Saturday, April 9, 2016

Biking Around the Northwest

One of the great activities to do around Washington State and the northwest is biking. It is right up there with boating and hiking.  

Here in Gig Harbor we have what is called the Cushman Trail. Coming from Tacoma heading north the trail starts about a half a mile from the Narrows Bridge on the west side. The trail parallels with highway 16. It is about a six mile trail that people ride or walk and can bypass the town. There is five different spots you can enter in. The first two entering spots are pretty flat however three and four has high hills then the trail ends flat again. Stage 3 goes downhill while four is uphill. So it can take some time to either ride or walk. I have never rode the trails however I have walked each stage. I haven’t walked the whole thing at one time because of the time commitment it would take to do so.

Most weekends when I go walking through downtown Gig Harbor I do see bikers in packs coming through too. The morning is good time because the traffic is not too heavy. The view is really great to see either on Cushman Trail or through downtown. I am sure many of the small towns in Washington and Oregon have trails along with riders go in packs.

Every mid-July there is what’s called the STP bike ride that goes from Seattle to Portland. Most participates take two days to bike because it is over two hundreds. The bikers go through many of the small towns on the way to Portland. They allow ten thousand bikers to participate and they are sold out usually by March. It is the largest bike event in the Northwest. My friend Tom and his son Ben ride it every year. Tom’s wife picks them up in Portland on the Sunday. If you want to know more about it do search on STP bike ride.

In mid-August there is another bike ride in the northwest called RSVP which is from Seattle to Vancouver, British Columbia. In this ride they have two different starting times. The first one starts on the Friday and goes through Saturday while the second one starts on the Saturday and ends on Sunday. This ride is not quite as long as the STP however it is still over 175 miles. Both rides start at the University of Washington and ends in downtown Vancouver. Another great way to enjoy yourself when you are a biker; you can find the route on line as well.

If you are not up to doing either of those rides or not available those weekends plus you don’t want to ride among a big group I recommend taking a ride on smaller routes in the same areas.

So you can see some people take biking in the northwest very seriously. There are many other areas of both Washington and Oregon to run in. I think biking along either the Washington or Oregon coasts would be something to try as well. The route would be along highway 101 and there are many campgrounds you can stay at. Since biking is very popular there many shops you can stop at for bike repairs as well. I believe it would be a really good way to spend a weekend or a summer vacation.





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