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manuelw

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #1 

Hello all -

I recently picked up a nice gravel bike and I'm looking for suggestions on routes and ride partners. I'm based in Seattle. I do like traveling around the state, especially the Leavenworth-to-Wenatchee corridor and the I-90 corridor.

I'm planning on doing these organized rides:

  • 3/11/2018 Gran Fondo Ephrata
  • 4/8/2018 Gorge Gravel Grinder
  • 6/2/2018 Dirty Kanza (I'm registered for the 100-mile "Half-pint")

It's funny, I've been mountain and road biking around here for 20+ years and I know tons of those routes. Dirt roads are something you AVOID on those type of bikes though! My knowledge of the gravel road network is weak.

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squak

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Reply with quote  #2 
If I was going to design a PNW "gravel bike park" it would probably look something like this:

https://www.sqrecreation.com/sites/default/files/Snoqualmie_Forest_Recreation_Access_Map_2017.pdf

The route options are limitless.  Gravel surfaces range from smooth/well maintained to rugged/abandoned.  I recommend sticking to what the map refers to as mainline and secondary roads to get familiar with the area.  I wouldn't go out there without GPS and a downloaded map (I'm using gaiagps).
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SeaPaul

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Reply with quote  #3 
There's a fairly active group on Facebook called Northwest Gravel Riders. It's a closed group so you have to request membership but you will certainly find lots of folks there. The events you're signed up for are great. And of the Vicious Cycles Gran Fondo series are fantastic. I particularly love Goldendale and Leavenworth. 

I don't know if you're a member of Cascade Bicycle Club, but they have a club-within-a-club called High Performance Cycling which I highly recommend. Super friendly and inclusive, and a bunch of the folks are gravel enthusiasts as well. 

PM me if you want additional info. 
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manuelw

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you @squak and @SeaPaul.
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El Train

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Reply with quote  #5 
Welcome to one of the funnest parts of gravel biking: route research! One of my go-to resources is county GIS road data. Most counties have this data on their websites these days. Google whatever county name and "gis road map". Then confirm with Google maps. Strava heat maps are also a great way to see what is being ridden in an given area. And of course US Forest Service maps. 
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tomasumter

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Reply with quote  #6 
There are hundreds of miles of good roads to ride back there, but keep in mind that a pass is required to access the Campbell Global property. Annual passes run April through March, so you may want to get day passes until the new annual passes are for sale, https://www.sqrecreation.com/node/202

Quote:
Originally Posted by squak
If I was going to design a PNW "gravel bike park" it would probably look something like this:

https://www.sqrecreation.com/sites/default/files/Snoqualmie_Forest_Recreation_Access_Map_2017.pdf

The route options are limitless.  Gravel surfaces range from smooth/well maintained to rugged/abandoned.  I recommend sticking to what the map refers to as mainline and secondary roads to get familiar with the area.  I wouldn't go out there without GPS and a downloaded map (I'm using gaiagps).
0
squak

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Posts: 27
Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomasumter
There are hundreds of miles of good roads to ride back there, but keep in mind that a pass is required to access the Campbell Global property. Annual passes run April through March, so you may want to get day passes until the new annual passes are for sale, https://www.sqrecreation.com/node/202


Good reminder about the pass, I should have included that important detail in my original response.  I was riding out there yesterday and got stopped by a King County Sheriff who wanted to see my pass (glad I remembered to bring it!).  Nice guy and I'm guessing he would have just given me a warning if I didn't have it.  Kind of ironic that I've never been asked to show my pass while mountain biking at Tokul (swarming with mountain bikers most weekends), but the one time I get stopped I'm on my gravel bike out in the middle of nowhere.  

I don't mind buying the $50 annual pass, but I wish they made it good for one year from the date of purchase.
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