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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    2,059

    Question Seattle Area Distance Climbing Routes

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    Can any of you in the Seattle or Olympic Peninsula area (or even Victoria BC) recommend some distance climbing rides? I live on the Peninsula, so I do Hurricane Ridge, but it is somewhat short.

    Do any of you have some longer climbing rides...maybe 60-70 miles with 6000-7000 feet of climbing? I'm looking for some evenly graded climbing, rather than super steep pitches.

    What is it like to ride up Snoqualmie Pass? Are we allowed to ride on I-90 east from Issaquah? What other passes do you ride?

    Thanks for any help. I'm looking for some longer climbing training I can come over and do on weekends. Of course, the closer to the Olympic Peninsula, the better!
    "The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew, and live through it." ~ Doug Bradbury

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    South of Seattle.
    Posts
    1,037
    Starfish, one of my favorite long gradual climbs is the ride I do starting from Enumclaw on route 410. I start from either the bike shop or National Park Info Center, or the Enumclaw High School and ride to Greenwater, distance is 20 +/- miles depending on where you start. Out and back makes it a 40 mile ride. You can continue past Greenwater and enter Mount Rainier National Park and get a longer ride in. If you go all the way to Cayuse you will get a 42 mile ride (one way). Out and back 84 miles. So a total of 42 miles of gradual climbing and then a great downhill coming back. If you want to add steeper climbs to the gradual ones, take a right hand turn towards Sunrise Visitor Center about 15 miles inside the park. There will be signs. It's a very steep and winding road with little shoulder. Or bike up to Crystal (another steep climb). You can make the ride as long and steep as you like. Some people just like the steep climb and drive to the White River entrance and park just past the information center. Then they cycle up to Sunrise and then back down to the White River Visitor Center. I live in Bonney Lake and Enumclaw is only 11 miles from my door step. I usually do it once or twice during the summer. I may have to do it again this summer. I always did enjoy the Enumclaw to Greenwater ride (evenly graded but you know you're climbing). I usually go past Greenwater and do a 25, 30, or 35 mile ride out and then turn around and come back.

    I can't think of anything longer near me. I do have a lot of favorite rides in the Black Diamond/Enumclaw/Maple Valley area. But they are mostly roller coaster rides. A lot of up and down. The longest one is the Flaming Geyser to Black Diamond loop. You climb the Auburn Black Diamond Road. A good evenly graded 10 mile climb. But like I said it's mostly roller coaster hills, 2-4 miles long.

    Of course you can always do Blewett Pass (if you feel like driving to Cle Elum or Leavenworth). That's an evenly graded climb. Except for the last 5 miles that is! It gets pretty steep just before the crest. I did the Courage Classic in 2003 and I absolutely loved that climb! The downhill part was a blast!

    Sue

    Forgot to mention, once you enter the national park the roads are narrow. No shoulders to speak of so I usually turn around at the park entrance for the gradual climbs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    You might go to the Seattle Randonneurs website. THey have hundreds of rides

    http://www.seattlerandonneur.org/ind...d=20&Itemid=29

    100, 200, 300, 400, 600 k.

    enjoy
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Port Townsend, WA
    Posts
    152

    probably know all this...

    Sometimes to mix things up on Hurricane Ridge we go up the back way from the Elwha. I think that is little river road. Also, the ride out to the Hot Springs from Port Angeles isn't bad, only the last part is hilly though.
    Victoria Bike Coalition has lots of great maps and rides as well. I have done a lot of rolling hills rides there, but nothing with the elevation you are talking about.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    2,059
    These are all great suggestions, thanks.

    I have never ridden down around Enumclaw, but I knew there had to be some good climbingin RAMROD country. Now I know where to park, etc. THANKS!

    Mimi, your website reference makes sense...those people know how to find long rides!

    And, Nicole, I am very familiar with the Little River Road! I ride the paved portion up from the Elwha. That 15-16% stretch is a little rough for me...and I'm looking for a lot longer, steadier climb. But, I have never ridden the gravel portion that runs up to the Heart of the Hills (park entry gate) from there on my road bike. Does that work on a road bike?
    "The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew, and live through it." ~ Doug Bradbury

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Port Townsend, WA
    Posts
    152

    Gravel...

    Quote Originally Posted by Starfish View Post
    These are all great suggestions, thanks.

    But, I have never ridden the gravel portion that runs up to the Heart of the Hills (park entry gate) from there on my road bike. Does that work on a road bike?
    My BF seems to have no problem with it. The last time I went was when I first started riding and nearly passed out!! There was even some snow on the road. It seemed really challenging to me on my Trek 1000, but the BF made like the incredibly bumby and steep ride was no big deal. I'm sure it would be better if I did it today. That road really is beautiful though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,059
    Quote Originally Posted by nicole309 View Post
    That road really is beautiful though.
    Quick topic hijack...incidentally, I used to take my dogs running on the dirt portion of that road...until I found out that someone else who did that had a dog taken by a cougar! I have to admit, I always wonder about that when I'm huffing and puffing up some steep road at about 3-4 mph!

    Edit: Oops...I did not mean to put in the big smiley face for that...I meant the big EEK face!
    Last edited by Starfish; 06-08-2007 at 04:23 PM. Reason: inappropriate smiley face...oops!
    "The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew, and live through it." ~ Doug Bradbury

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Port Townsend, WA
    Posts
    152

    EEk!

    Quote Originally Posted by Starfish View Post
    until I found out that someone else who did that had a dog taken by a cougar! I have to admit, I always wonder about that when I'm huffing and puffing up some steep road at about 3-4 mph!

    Edit: Oops...I did not mean to put in the big smiley face for that...I meant the big EEK face!
    That is funny, whether it be hiking or biking, whenever I slow down my boyfriend always threatens to leave me behind for the cougars!!
    I try not to think about it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,059

    New Question: Road Conditions Right Now?

    So, Susan and others...what are the road conditions like right now for these climbing routes, especially the ones you mentioned, Susan?

    I am having a lot of challenge with our roads currently. Really sandy & gravelly and wet, still (wet with that sludge of sand and mud).

    Anyone getting in any decent outdoor climbing rides in the Seattle area? If so, I am thinking of coming over a couple times this month for some climbing training. Maybe looking for 40-50 miles with maybe 2-4K' climbing?

    Thoughts? Wanna ride, too? Curious about the roads.
    "The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew, and live through it." ~ Doug Bradbury

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    South of Seattle.
    Posts
    1,037
    Starfish, the road from Enumclaw to Greenwater and to the park entrance on 410 had snow on it on January 30th. Joe, our daughter, and I took a drive up that day. Check out the picture from that trip:



    I haven't been up that way since January 30th but if I do take a drive up there again I will report back on the road conditions.

    I've been trying to ride on weekends when the weather is nice. Mainly in the lower surrounding areas. I can tell I am out of shape because those hills I climbed last summer so easily are killing me right now! I sound like a steam engine on those climbs. Huffing and puffing and wheezing my way up! LOL Hopefully by late April my old legs and lungs will return and those hills will once again be easy.

    When the road to the park entrance is nice again I would love to lead a ride on it. I'll post it here and anyone who would like to ride it with me . . . . welcome! The more the merrier!

    I'm thinking the first of May. April is busy for me. The first week I am flying home to visit my parents in Pittsburgh. The second weekend of April I want to do the Daffodil Classic. The weekend of the April 26th Joe and I will be in Leavenworth and riding in the Alefest Bike Ride in Wenatchee. So yea, May!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    2,059
    Hey, great picture! And, although I need to start climbing, like, yesterday...certainly in May I will also need to!

    Hey, did you happen to come over for the Olympic Cycling Classic here last May, by any chance? You look an awful lot like a woman who passed me rather handily on a hill. She was riding alone. Was it you?
    "The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew, and live through it." ~ Doug Bradbury

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    South of Seattle.
    Posts
    1,037
    Starfish, you and me both regarding "the need to climb like yesterday"! Are you training for some big HILL event this summer? At this point (March) I am so behind the curve as far as my fitness goes. I hate to admit it but I am at the lowest fitness level I have ever been in going into a season. Yes I have been going to my gym all winter but it's just not the same for me. My legs are strong, thanks to spin class, but my lungs and endurance on real outdoor rides has been terrible!

    Regarding the lady who passed you last year at the Olympic Cycling Classic, I wish I could say it was me but it was not!

    And please tell me Starfish what big climbing event are you training for? Inquiring minds want to know!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,059
    Susan, I am going to attempt...no wait...I am going to do the Shasta Super Century on August 3rd. Last year, it was a big deal for me to do the Shasta Summit Century. This year, I want to go back and do the whole shebang. It is an awesome event. Several distances/elevation gains.

    http://www.shastasummitcentury.com/

    I need to get in a couple 50 milers (or more) this month, and they should have quite a bit of climbing. If there is any kind of ride where you are that fits that bill, with decent road conditions right now, let me know. If you want to go suffer through some early season climbing riding together, let me know. I warn you, I am slow as molasses. Seriously.
    "The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew, and live through it." ~ Doug Bradbury

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    South of Seattle.
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    Wow Starfish, that is a beautiful ride and it looks like a ride with some BIG hills and challenges! Good for you! I have a big ride too! I'm training for the RAMROD on July 31st! It looks like we both have our work cut out for us!

    I do have a ride that is 45 miles long with some pretty decent climbs in it. And I can always add another 5 miles easily. If you would like to give it a try the weekend of March 15 or 16 let me know. I start this ride at the Enumclaw High School's parking lot. From there I pedal through the back roads of Enumclaw and then take this steep steep hill down into the valley to Flaming Geyser State Park. From there you climb out of the valley and then climb again until you get into Black Diamond. From Black Diamond you head back towards Enumclaw by traveling down into the Green River Gorge. Then you have to climb out of the gorge and then it's pretty flat the rest of the way back into Enumclaw. If the weather is nice that weekend I would love to do it. I am a fair weather rider on my road bike. If it's nasty out Joe and I will opt out and do a mountain bike ride. Speaking of hubbies, I don't know if my sweetie is up to 45 miles yet. He's in worse condition than me. But I think I need a push to increase my mileage. I've been hovering around a max of 35-37. Time to push it up?! And molasses is my middle name these days!
    Last edited by Susan126; 03-03-2008 at 08:09 AM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,059
    I'm going to PM you!

    ETA: Oh, and that's right! I remember now that you are training for RAMROD. That's cool...I have never done it. Are you going to be going on the training rides that those folks in Issaquah lead? I can't remember if it is a Cascade thing or maybe Redmond...there are some folks who have been leading a RAMROD training series for a long time.

    And, PS: Maybe hubby could do this ride and use me for an excuse to go ahead and be slow? Sometimes guys are happy for both the excuse to be a little slow, and also for the excuse of being with someone riding a little slower, so they can, too, without admitting it!
    Last edited by Starfish; 03-03-2008 at 07:32 AM.
    "The best rides are the ones where you bite off much more than you can chew, and live through it." ~ Doug Bradbury

 

 

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