Ride Seattle to Vancouver and Party (RSVP)

Probably one of the best and most organized rides that I've ever done.  Seattle to Portland (STP) was very organized and very scenic but this ride to Vancouver BC is quite a different and amazing experience.   It was relaxing in many ways and the views are really spectacular.  It is not an easy ride but it is not as difficult as I had anticipated.  There are some hills but I can count in one hand the real difficult ones.  

Started at the UW parking lot and then on to Burke Gilman Trail which is flat the entire way.  Then the ride branches out to the road in Woodinville and here comes the first hilly challenge.  It's about a 1.5 mile steady climb but what makes it doable is that there are dozens of other riders struggling with you. And it's mostly flat from there on for about 50 or so miles.  You get on another trail (Centennial Trail) for a long time (probably 20 miles).  It felt like a long trail and at times it felt like it's never-ending but it was a good time to relax and not worry so much about cars.  There weren't a lot of riders either so the trail didn't feel so packed and congested (unlike the trail in STP).  

We got to pass through some quaint little towns and so there's always food options along the way so there are some nice alternatives to the bananas, peanut butter, and power bars.  

There are more hills to come as we get closer to Bellingham but still not as bad as I had expected.  I had to use my lower gears quite a number of times this time--compared to the once or twice on STP.  The views, however, were spectacular-- from the wide open flat valley roads of Mount Vernon to the oceanside views along Chuckanut Drive.  The 104 miles the first day is over before you know it.

Day 2 started with breakfast at McDonalds in Bellingham.  Rode through some nice quiet neighborhoods in Ferndale and Lynden.  Crossed the border at Lynden which took about 40 minutes considering there are hundreds of other bikers trying to cross.  I heard some people took over an hour to cross.  I was probably one of the first 200 (of the 1300 riders) to cross so the line wasn't too bad when I got there.  

In Canada, the bike lanes seemed wider and the road surface seemed smoother.  The neighborhoods are nice, especially through Langley.  Just as when you think you're getting close to the city, there's more to come!  And more hills to come!  Moderate hills--nothing too strenuous.  The moment I saw some tall buildings, it felt like we were getting very close to Vancouver but it's still some riding miles away.  So save your energy and don't get comfortable yet.  There's a stretch that felt like it was Highway 30 heading into Portland.  The ride in Vancouver was amazing.  It was a Saturday afternoon and so it was a bit crowded through Chinatown and downtown but it was not bad at all.  Vancouver is a bike-friendly city and so I guess they are used to all this bike traffic.  Before you know it, the finish line is there and the fun is over.  

Overall, it was a great ride.  The riders on this ride seemed like experienced riders and that makes it easy for everyone else.  I do remember STP being chaotic at times but that's also probably because of the sheer volume of riders.  The weather cooperated and it was nice and cool most of the way--it is August in the Pacific Northwest after all.  We got rain for maybe like 2 minutes in Vancouver.  Looking forward to doing this again someday!

Make a Free Website with Yola.