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Looking for group rides in Seattle (Leschi/Lake WA/Mercer Is)

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Looking for group rides in Seattle (Leschi/Lake WA/Mercer Is)

Old 08-30-11, 02:49 PM
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johnnyletrois
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Looking for group rides in XXX

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Last edited by johnnyletrois; 07-25-12 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 08-30-11, 04:01 PM
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John, I may join you. I will be moving to the Seattle area at the end of September. I did a ride around Lake Mercer via Mercer Way while I was in Kirkland a few weeks ago.
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Old 08-30-11, 04:02 PM
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Look into www.cascade.org. It's one of the largest cycling clubs in the country. They've got tons of free rides posted every day.

Pretty much any weekend morning there are people meeting for rides out of Leschi (Pert's Deli) but many of those groups are race teams or clubs. It depends on what kind of effort level you're looking for, newbie or experienced, etc... but I'm sure there's a number of groups that would be a match for you.
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Old 08-30-11, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by neneboricua View Post
Look into www.cascade.org. It's one of the largest cycling clubs in the country. They've got tons of free rides posted every day.

Pretty much any weekend morning there are people meeting for rides out of Leschi (Pert's Deli) but many of those groups are race teams or clubs. It depends on what kind of effort level you're looking for, newbie or experienced, etc... but I'm sure there's a number of groups that would be a match for you.
I do a Monday evening ride through Cascade, but it is winding down as the days get shorter. Most of the other rides I see posted on the Cascade ride calendar are for moderate/slow rides. I'm still relatively young and in relatively decent shape so I'm looking for something faster paced and more challenging.

I live in Leschi and see the teams/clubs riding all the time, but they don't seem very approachable. I know there are some "meet the team/club" rides coming up in September and I look forward to going to those.

Joe - Let me know when you get here and we'll meet up for sure.
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Old 08-30-11, 04:31 PM
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neneboricua
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Ok, so now that we know you're looking for something a little more challenging, I've got more options for you. Cascade is a good way to meet riders that also belong to other groups. Talk to some of them and see who else they ride with.

You're right that the race teams riding out of Leschi aren't the most approachable. They're nice on their "Meet the Team" rides, but otherwise they're out training so that wouldn't be a good time to try to hook up with them. Their "Meet the Team" rides are essentially an introduction to see if you want to start racing with them. If racing isn't your goal just yet, there are other groups to consider.

One option is the High Performance Cycling group (HPC). It's not a race team, but they ride pretty hard most of the time. You can find info about them through the Cascade website. Most of them live in the Seattle area so most of their rides start over there. The drawback to this group is that you have to pay to be a member, but there are a number of benefits if you choose to join.

Eastgate Cycling Club is a group of recreational riders that ride out of the Seattle and Eastgate area. It's not a race team, although a few (like less than a dozen of their 100+ members) do race. Their rides range 40-100 miles depending on when you turn off. They split into different paces based on ability. The fastest group usually rides around 22-26+ on the flats in pacelines. They do have a no-drop policy on their weekend rides so you'll never be left out in the boonies alone. This time of year, they ride out of the Albertsons in Eastgate at 8:30am on Saturdays.

EARTHDREAMS is a group based out of Marymoor Park in Redmond, so it might be too far for you. They are similar to Eastgate, but focus more on climbing. Their rides are usually what Cascade would consider "extremely hilly". Unless they're specifically doing a flat ride, they usually climb around 1,000ft for every 10-15 miles (depending on the day). Their stated pace on flats is 18-22 but you will often see them riding more around 22-24 and sometimes close to 28 since some of their members race as well, though this pace doesn't last long. This group isn't as big as Eastgate, so there is usually no dedicated sweep. They will try to help out riders who are having a hard time keeping up, but if you're significantly off the pace, they provide cue sheets and Garmin maps posted so you can find your way home if you get dropped.

Last edited by neneboricua; 08-30-11 at 04:37 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-30-11, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by neneboricua View Post
Ok, so now that we know you're looking for something a little more challenging, I've got more options for you. Cascade is a good way to meet riders that also belong to other groups. Talk to some of them and see who else they ride with.

You're right that the race teams riding out of Leschi aren't the most approachable. They're nice on their "Meet the Team" rides, but otherwise they're out training so that wouldn't be a good time to try to hook up with them. Their "Meet the Team" rides are essentially an introduction to see if you want to start racing with them. If racing isn't your goal just yet, there are other groups to consider.

One option is the High Performance Cycling group (HPC). It's not a race team, but they ride pretty hard most of the time. You can find info about them through the Cascade website. Most of them live in the Seattle area so most of their rides start over there. The drawback to this group is that you have to pay to be a member, but there are a number of benefits if you choose to join.

Eastgate Cycling Club is a group of recreational riders that ride out of the Seattle and Eastgate area. It's not a race team, although a few (like less than a dozen of their 100+ members) do race. Their rides range 40-100 miles depending on when you turn off. They split into different paces based on ability. The fastest group usually rides around 22-26+ on the flats in pacelines. They do have a no-drop policy on their weekend rides so you'll never be left out in the boonies alone. This time of year, they ride out of the Albertsons in Eastgate at 8:30am on Saturdays.

EARTHDREAMS is a group based out of Marymoor Park in Redmond, so it might be too far for you. They are similar to Eastgate, but focus more on climbing. Their rides are usually what Cascade would consider "extremely hilly". Unless they're specifically doing a flat ride, they usually climb around 1,000ft for every 10-15 miles (depending on the day). They're stated pace on flats is 18-22 but you will often see them riding more around 22-24 and sometimes close to 28 since some of their members race as well, though this pace doesn't last long. This group isn't as big as Eastgate, so there is usually no dedicated sweep. They will try to help out riders who are having a hard time keeping up, but if you're significantly off the pace, they provide cue sheets and Garmin maps posted so you can find your way home if you get dropped.
That's great info, thanks.

HPC is what the guys from the Monday ride recommended, but paying $100/yr to join is steep.

Since ECC membership is based on recommendations only, does that mean their weekly group ride is closed to non-members?

EARTHDREAMS sounds interesting also. I would really like to become a strong climber so I can do RAMROD.
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Old 08-30-11, 04:53 PM
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If your goal is RAMROD, you should take your bike out into the mountains as often as you can, and ride as long as time allows. I went hiking above Chinook Pass this weekend, and the two people who joined me both got bad headaches from the altitude. Plus, the scenery is pretty kick ass.

One of my favorite rides is from Fremont out to Lake Washington Blvd South, down to Seward Park, then up Orcas to Beacon. From there it depends on my mood, but Cheastley (sp? - by the golf course) goes back down the hill, through some great curves, and means another climb. After making it downtown, I like to follow the water front a bit and then climb Magnolia, sometimes up into Discovery Park, before heading home through the Locks. Send me a PM if you'd like to join me for this ride, but I tend to leave when the time is right, and that means I'm probably not the best riding partner.
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Old 08-30-11, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by johnnyletrois View Post
That's great info, thanks.

HPC is what the guys from the Monday ride recommended, but paying $100/yr to join is steep.

Since ECC membership is based on recommendations only, does that mean their weekly group ride is closed to non-members?

EARTHDREAMS sounds interesting also. I would really like to become a strong climber so I can do RAMROD.
I'm a member of EARTHDREAMS and just recently started riding with ECC. Yes, ECC membership is based off of recommendations. What that means is if a current member told you about a ride and you go along, the current member will introduce you to the ride leaders. As long as you're a safe rider and pleasant to be around, they will then let you join.

EARTHDREAMS does many of the signature rides around the area. We did Flying Wheels this year in under 4hr and 40min of ride time. We do RAMROD every year and are doing High Pass Challenge in a few weeks. Some of the EARTHDREAMS ride leaders are also Cascade ride leaders and will post EARTHDREAMS rides to the Cascade calendar. That's how I found them originally. But Cascade needs like a week advance notice so most of the rides aren't posted. They have a Facebook group that you can ask to join to get info on rides. They usually ride Tue/Thur/Sat out of Marymoor Park. Sometimes there is a Sunday recovery ride. There is a ride tonight (8/30/2011) out of Marymoor Park East Parking lot (by the baseball fields) at 6:30pm. 20-30mi with 1,000-2,000ft climbing. I'll be out there tonight. There is a similar one this Thursday with the same specs. There isn't a Saturday ride posted yet, but it will probably be posted a couple of days.
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Old 09-01-11, 03:53 PM
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This is my 50th post. Now I can respond to PMs.

Did Cycle Tuesday with some Cascade people on Tuesday and am going to ride them again tonight (Thursday) for their "More" Cycle Tuesday one-day STP training ride.

Good stuff!
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Old 09-01-11, 04:14 PM
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best of luck - I'm not much help because I'm one of those horribly unapproachable racers ;-)

That said, previous posters have mentioned the good options around the area.
Through the summer, there is a 6pm fast ride that meets at the bridge on the west side of Mercer Island on Tuesdays - but it contains cat 1/2 hammerheads who are out to dish out the punishment, and I myself have yet to last till the end of the ride. If you want fast, they may still be out there for a couple more weeks.

If you'd like to go for a ride, I'm recently unemployed, so I'm riding a bit after not riding for the last few months... PM me, I'm always up for a ride of any tempo you care to name.
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Old 09-01-11, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Hida Yanra View Post
best of luck - I'm not much help because I'm one of those horribly unapproachable racers ;-)

That said, previous posters have mentioned the good options around the area.
Through the summer, there is a 6pm fast ride that meets at the bridge on the west side of Mercer Island on Tuesdays - but it contains cat 1/2 hammerheads who are out to dish out the punishment, and I myself have yet to last till the end of the ride. If you want fast, they may still be out there for a couple more weeks.

If you'd like to go for a ride, I'm recently unemployed, so I'm riding a bit after not riding for the last few months... PM me, I'm always up for a ride of any tempo you care to name.

The Tuesday ride sounds interesting. Would be fun to see how long I could hold on for. I'm guessing not long.

I feel like I'm in that no-man's land where I know I'm not fast or slow and need to start riding regularly with faster people to push myself.
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Old 09-01-11, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Hida Yanra View Post
best of luck - I'm not much help because I'm one of those horribly unapproachable racers ;-)
Hida's actually very nice in person. I met him on his team's "Meet the Team" ride last year and he answered a whole ton of questions for me. Not all racers are horribly unapproachable
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Old 09-01-11, 08:50 PM
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Ha! I don't think I would equate "very" with "horribly!"

Anyway, if you see somebody wearing a green Gatorade jersey riding a Cento1, that's probably me. If I'm going slow and you pass me, it's cuz I'm recovering from intervals! Yeah, that's it, intervals!
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Old 09-02-11, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by neneboricua View Post
Hida's actually very nice in person. I met him on his team's "Meet the Team" ride last year and he answered a whole ton of questions for me. Not all racers are horribly unapproachable
Hida? No, he's the worst. ;P Back in school we had the rumor of the mystical monster of an upperclassman named " the Gooch", that would be Hida. Kidding, of course.

In all seriousness, I'm one of the couple ECC members that races reguarly. Now that the race season has ended, I'll be doing the weekend rides a little bit more (at least for the next couple of weeks). I'll be joining a true racing team for next season, but until I get that sorted out...I'll do the weekend rides.

Like it was mentioned, we depart 8:30 sharp from the Albertson's lot in Bellevue (Eastgate), there are a number of our members who ride over from Seattle as a pre-ride. Also, our pace does vary based on the group, you should should feel comfortable pace-lining 25+mph, with the occasional jump higher. From what I understand the last couple of weeks have had pretty large turnouts and they had some great rides. I think last week they went to Black Diamond and back (I was off racing). Feel free to PM-me with any questions.
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