Monday, April 2, 2007

Seattle to Bellingham - the best and worst of country roads in Washington State

Dennis and I did the ride this past Saturday (the one we failed at two weeks ago), it was a hell of a ride! It rained the first half of the ride, but by the end the sun was out and warming us up, which we needed.

Walking into a grocery store about half-way in Arlington, people looked at us like aliens. The lady serving up mac n' cheese said her husband had a bottle thrown at him, presumably in Arlington.. not surprisingly also where we were heckled by rednecks while fixing a flat.


  • Start time: 7:30 AM
  • End time: 5:30 PM
  • Riding time: ~7 hours
  • Total Distance: 110 miles (177 km)
  • Headwind speed: 10 mph
  • Flat tires: 1
  • Hoots from rednecks in big trucks while fixing flat: 2
  • Best part of ride: the view of the Pacific from Chuckanut drive
  • Worst part of ride: the end of Chuckanut going into Bellingham! (lots of traffic, no shoulder with rock-face on your right)
Our route was pretty simple:
  • Take the Burke-Gilman trail up to Woodinville, then get on Highway 9
  • Highway 9 goes all the way to north of Arlington, take hwy 534 west
  • Get on Cedardale Road going north (just before I-5)
  • Follow it to Broad St (there was no sign, but it's a T-intersection), take a left
  • Right on 4th Ave, turns into 2nd
  • Riverside Drive north to Chuckanut
  • Chuckanut dumps you in Fairhaven, just south of Bellingham
Here's the route on a google map, with elevation profile.

Highway 9 was pretty crazy, with lots of traffic, but certainly doable. About half of it has a shoulder, the other half has none. Lots of rolling hills between Woodinville and Arlington, it seemed like we went up 10 or so big climbs, each with a rewarding downhill.

Next time we'll have it to under 6 hours hopefully. The STP (Seattle to Portland) is 206 miles, and we're shooting for a 12 hour time on that one, so this is good training for it.


Unknown said...

I can't wait to ride from Bellingham to Seattle.

Anonymous said...

My friend and I have a bucket list together and one of them is drive down the Pacific Coastal Highway. I've never thought about biking it before until now and that would be so cool! I think the west coast is so pretty and unique from the rest of the country.