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Riding Whidbey Island; suggestions?

Old 09-07-15, 12:39 AM
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Tesgin
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Riding Whidbey Island; suggestions?

I'm visiting your beautiful state next week. I'll be biking around the Lynnwood area, then biking Whidbey Island up to Anacortes to take the ferry to the San Juans.

I'm planning out my route on Whidbey and would love any suggestions.

I have been looking at routes on RWGPS; some favor more the west coast of the island, pretty much riding near the west coast line most of the way, like THIS ROUTE. That route stays pretty much west between Freeland and up to Greenbank; there's a stretch by Crocket Lake that looks like it could be nice. Then by the Oak Harbor area, it goes along the west coast.

Then there are rides like THIS ONE that stay more along the east side of the island: from Clinton it goes up to Langley, then between Freeland and Greenbank, again stays along the east coast. By Coupeville and Oak Harbor it hugs the east coast again, then for the most part goes up 20 until Deception Pass.

I'd appreciate any tips as to which is the more scenic route. Or other suggestions (gpx routes would be nice!).

Also, any decent places to stop for food, or coffee, just to fuel up?

Any other suggestions? I will be riding straight through. My destination, of course, is Anacortes; but I want to make the most of this ride too!

Thanks,
Tesgin
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Old 09-08-15, 10:02 AM
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I haven't ridden end to end and mainly ride around Coupeville when I visit my folks up there. The section along Crocket Lake is real nice. I would not head back to the highway from here, instead head towards Hill Rd and drop down to the water by Ebbey's Landing, it's short but one of the better views in the area. Then cross over the highway and skirt Penn Cove along Modrone and curve along Penn Cove on the other side as one of your maps shows. You have to ride a short stretch of highway here. Libby road has a short section that is nice on the West side but I prefer the eastern side. I would wander on side roads as much as possible to avoid the highway, traffic is fast and heavy at times and there aren't much in the way of views.

Langley and Coupeville are definitively the most touristy and attractive owns. Both have good coffee shops and restaurants. Freeland and Bayview have also have good facilities. Oak Harbor has more fast food and such and almost feels for suburban. It is busy there on the main highway.

If time and distance are no issue I'd head to Langley from the ferry, maybe even skirt the entire peninsula until Freeland. Cross the highway and head up the west side until Greenbank, you'll have to backtrack a little on the highway then ride the east side until you have to get on the highway. Follow your map until the turn down to Crocket Lake and then follow what I described above. Once you get to Oak Harbor I'd get east of town off the highway before heading north. I've never ridden up there or even drive on the east side so I'm not sure what it is like but I imagine if you get close to the water it should be pleasant. You'll have to get back n the highway to cross the bridge at Deception, be wary here, heavy traffic, curvy roads and a lot of gawkers.

Off the highway the roads are mostly pleasant with light traffic. Lots of hills.
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Old 09-09-15, 05:55 PM
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Tesgin
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Originally Posted by busygizmo View Post
I haven't ridden end to end and mainly ride around Coupeville when I visit my folks up there. The section along Crocket Lake is real nice. I would not head back to the highway from here, instead head towards Hill Rd and drop down to the water by Ebbey's Landing, it's short but one of the better views in the area. Then cross over the highway and skirt Penn Cove along Modrone and curve along Penn Cove on the other side as one of your maps shows. You have to ride a short stretch of highway here. Libby road has a short section that is nice on the West side but I prefer the eastern side. I would wander on side roads as much as possible to avoid the highway, traffic is fast and heavy at times and there aren't much in the way of views.

Langley and Coupeville are definitively the most touristy and attractive owns. Both have good coffee shops and restaurants. Freeland and Bayview have also have good facilities. Oak Harbor has more fast food and such and almost feels for suburban. It is busy there on the main highway.

If time and distance are no issue I'd head to Langley from the ferry, maybe even skirt the entire peninsula until Freeland. Cross the highway and head up the west side until Greenbank, you'll have to backtrack a little on the highway then ride the east side until you have to get on the highway. Follow your map until the turn down to Crocket Lake and then follow what I described above. Once you get to Oak Harbor I'd get east of town off the highway before heading north. I've never ridden up there or even drive on the east side so I'm not sure what it is like but I imagine if you get close to the water it should be pleasant. You'll have to get back n the highway to cross the bridge at Deception, be wary here, heavy traffic, curvy roads and a lot of gawkers.

Off the highway the roads are mostly pleasant with light traffic. Lots of hills.
Sweet. This is exactly what I was looking for. I mapped it out HERE on RWGPS. I didn't include the coastline N of Langley to Freeland, just cuz of time.

How's that look? I also adapted your instructions in the description.

Thanks a million.

Tesgin

Last edited by Tesgin; 09-09-15 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 09-09-15, 10:27 PM
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I think that looks good. I can't speak specifically to all the roads but minimizing time on the highway is good.

The section from about mile 28 to the south edge of Oak Harbor is part of a regular loop we ride up there. We throw in a couple of loops around Crocket Lake and the airfield for miles then when we get to Oak Harbor we cut to the west side and loop back. We sort of both came to the conclusion last time we rode it that we'll probably just do an out and back from where we reach the highway since that is the most enjoyable part.

70+ miles and 5,000'+ of climbing, that's a good day out. Hope you get a nice weather day for your ride.
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