Saturday, July 28, 2007

Seattle To Carnation and Back - Hilly and Fun

Yesterday I rode out to Carnation and back, for a total of 106 km (60+ miles), and lots of climbing. It was basically a tour of major Eastside hills, excluding 'the Zoo', which I have yet to try out. Once I got to the top of Tolt Hill Road I just turned around and came back - this is where I hit my max speed for the day of 77 km/h! (roughly 45 mph). This isn't too hard to do going down a 10% grade for a mile with no stop lights!

This ride is mostly suburban and country riding, with awesome views of the Cascade Mountains and Mt Si. Lots of rolling hills and small climbs - Mercer Island, for instance, has a number of little climbs. But these don't even compare to the big ones I hit on the way out.

Click on the image to see the full elevation profile of my ride:

Hills covered on the way out East were:

  • The climb on 32nd Ave up from Eastgate towards Issaquah: not too steep but lasts for a mile or so
  • Going up Issaquah-Fall City Road in Issaquah: The sign at the top reads 9% for 3/4 mile, and I can attest to it! Unfortunately there's no bike lane until you get to the top, the shoulder is only about a foot wide for most of the climb.
  • Tolt Hill Road: 10% for one mile, this is the toughest part of my route. It's not too bad at first, but after a short plateau it kicks up to 10% indeed - hard but I got to where I can kinda sprint over the top, this will help in next year's Carnation Hills Time Trial.
Going (West) back to Seattle you've got:
  • The rolling hills heading back up the plateau on Issaquah-Fall City Road - almost zero cars out here, but no shoulder so use caution.
  • The climb back up Newport Way - not very steep at all, but lasts for at least a mile and a half, good shoulder.
  • Back up Capitol Hill - After getting off the I-90 Trail I follow 20th Ave over to Jefferson and then up 12th ave. Not very steep at all but is a few miles of steady uphill.
Here's what the route looks like in Google Earth - the large incline on the right is Tolt Hill Road: (pic facing West towards Seattle)

(Btw, anyone can generate their own maps in Google Earth using my site,


Distance: 106.6 km
Avg Speed: 25.9 km/h
Max Observed Speed: 77 km/h (going down Tolt!)
Time on Bike: 4 hours, 7 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours, 25 minutes


Unknown said...

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matt m said...

thanks for the blog-spam lucy! =]

as it happens i hate fox news too, so i'll leave the link up anyway.

Anonymous said...

Seems like you like this ride Matt. It does have some fun hills. What's your next goal now that the STP is over? Are you thinking of doing the High Pass Challenge?

matt m said...

i have read a bit about the HPC and it does sound fun, but since I don't own a car the logistics of getting down there are a bit sketchy... sounds like a neat ride tho.

After doing the STP in one day I have indeed wondered "what's next?" Next year I'll definitely go for a faster one-day STP, but there are other rides I'm planning to do in the next few years:

The RAMROD - ride around mt. rainier in a day! only 150 miles but something like 10k feet of gain!

The CANNONBALL - Seattle to Spokane in a day (275 miles), although i-90 doesn't sound all that appealing. i guess there's a ride over Highway 2 to Spokane as well (The S2S).

What other local ultra rides are there?