Mount Baker and the San Juan Islands

The Pacific Northwest Ride

General Information

Pacific Northwest Ride 

August 3-7, 2017

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Climate Ride Pacific Northwest is an exciting international route that explores the newly-coined Salish Sea (which includes Puget Sound, the Georgia Strait, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca) while riding counter clockwise and discovering the best of the Pacific Northwest. On this itinerary, we will start and end in Seattle and we'll visit Washington State's San Juan Islands, Canada’s Vancouver Island, and the spectacular Olympic National Park. 

                   

You'll ride along beautiful rugged beaches, visit historic port towns, breathe the cool, fresh air of the temperate rainforest, and pedal to the peaks of the stunning Olympic Mountains. From tide pools to glaciers, this five-day cycling adventure offers a diverse array of landscapes that deliver the cycling experience of a lifetime accompanied by many new friends.

You can learn more about this trip by clicking the tabs above.

The Basics

Trip Dates:    August 3-7, 2017  
Start Location:   Seattle, WA  
End Location:   Seattle, WA  
Fundraising Commitment:   $3,000 minimum  
Trip Length:   5 days  
Activity:   5 days riding  
Total Mileage:   185 to 240, with multiple daily mileage options  
Average Daily Mileage:   42  
Accommodations:   Campgrounds and University Dorms (Hotel Options Available)   
Maximum Group Size:   60 people  
Other Trip Notes:   A valid passport is required, since we cross into Canada.  
       
       

Important Dates

     
Fundraising Deadlines      
          $500 to be raised by:   June 8, 2017  
          $1000 to be raised by:   June 29, 2017  
          $2800 to be raised by:   July 27, 2017  
Transfer Deadline   July 13, 2017  

Day-by-Day Info

Day 1 – Arrival and Ride Lopez Island, ~35 Miles

Participants should arrive into the Seattle-Tacoma airport (SeaTac - SEA) the previous day to meet up with the shuttle north (because the meeting time is so early).

We will have two locations to meet-up on Day 1: one at SeaTac Airport and one just north of Seattle at Cascade Cycling Center.

6:00 am - pick up at a designated hotel at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) Please see the Travel Information tab for more details.

7:30 am – pick up at Cascade Cycling Center (near Fremont)

After meeting up with you, our journey begins with an early morning shuttle north of the busy city to Anacortes where we'll jump on an hour-long ferry ride to Lopez Island. Keep an eye out for otters, harbor seals and orcas as we navigate the hour-long trip through the beautiful San Juan Islands. Set your clocks to 'island time' because today's ride explores the best of Lopez Island's quiet roads. After a picnic lunch on the island, we'll ride a loop through farmland and along beaches back to the ferry terminal for a second ferry to San Juan Island. Once we arrive in Friday Harbor, we’ll pedal 5 miles to our lakeside camp. Tonight, we'll enjoy a tasty welcome dinner and our first evening program before turning in for the night. 

Day 2 – Ride San Juan Island, ~42 miles

After a hearty breakfast, our ride circumnavigates San Juan Island, the second largest of the 128 named islands that make up this scenic archipelago. Along the way, we'll stop at several breathtaking spots including Lime Kiln Point - where you'll want to keep an eye out for orca whales. We'll also visit the quaint village of Roche Harbor for an afternoon snack before continuing to our camp for the night. There, we'll enjoy a locally-catered dinner and fall asleep under the stars. 

Day 3 – Ride Vancouver Island, 19, 25 or 42 miles

Day 3 begins by riding back to Friday Harbor. Bring your passport because we will be boarding a ferry bound for Sidney, British Columbia. After passing through customs, we'll continue our ride down the Saanich Peninsula on the Lochside Regional Trail with a stop for lunch and the option to taste some of Canada’s finest organic cider.

The rest of the day is yours to choose your own adventure! You’ll have the option to stroll through the extensive landscapes at the world-famous Butchart Gardens (additional expense), explore the beautiful city of Victoria, enjoy Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel, or crank out more kilometers (remember, you're in Canada now!) along the Galloping Goose rail-trail.  Tonight we will stay right near downtown Victoria in dorms on the university campus. Dinner is on your own tonight, giving you the chance to experience this dynamic, culinary city where you'll feel as though you've been suddenly transported to Europe. 

Day 4 – The Olympic Peninsula, ~59 or ~91 Miles

Today we will get up bright and early to catch the first ferry to Port Angeles on Washington's Olympic Peninsula. From here, we'll join 700 others cyclists for the annual Ride the Hurricane event which features a challenging ascent from sea level to the 5,200-foot summit of Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park. This road is considered one of the most scenic climbs in the US and to make it even more enjoyable, the road will be closed to cars and traffic - making for an unforgettable experience.

If 20 miles of climbing with a 7% grade is not your idea of fun, we have another great option for you today. You can catch the later ferry out of Victoria, and we'll all meet up for a picnic lunch near Port Angeles. After lunch, we will travel eastward along the Olympic Peninsula through the fern and cedar-lined foothills of the Olympic Mountains. Most of today’s route is on the paved Olympic Discovery Trail which crosses many streams and rivers that are a vital spawning habitat for all five species of Pacific salmon. We will ride to the Victorian town of Port Townsend and our last camp of the week. There, we'll enjoy some of the area's famed local flavors and celebrate our journey together. 

Day 5 – Port Townsend to Seattle, ~30 Miles

On our last day of riding, we’ll jump on the ferry from Port Townsend to Whidbey Island, catching views of distant Mount Baker and Mount Rainier. Once on Whidbey, we’ll pedal through towering forests on quiet roads and enjoy our final picnic of the week along the way. Then, it’s a quick pedal to the ferry terminal which takes us back to the mainland where we’re pack up our bikes and gear and shuttle back to Seattle to say our goodbyes. 

Overnight Locations

Climate Ride Pacific Northwest is a 4-night, 5-day cycling trip that showcases the best of the Pacific Northwest.

Each evening, we'll be staying in campgrounds and even a university dorm. Amenities in camp include hot showers, a first aid station with 24/7 ice, and clean restrooms. Three of the nights are camping, so you should bring your tent, sleeping bag and pad. If you'd like to stay at hotels during the ride on these nights, we will shuttle you to designated hotels near camp. More information will be available in the Travel Planner after you register.

Breakfasts and dinners are handled by the staff at our overnight stops. Think hot breakfasts with lots of options and coffee, and nourishing, tasty dinners with delicious desserts. Picnic lunches are prepared by our amazing food crew and include lunch meats, veggie options, salads, and all the fixings. Our morning snack table will have items to-go to keep you energized all day while riding.

On Climate Ride Pacific Northwest, camp becomes a travelling village and dynamic community. In the evenings after dinner, we’ll gather for our Evening Program which features speakers, roundtable discussions, and other events. Cycling doesn’t get better than on Climate Ride!

Travel Info

The trip begins with pick-ups at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), which is very easy to get to from nearly anywhere in the country. It is located about 14 miles south of downtown Seattle with daily flights offered by many carriers. We recommend arriving Wednesday, August 2 the day prior to the trip start.

The shuttle will pick up at a designated hotel near the airport at 6:00 am on Thursday, August 3, 2017. This preferred hotel will have special rates, and will be a good option if you plan to stay in SeaTac before and after the ride (more information about the pre/post-ride hotel and pricing will be included in your Travel Planner after you register). 

If you are driving to Seattle, you will be able to leave your car at the Cascade Bicycle Center (near Freemont)

If you're staying in downtown Seattle before the trip, SeaTac is a 45-min ride south on the Link light rail system. The light rail travels between Westlake Station in downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac Airport, making 11 stops along the way. Link trains run every 7.5, 10 or 15 minutes depending on the time of day. Service is available from 5 am to 1 am Monday through Saturday and from 6 am to midnight on Sunday and holidays. Adult fares range from $2.25 to $3.00 depending on how far you travel. Visit www.soundtransit.org/tripplanner for more information.

After the pick-up, we will have a two-hour shuttle up to our ferry. From Anacortes we will sail to Lopez Island, where our first day's riding begins. 

At the end of the trip on Monday, Aug 7, you can depart the ride in downtown Seattle and extend your stay, or we'll shuttle you back to SeaTac airport to catch an evening flight. Please do not make plans to depart SeaTac airport (SEA) before 6 pm.

More travel information will be provided in the Travel Planner and Experience Guide which will be available after you register.

Transporting Your Bike

Many first-time riders have questions about getting their bike to the event. While it may seem complicated, it's not. You have a few options for getting your bike to and from Climate Ride. The best option will depend on your itinerary, timing, and budget. Plan on spending a little time to research which option works best for you. Send us an email if you have questions that are not answered by the info below.

Disassembly: If you need to ship your bike, most likely you will need to disassemble it. This means removing the pedals, seat, front and rear wheels, and handlebars, and deflating the tires. Each part should be wrapped separately in bubble wrap. You can do this yourself, or most bike shops will do it for you for a cost of approximately $50-80.

Boxing: Most bike shops offer boxes, but you should reserve one early as they may be in demand. There is usually a small charge of about $10 for the box. We can transport cardboard bike boxes during Climate Ride for you to re-use at the end.

Flying with your bike (boxing required)

If you fly with your bike, all airlines have handling fees for checking bikes, payable at the ticket counter. When making your airline reservations, please check the rate and any restrictions for checking your bike.

Shipping Your Bike with Bike Flights

Bike Flights offers great rates and insurance for your shipping your bicycle. Disassemble and pack your bike in a cardboard bike box or a hard sided bike shell. You can also have a local bike shop pack your bike for you. Once your bike is boxed, book online at www.bikeflights.com. Here you will enter the weight, dimensions and shipping location of your bike. You will receive more information on where to ship your bicycle upon registering.

When shipping your bike to the ride, you have the option to either have it picked up or you can drop it off at a local UPS, Fedex or DHL location.

FAQ

Is this a fundraising event?

Yes, Climate Ride events are charitable, fundraising events that support more than 150 local and national beneficiary organizations. All participants commit to a required fundraising minimum for their event. Each fully-fundraising rider receives a beautiful Climate Ride jersey. 

Can I change my beneficiary choices after I register?

Yes! If you would like to change your beneficiary choices, please email Patrick (Patrick@climateride.org) and indicate which changes you would like to make. Please note that beneficiary choices must be finalized two weeks prior to the trip start.

I’m nervous about the fundraising. Will I be able to do this?

Absolutely! This is one of riders’ biggest concerns. We want you to know it’s easier than you think and we're here to help you! Please reach out to Patrick if you have any questions, concerns, or just want to chat about messaging and strategies. You can also visit our fundraising tips page to get started. 

How much is Registration, and what does it include?

The registration fee is $100. This event is fully-supported, which means we take care of everything. All you have to do is show up and ride. Here's a short list of what's included:

  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as snacks and water stops each day.
  • On-route support, including SAG vehicles and expert leaders and staff.
  • A fully-marked route, with maps and directions.
  • Overnight lodging each night at campgrounds, cabins, and lodges. (Hotel options are available. See the Travel Planner for more specific information).
  • Daily luggage transport to the next camp (you don't have to bike with your gear!).
  • Evening events and talks from engaging speakers.
  • Access to donation software via the web, where you can customize your own Personal Fundraising Page to manage your fundraising and donations.
  • Fundraising and logistical support from our amazing office staff.
  • The opportunity to support conservation and education work in the region.

What do I need to bring on the ride?

All riders need to bring a bicycle (see below for bike rental info), helmet, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and a small suitcase or duffle containing clothes, toiletries, and anything else necessary for several days on the road. If you choose to stay at hotels instead of camping, you don't necessarily have to bring many of these items. The Travel Planner & Experience Guide will contain a more detailed suggested packing list. This document will be distributed to participants several months before the event. Although we provide healthy snacks and electrolyte products, if you have a non-perishable personal favorite or brand please feel free to bring some along!

Can I rent a bicycle in Seattle for the ride?

Yes. We will have a preferred bike shop partner in Seattle where you can reserve a rental bike or ship your personal bike to. If you ship your bike to the recommended bike shop, you must have them build it as well. More information will be available in the Travel Planner.

What will we do in the evenings after riding all day?

Climate Ride has arranged for a stellar line-up of discussions and engaging speakers in camp on some evenings to enlighten and inspire us about the area and all of the great work our local and national beneficiaries do.

I see there are only 60 spots available... sounds like I need to get mine soon?

Yes, this is one of our small departure trips and this group size makes for an incredible and intimate experience. Get your spot!

What happens if I have to cancel? What is the Cancellation Policy?

You can review the Transfer and Cancellation Policies here. We know the unforeseen can happen. If you are unable to attend this event, please email Patrick as soon as possible with the details of your situation.

If I cancel my registration, will my fundraising funds be dispersed to my beneficiaries?

No. Participants must fully fundraise to the event’s fundraising minimum in order for their fundraising to be disbursed to their beneficiaries. If you cancel your registration but have met the fundraising minimum (by December 1st of the year of your event) and would like to have your fundraising dispersed to your beneficiaries, please notify us immediately. If you choose to disburse your fundraising to your beneficiaries, you cannot transfer it to a future event. If you do not raise the fundraising minimum or transfer to another event, your fundraising will support the cause through the Climate Ride Growth Fund.

How do I get to the trip start?

The trip will begin in Seattle, Washington. (See more in the travel information above.) You can get to Seattle by plane or car. We have full details in the Travel Planner. You must arrive at the latest on Wednesday, August 2nd. The earliest you could book a flight to depart would be 6 pm on August 7th, 2017. 

Where do we stay? What are the overnight accommodations like?

We will be staying in a variety of accommodations on this departure including campgrounds, and even in dorms on a university campus. All of the accommodations will have hot showers and restrooms available, and all are included in the trip.

Hotels on the nights we camp can be arranged at an additional cost. Hotel space is limited in the area and sells out quickly. More detailed information about overnight locations is provided in the Travel Planner and Experience Guide that will be distributed to each participant several months before the event. 

Is there good cell phone service or wi-fi during the ride?

Certain places on the route will have phone service. However, we'll be traveling in remote areas and your service may come in and out. Text messages are the best bet if you need to get in touch with someone. Also, on Vancouver Island, international rates apply and can be very expensive.

Biking and Route Support

What kind of support can I expect while on the road?

Climate Ride has experienced, friendly, and professional support staff. We have rest stops each day with snacks and water, and on-route we have vehicle support ('SAG' wagons), mechanics, and a first aid team. You can also expect an unlimited supply of camaraderie and encouragement from the support staff and your fellow riders!

What kind of bicycle and pedals do I need?

The most important factor in choosing a bike and pedals is comfort. You want to be riding a bike and using pedals that you will be comfortable riding with for multiple hours a day, for several days in a row. We have a web page all about cycling equipment, including bikes and pedals.

Am I better off with a double or triple chainring?

If you have the option - you own or have access to two different bikes - go with a triple chainring, as there will certainly be hills to contend with on this ride. If you only have a double and/or prefer them, that'll work just fine too. Either way, make sure you incorporate hills into your training!

Should I get my bike tuned before this ride?

Yes! We highly recommend getting your bike tuned up at least two weeks before the ride, especially if it's older and/or your bike mechanic skills are limited. You may need the additional time if parts are needed. We recommend using your local bike shop (support local retailers!). While we will have mechanics on the ride to help you if something goes wrong, there's nothing worse than seeing your friends pedal out of camp while your bike is getting a shifter fixed. You'll have a lot more fun riding a smoothly-running bike than standing around in your chamois, waiting. Also, the mechanics on the ride are there to help with basic repairs. We ask that you not use them as a free tune-up.

Can you accommodate my special bike (recumbent, tandem, over-sized, electric, etc.)?

Probably! These types of bicycles most likely will not fit on our support vehicle's bike racks, depending on the size and style. We cannot put special bikes into the support vans because that space is reserved for support supplies and to support riders in need of transport. In addition, we can only offer shuttles from where there are safe pull-off locations on the road. Generally, you can bring a special bike if you are physically able to ride every mile of the route since we may not be able to transport it. Please email Patrick at patrick@climateride.org to discuss the possibility of bringing a special bike.

*As of 2015, our insurance policy has special requirements for electric or electric assist bikes that are permitted on our events. Electric or electric assist bikes permitted on our events are defined as: "a two or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.), whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by such a motor while ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 mph." If you have questions about this, please email us.

Can I bring my plastic or cardboard bike box?

Yep! If you are traveling to the trip start with a hard-shell plastic or cardboard bike case, just let our office know ahead of time. We will have space for a limited number of boxes.

Do I need to be a racer/hardcore cyclist to do this trip?

Absolutely not! This is a tour, not a race. This ride is great for new cyclists and seasoned riders alike. You don't need an expensive racing bike to get out there and pedal for the cause. To have the best possible ride, it is important to find a bicycle that is comfortable for you to ride most of the day and to begin a training program. Please see our tips on training here.

Still have questions? Shoot Patrick an email at patrick@climateride.org and he'll be happy to help you out!