Come celebrate St. Paddy’s with a nice 200km in the North. The ride will begin in downtown Bellingham with a 7:30 AM start. This is a beautiful ride on many of our familiar roads near the border. And what ride would be complete without riding Chuckanut?
Click Read More to see the pre-ride report.
Bellingham 200 km pre-ride report.
The organizer’s pre-ride was on Sunday, March 3rd. The weather forecast was for sunny and temps in the mid 50’s, so of course, it rained for most of the pre-ride.
Parking is free downtown on weekends and with a civilized 7:30 start, you should have no problem finding parking. I rolled out from Woods Coffee on Railroad Avenue for the first leg is south over Chuckanut. As usual, the ride over Chuckanut was very scenic. At 7:30 in the morning the traffic is almost nonexistent. I saw no other cyclists out and only 4 or 5 cars the whole length of Chuckanut to the turn on Colony Road. More no-traffic riding on the easy hills up to Alger and past Cain Lake to South Bay on Lake Whatcom. While a little lumpy, there are nice views of the Lake and lots of little waterfalls. After Sudden Valley there was a bit more traffic along the lake heading west. The weather and a need for fuel dictated a brief stop at Lafeens Donuts before heading onto Northshore Drive. More easy rollers and nice views of the Lake take you to the info Control at the fire station on Y Rd. The Fork restaurant across the street was serving breakfast, which smelled mighty tasty. The course backtracks slightly to pop north, over the hill to Mt. Baker Hwy. It’s a downhill to Nugent’s Corner to head north on HWY 9. Mind the rumble strips on Mt. Baker Hwy. After just a little more than a mile north on 9, it’s back on flat, quiet country roads north to Sumas.
The staff at the Control (Bromley’s Market) is very rando experienced and are looking forward to your visit on the 17th. The next section is basically West along the Canadian Border from Sumas to the Lynden border crossing. Your progress West will be monitored by the department of homeland security surveillance equipment and border agents in white and green SUV’s lurking along this leg. Along Border Ave., the ditch is the border, and while the nice smooth pavement on the Canadian side is tempting, stay on the South side. Ask Duane Wright about whether or not they can detect a nature break border incursion. West of Meridian you’ll have more quiet country roads with some easy rollers through farmland on the way to Blaine.
At the Blaine control, I unfortunately lost a half an hour. My front tire was slashed by a grumpy, car-riding, curmudgeon who suffered the unfortunate condition of having male genitalia where ones head would normally be. A number of store patrons went out of their way to tell me that the guy was a total a-hole. The nice folks at Market fuels are working with me to help identify the jerk so I can pass his name along to the local gendarme. Ah, but I digress.
Next, it’s a short ride along Drayton harbor and then South for a Ride along Birch Bay. At Point Whitehorn Rd. and Grandview Rd., you’ll go around the gate and continue South onto the closed zero-traffic roads near the BP Cherry Point refinery area to the info control at the corner of Point Whitehorn and Aldergrove where you can enjoy a spectacular view overlooking the San Juan and Gulf Islands and the Straights of Georgia. More quiet closed roads take you east. The chip seal is particularly nasty on some of these closed roads so watch for your GPS units to shake loose and smash to bits. Just think of it as if you’re riding the cobbles in the spring classics.
The last bit takes you south to Lummi Pt. for a final info control near the ferry landing before it’s back to Bellingham along Lummi shore with beautiful views of Bellingham and the Bay. The plan for the finish is at The Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro just down from the other end of the Block from the Start. The ride is on St. Patrick’s Day so the joint will be jumping. The Chuckanut 50km is the same day so, 250 runners will likely be nursing their sore feet in bowls of oatmeal stout. There are other nearby options for post-ride beer and calories.
Bike Route Toaster calculated the climbing to be just less than 3000 ft. but I recorded over 4000 on my Polar 720. Most of the climbing is in the first 45 miles with only a few short hills in the second 100 km. The highest elevation on the ride is only around 550 ft. so how bad can it be? I had rain and headwinds on the pre-ride so it’s almost certain you’ll have warm sunny weather and tailwinds. This was my first 200 km since snapping my patella over two and a half years ago, and if I could do it in crappy weather, it’s an easy ride. It’d be a great ride for newbies to try their legs on a 200 km and the big dogs will be having a late lunch at the finish.
|Ride Summary:||The first half of the ride will have some lumpy rollers and the second half of the ride will be mostly flat with only a few short climbs. We’ll head down scenic Chuckanut just tagging Skagit County where we then head east to Alger and up to Lake Whatcom. From South Bay the route takes you around the West end of the Lake and then along the North shore to Agate Bay. Next, we head North over the hill and skirt along the edge of the foothills up to Sumas and turn West and ride along the Border for a bit. West of the Guide, you’ll enjoy some easy roller and quiet roads out to Drayton Harbor. Finally, we head South and enjoy many water vistas back to the finish.
|Organizers:||Organizers: Dan Turner 360-383-6196
Matt Dalton 206-948-6616
|Date:||Mar 17 2012|
|Time:||Ride begins at 07:30 Registration at 06:30.|
|Start Location:||Woods Coffee | Railroad Avenue
|Address:||1135 Railroad Avenue, Bellingham, WA|
|End Location:||Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro
1107 Railroad Avenue, Bellingham, WA
|Directions:||From the South: I -5 take exit 253, Turn Right on King Street, Right on Lakeway, Lakeway veers Right (West) and becomes Holly Street, Turn Left on Railroad Ave. Parking is free downtown on Saturday.
From the North: I-5 Exit 253, Right on Lakeway, , Lakeway veers Right (West) and becomes Holly Street, Turn Left on Railroad Ave. Parking is free downtown on Saturday.
|Entry Fee:||$10.00 SIR members, $20.00 non-members.
Please make all entry and
membership fees payable to SIR.
|Cue Sheet:||Final Cue Sheet posted.|
|Map:||Bike Toaster Map
If you register online you will not need to complete the registration paperwork at the ride start, and enables quick posting of ride results