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  1. #1
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    Good routes near Seattle

    I don't know the riding around Seattle very well yet, and I'm hoping to take a new stoker out for the first time this weekend. Does anyone have a suggestion for a good tandem route (low traffic/rural, not too hilly) in the 30-50 mile range within a half-hour or 40 minutes drive of downtown? We're both experienced single cyclists in our 20s.

    Thanks,
    Daniel

  2. #2
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    The islands are cool and not too bad hill wise. Very relaxing too but some have fewer stores than you would think.

    Around Lake Washington is interesting. You vary from residential to congested streets, quiet unused MUP to crowds. You do see alot of Seattle though.

    Much further but very cool is Victoria. Portland is nice also although I do not know any particular rides there.

    I'd vote for Lake Washington, plenty of bailout points.

    Others will probably have better suggestions.

  3. #3
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    My son and I ride the Interurban bike trail in the Kent Valley are. There are no hills and fairly straight. The Green River trail has more turns and is also flat. I enjoy the Green River trail better. We have had rides to Alki, Bellevue, Maple Valley, and many others from our home in Kent.

  4. #4
    Senior Member swc7916's Avatar
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    I don't know where you're starting from, but a close-in, easy first ride would be to take the Burke-Gilman/Sammamish River trails from Seattle around the north end of Lake Washington to Marymoor Park in Redmond and back. You could start at any number of places in Seattle, probably Gas Works Park or the University of Washington. These are multi-use trails all the way except for a couple of on-street detours in Kenmore where there is trail construction. There are parks along the way for rest stops and south of Woodinville you can leave the trail to have lunch at the Red Hook Brewery or tour the Chateau Ste. Michelle winery. Watch out along parts of the Burke-Gilman in Seattle where there are root heaves from trees along the trail and a number of street and driveway crossings. Also, south of downtown Redmond there is a bridge you need to cross in order to get to the other side of the Sammamish River and continue to Marymoor Park - this crossing involves a couple of very tight turns that are awkward for a tandem to negotiate.
    Last edited by swc7916; 10-08-08 at 08:04 AM.

  5. #5
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    You might check in with the Evergreen Tandem Club and see if they have any suggestions.
    http://www.cascade.org/Community/maps_routes.cfm has some leads, and Cascade Bicycle Club also posts links to other clubs in the area; in particular, the Seattle Bicycle Touring Club http://www.seattlebiketours.org/members/library.html has a number of maps.
    You could search Bikely.com and see what people have posted.

    That said, if you want to be on the road, and not on a MUP, the West Snoqualmie Valley Road, from Duvall down to Fall City (with a slight jog over to Carnation) is reasonably low traffic, not very hilly, and the southern end, toward Tall Chief Golf Course, has some of the smoothest rural pavement you're likely to experience. It would not be a boring ride to go south to the end, and turn around and come back north.

    Snohomish - Monroe, on the Old Snohomish-Monroe road, would also be reasonable. When you get to Monroe, if things are going well you can go south a mile or two, right onto the Tualco Road, head SW and pick up the High Bridge Road, then return to Snohomish. This route shows up in the "Bicycling the Back Roads of Puget Sound" book; it's about a 25 mile loop; has some minor hills and a couple of really nice descents. http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...idge-Snohomishshows a longer version of this ride -- just skip the whole loop out to Sultan and back. [ Bikely has a way to display the profile of the ride, so you could compare that to a ride you are familiar with to see how hilly it looks to you. ]

    Back in MUP land, the Centennial Trail, from Snohomish north toward Arlington, is about 30 miles round trip; maximum grades about 2-3%; some gates at road crossings that would be a bit tight.

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    Thanks everyone. Neither of us is a fan of MUPs, and I've ridden the Burke far too many times, so I think we'll look at one of the road routes.

    Daniel

  7. #7
    Senior Member swc7916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsmyers View Post
    Thanks everyone. Neither of us is a fan of MUPs, and I've ridden the Burke far too many times, so I think we'll look at one of the road routes.

    Daniel
    Ride around Lake Sammamish is a popular ride that is not too hilly. Start at Marymoor Park and leave the west entrance turning left (south) onto W Lake Sammamish Parkway NE. There's a good shoulder here. After a couple of miles you will come to a Y where W Lake Sammamish Parkway NE goes on to the left. There is a lousy, but usable, bike lane on the south-bound side all the way to I-90. When you get to the traffic circle just before I-90, go around it and exit to the left (east). You will now be paralleling I-90 heading east toward Issaquah. Make a rest stop at Sammamish State Park. Continuing east along NW Sammamish Rd you may want to take the sidewalk trail rather than the street. Take a left on 220 Ave SE and a right on SE 51 Street to put you onto E Lake Sammamish Parkway SE. The first mile or so of this road has no shoulder, so it's kind of tricky. After that, there is a good shoulder all the way back to Redmond. Turn left on NE 65 Street to get back to Marymoor Park. If you want to add mileage, start somewhere along the Sammamish River Trail - maybe Wilmot Gateway Park in Woodinville - and take it to Marymoor Park.

    This map shows a recent ride from our house to Marymoor Park, around Lake Sammamish and back:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=http:/...Values=6542277

    Edit:

    Here's another ride that I like a lot: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=http:/...Values=6861298 It's about 34 miles, kind of hilly with a short steep climb on Dubuque Road, but it's rural and mostly low traffic. It starts out going north on the Centennial Trail and exits at Machias Station. The map shows the ride starting in downtown Snohomish, but you can park on Maple right next to the Centennial Trail and start from there.
    Last edited by swc7916; 10-08-08 at 02:38 PM.

  8. #8
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    Whatever you do, do it quick. The weather is changing. Check Cascade or ETC websites as suggested above. If not from the area and want to ride the road, I would suggest Vashon island for a nice ferry ride close to downtown hotels, views of Puget Sound and the city skyline. Fair decent roads with minimal traffic. More rural, try the Carbon river entrance to Mt. Raineer.

  9. #9
    Senior Member swc7916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aemmer View Post
    I would suggest Vashon island
    Vashon is VERY hilly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swc7916 View Post
    Vashon is VERY hilly.
    Sounds like someone else has made the mistake of turning right down Burma road on a tandem!

  11. #11
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    The whole region is very hilly. Welcome to Seattle.... About the only places that aren't hilly are the old RR grade routes that have been converted to MUP's

  12. #12
    Senior Member swc7916's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aemmer View Post
    The whole region is very hilly. Welcome to Seattle.... About the only places that aren't hilly are the old RR grade routes that have been converted to MUP's
    Right. MUPs and the river valleys; which you have to climb a hill to get into or out of.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. We ended up doing a ride in Snohomish from the Seattle Bicycle Touring Club's site, which was excellent--some rolling hills, but nothing too crazy, which was just as well as we've not quite mastered standing yet. But, we did cruise along comfortably in the low-mid 20s on the flats, which the stoker thought was great fun, so all in all, it was a success.

    Daniel

  14. #14
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    Search bikely.com for Snohomish and Woodinville.

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