really need to go back and ride the whole thing. There was one small section on the Freeway.
Finally got out for a short ride today. Didn't have a lot of time so just did the waterfront, over to Ballard and back.
Per traveling anywhere in Seattle it wasn't long before I ran into a road block. I took Bell until I ran into a chain link fence stretching across the street. :notamused: Turned and rode under the monorail - not sure of the street - to Lenora and went down to the waterfront from there. Traffic was pretty light and I didn't have any problems. I hate driving down town, but riding wasn't bad at all.
Rode along the waterfront, past the railyard then over the locks to Ballard. Took 56th, 58th and 8th to hook up with Burke-Gilman and headed back. Made about a 15 mile loop.
Thanks again to everyone for the suggestions. Hope I can get a longer ride in next time around :)
A few pics from the ride today.
OK, rode to Auburn today using the Duwamish, Green River and Interurban trails. I can now provide an empirical analysis of these trails.
Duwamish from the WS bridge turnoff is good. It is more clearly marked than I remember. New users should have no problems with this route. It lead me right to the -
Green River trail. This one is a little dicey in some spots. At S. 93rd, 14th Ave So (part of the Duwamish trail) becomes W. Marginal Place S. and you are now sharing the road with autos. Little to no shoulder. Only a few cars did I encounter, at around 3pm. This dicey section is short and the beginning of the GRT is clearly marked and I say clearly because I am not that bright, am easily distracted and if I found it anybody can. This trail is bumpy in some spots, from tree roots. GRT connects with the -
Interurban trail after you pass the U of Pheonix and Embassy Suites. You go over the Green River. IUT is easy, after a short spell is is pencil-stright and fairly seamless, with a few crossings at busy roads but the signal lights are quick to respond to requests for green lights in your favor.
I turned back at 37th as daylight was fading and no part of the IUT or GRT south of the industrial area is lighted. I saw a few other cyclists which helped reassure me I was still on the right track.
^ yes. i take third north regardless of time if i take dexter or eastlake toward home. but sometimes i like to stay near the water and ride the path through the parks and the train yard.