I was hanging out and cleaning up my Yahoo email when we got back from Oregon last week. There was one from Cascade Bike Club letting me know:
- The upcoming Sunday was the Kitsap Color Classic ride
- Due to some glitch on their side, the cost was going to still be $25 until midnight.
The ferry drops you at the green dot and the ride has a 25 mile loop, a 32 mile loop, or you can combine them for a 57 mile loop.
In my head the wheels were turning…
When Sunday hit, it would be a 10 days since the last long day on the coast. I had time to work on the bike to try to fix the squeak, and I hadn’t had the opportunity to ride this one in the past. Added all together, it was a go! (I failed on the squeak but it was a little better)
Now, as is my norm, I don’t always review the route beforehand. My thought was I could do the 30+ route, then if the legs were doing well, tack on the 25. But, when I picked up ride packet and looked at the map above, I learned that really wasn’t an option. It was the 25 first and then either going back to the boat or add the bigger loop…
Packet pickup was supposed to start at 7:30. I was there at 7:15 to find it was going strong. Cool!! I was off to the ferry.
Now remember the whole not checking out the route thing? Well I also didn’t know that the first ferry included in the ride fees was not until 8:50 AM. I was over an hour early… Folks I was ready to ride, I was NOT going to wait another hour! So I went in and spent $9.50 for a bike ticket. Boom! I was ready to go.
Turns out though, it wasn’t needed. The crewman in charge of boarding came out to talk to us. He was fun to talk to. Turns out, he was going to load everyone in line on the 7:50, ticket or not. The more who went early meant the less he had to deal with later! Smart thinking! Time to wait for the boat.
It showed up, docked and the gate arms went up. A rider near, an older dude, asked me, “Can we get on now?” “Nope!” said I, the cars have NOT gotten off yet. If you try to load now you will run over. They will tell us when to board.”
When the cars were unloaded, he asked again, “Can we go on now?” “NO!” a bit sterner, “They will tell us when we can board, they are on it.” Not 5 minutes later, he yells to the crew members, “Can we get on now??” OK dude I am DONE with you!
We were so onboard and ready to go, honestly, for almost October the weather was looking very promising.
What I like about these rides is the starting line is leaving the ferry, once you are on dry land, you are on the course. Normally when you leave the ferry in Kingston, you head straight up and continue along the main road. A mile in, there was a detour. The guy next to me seemed bothered by this.
“What the hell, why a detour? Where does it go??”
“Well, if’n I had to guess, I’d say construction, and just follow the markings, you will get there!” Wow annoying people today.
Ask expected the route was easy to follow (though I will say, the blue color they used for route markings was sometimes VERY had to see.) and I was on the way to Hansville. This was a great ride! Catching the early boat meant very few bikes with me, and there was an amazing lack of traffic. I loved it.
In Hansville itself I stopped for pictures in a parking lot. There were a lot of peek a boo views on the route but this was the best place of all.
There were a couple of locals here as well, both with fish on their mind. Neither seemed to be having much luck though.
I had been warned earlier about a VERY steep, though short climb, and told it snuck up on you. I was watching for it, but just before someone had written on the road “Go to first gear!!!” So when I turned the corner, I was in the lowest gear possible. YEP it was a climb! and Yep there were people pushing the bike who did not pay attention. Read the road people!
At 23 miles, the turn to the longer loop appeared. I was feeling good, and it seemed silly to get up early to only ride 25 miles, so a right turn was made! This takes us into Port Gamble, a former lumber town. A bunch of riders stopped here to admire the view.
I heard a rider behind me say, “Why the hell is everyone stopping?? This isn’t an official stop!” and off he went… Wow more annoying people out today.
We then headed Poulsbo, as you can see, it is a Norwegian town on the water.
The route took us on a major freeway, which after such a quiet morning, was VERY noisy! Luckily 3 miles later we were again on a side road with very few cars. It was a quick 15 miles to town.
Now, on the Oregon coast, I started 50 mile days with a 50 mile omelet. Today I had a yummy bagel sandwich, but let me tell you, it was NOT a 50 mile, shoot it wasn’t a 40 mile sandwich! I was HUNGRY!! Luckily, at the 40 mile point was a food stop and soon my tummy was happy.
I was feeling pretty good as there was only 18 miles left… What I didn’t realize is at least 16 of these miles were UPHILL!! (OK maybe not 16, but a lot were uphill) At the 10 mile left mark, I started realizing the legs had not fully recovered from Oregon. I was feeling it!
At one point, I came upon a couple of people stopped at the bottom of a hill. I said, “Really, another hill??” The guy replied, “Well if you had a Husky jersey on instead of the Cougar one, it would be easy for you!” HEY!
Who is still climbing and who is stopped winded pal!! (in my head). Yet another annoying person!
I will fully admit here that the last 8 miles were flat gutted out, they were hard. I was tired and counting down the miles, relishing the downhills and fighting up the uphills. Luckily the weather was perfect in the mid 60s, there was no wind at all! In short it was the perfect day to ride.
It seemed like forever, but truthfully, I had hoped to make it to the return dock at 1:00 PM, and I hit it on the nose! 57.8 miles in 4hrs and 25 minutes. What is interesting is the elevation gain of 3372 feet would have been the second biggest climbing day of the Oregon coast! No wonder I was tired!
One last annoying guy… While waiting for the ferry, the rider next to me complained about cars, all the riders, the route and the delay of the ferry. As soon as they let us board I left him in the dust!!
I was upstairs, sitting by the window and had grabbed the last Diet Mtn Dew from the vending machine!
It was a great ride, but I am kinda happy the bike goes in for a tune up tomorrow, no riding to work! A day of rest is needed!