August 13 & 14, 2010 – RSVP
Last-minute reminders for
Riders are required to ride single file on all bike trails during this event. Pass on the left with a courteous “On your left!” or bell. Speed limit is 15 mph on all trails. Didn’t see many riders on the Burke Gillman at 6:30
Day One: Mile 28.5 – Use the Snohomish Centennial Trail, on your right. Turn LEFT at the end of the trail (mile 36.4). Ride single file on the trail and pass on the left. Speed limit is 15 MPH. Park rangers will be monitoring the riding behavior on the trail, so please ride courteously. Left the trail in lake Stevens for the food break – enjoyed the little one-way dike road that took us back to the trail. Didn’t realize that we left the trail before it ended so was surprised to see the Dan Henry pointing right on 84th. Enjoyed the new route into Arlington, though. (I only saw one other rider for 20 miles after leaving the trail – I knew I was on route because of the road markings, but I started to wonder where everyone was.
Day One: Mile 58.7 – Same hilly, low-traffic route as last year will take you off Hwy 9. Turn RIGHT onto Finn Settlement/Lake Cavanaugh Rd. You will join back up with Hwy 9 at mile 67.7. A little hilly, but a nice ride. Seemed like the only traffic was a contingent of personal support vehicles. Didn’t stop at the water stop. Did stop at Highway 9. Recognized the roundabout where we turned to go to Mt. Vernon. Laid on the grass for a minute at the food stop there. Hated the headwinds on the flats – the stencil for the Dan Henrys was fuzzy so that the pointer usually had a “Tee” shape – couldn’t figure oute one of them just after the bridge and had to circle around to get a second look. Chuckanut drive wasn’t bad at all – views were spectacular. Stopped at the “favorite” lemonade stand and the woman there said fewer than 25 riders had passed ahead of me.
Day One Finish: Mile 105.7 – Days Inn in Bellingham. Location of the massage therapist, information table, RSVP merchandise table and ice cream treat! Waved at the folks at the Days Inn at 2:00 and kept on going. Hadn’t read the book carefully enought to realize I needed to turn so I was looking for Meridian and another set of motels. I got about a mile beyond McLeod (to Aldrich) and realized that I was leaving town so I stopped and checked and then retraced my route back to the Best Western. Nobody was watching the bags so I helped myself and then rode over to the Rodeway where I was the first rider to check in just before 3:00. Put my bike in the room – cyclometer said 112. Took a shower then listened to music and slept for a couple of hours. Walked to Red Robbin, had a burger and a couple of Boundry Bay Scotch Ales. Went back to the motel and slept for a few more hours. Woke up at 9:30, called Odette and then organized my stuff for the morning. Listened to music until midnight.
Went to the 24 hour place next door to the motel for breakfast but didn’t like the look of the place (a “sports casino”) so went back to the Rodeway Inn and had an orange and a banana and then took my bag to the Best Western. Nobody was at the truck so I waited for a while as other people tossed their bags in. Finally I decided to do the same thing and then headed out. My handlebar bag came off as I was in the middle of the intersection with Merridian – luckily there was no traffic at 6:30 in the morning. Some riders were heading in the other directin and asked if I was okay – then said that the route was the way they were going. I ignored them – wondering what route they were on. Nice ride in the early morning mist. Lyden is pretty – so is Lynden.
Day Two: Mile 23.9 – Border Crossing, opens at 8: 00 a.m. Have Passport or Enhanced Driver’s License ready. Got to the border about 20 minutes before it opened. I was the 6th or 7th in line. I called out my bike number and handed the guy my passport – he called out my name. His partner checked the list, said okay and I was on my way. The guys behind me weren’t registered and had to go inside.
Day Two: Mile 40.6 – Food Stop at Fort Langley Lions Hall, Fort Langley, B.C. There was a mistake and the portapotties didn’t get delivered to the food stop – at least not by the time I passed through. I remember a couple of steep short hills not too long after the food stop.
Day Two: Mile 49.0 – Bridge crossing at Golden Ears Bridge. Use caution in crossing the bridge, as it has a narrow bike lane and spiral access ramp. The bike lane seemed wide enough to me – and the spiral ramp was really gradual. Beautiful bridge.
Day Two: Mile 63.4 – CAP’s Mini-Stop at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody Park. This stop is completely provided by Cap’s South Shore Cycles, BC, so thank them for being there! Some construction before Port Moody – the Dan Henry’s were cleaner than in the US and there were some freehand RSVP markings that helped a lot. By this time it was getting hot and I was going through a lot of water so the refresh at CAP’s was welcome. The highway after that rest stop felt long at it seemed to be mainly uphill. The view was pretty but the sun was hot. Couldn’t keep up with the pace line I was trying to ride with.
Day Two: Mile 80.0 – Turn RIGHT at Gore St. in Chinatown and LEFT on Alexander St. You will travel on main streets through downtown Vancouver, so use caution. Make sure to read the route book, as Dan Henry marks may be obstructed. The residential streets in Vancouver were really interesting- I followed a younger guy in Moots gear the whole way. The old section of town was cool Chinatown was busy and much more interesting than I remember it. The route through downtown was simpler than the book made it seem – I’d walked and/or driven it all at some point.
Day Two: 83.5 Finish is at the Coast Plaza Hotel – proceed down the parking garage ramp to the bike corral. Party and baggage will be on the second floor. Showers available by the pool. I was the eighth or ninth bike in the corral at 12:00. Went up to the baggage room and they said they needed to unload the second truck and didn’t know how long it would take. Walked around looking for the Lord Stanley and couldn’t find it. Went to the reception desk at the Coast Plaza and they had me in the system and gave me a postage stamp sized map with the Lord Stanley on it. Walked over there at about 1:00 and filled out their form – they told me I couldn’t get into the room until 3:00 and that they wanted an extra $20 for parking. Went back to the Coast Plaza and sat indoors waiting for the baggage room to open. Bought tickets for a couple of beers and a couple of sodas. The beer was Kokanee or something weak and without taste. Finally got my bag (after figuring out that there was a second room for the truck from the Best Western) and with the coupon in the bag I got a burger, then walked back over to the Lord Stanley and got into the room at about 2:45. Took a shower and was disturbed that the tub didn’t drain. Also disturbed about the broken window that was taped up and the portable air conditioner that wasn’t cooling things off. Odette got there about 4:00 and gave them $20 (American) in cash to park the car.. Hung out for a while and talked to another RSVP couple who had gotten bumped to the Lord Stanley. They had bailed out of the ride after Bellingham and taken the train to Vancouver _ except that there was a bridge out so they ended up on a bus. They were going back by bus/train on Monday. Walked into downtown on Robeson. Ate sashimi and stuff at a couple of different japanese restaurants – and had a couple more beers. Went back to the Lord Stanley and found the bedroom to be an oven. Laid down on the floor in front of the feeble air conditioner and fell asleep. Later Odette unfolded the couch and we tried to sleep there. Got up in the morning and went to the Coast Plaza for breakfast – returned and waited with my bike for Odette to check out and get the car. They made her pay for parking a second time.
Tweeting your ride?
Use hashtag #BikeRSVP
Schedule & directions: Open Friday, Aug. 13, 6:30 – 7:30 a.m. at Sand Point Magnuson Park main entrance at 74th St. and Sand Point Way, 7400 Sand Point Way, Seattle, WA 98115. Follow the signs to the parking and drop-off areas. All baggage trucks leave at 7:45 a.m. so don’t be late! It’s a long way to ride with your bags. They guy at the main truck didn’t realize that there was a separate truck for the Best Western. Scored a nice pair of socks.
Overnight Parking: There will be overnight parking, Friday through Sunday. Cost for all three days is $15. If you did not pay for parking with your registration, you still can buy a parking ticket the day of the ride. You must have a parking pass on your vehicle, or it may be towed.
Mile 15 – NEW Mechanic Stop sponsored by Eastside Ski & Sport (7 a.m. – 9 a.m.) on corner of Woodinville-Duvall Rd. and 156th St. in Woodinville. Didn’t stop at this one.
Mile 36.9 – Food Stop in Lake Stevens (7 a.m. – 11 a.m.), volunteers provided by the local community, so please thank them for volunteering. Good stop – ate a banana and a cookie. Didn’t get the portapotty door latched and flashed somebody. Had trouble figuring out how to work the pump to wash my hands. Put on sunscreen.
Mile 64.1 – Water Only Stop (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.), intersection of Lake Cavanaugh Rd. Didn’t stop for this one.
Mile 75.7 – Food Stop in Mount Vernon (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.), volunteers provided by the Mt. Vernon Chamber of Commerce, so please thank them for volunteering. Another good stop – ate half an orange, a bananna, half a muffin and a cookie. Put some kind of electrolyte drink in one of my waterbottles and regretted it later. Laid down on the grass to stretch out my back. Put on sunscreen.
Mile 40.6 – Food Stop Fort Langley Lions Hall (9 a.m. – 2 p.m.) in the lower parking lot. Make sure to thank the volunteers provided by Cap’s South Shore Cycling Team. Ate several orange quarters and a bananna (and a cookie.) No portapotties. Walked my bike back up the gravel road.
Mile 63.4 – Mini-stop at Rocky Point Park (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.) Mini – stop provided by Cap’s South Shore Cycles. Ate four slices of watermelon and refilled my water bottles.
REPAIR/SUPPORT CREW ON THE ROAD
FRIDAY & SATURDAY
Craig Tamara and gang will be on the route again with four vehicles.
There will be a bike mechanic doing repairs and selling tubes, etc. at the Mt. Vernon food stop on day one, and at the Fort Langley food stop on day two. The repair crews will assist you with minor repairs only. Be prepared to pay for parts or any major repairs. Note that there is very limited road support to transport riders long distances. Riders will only be transported to the nearest food stop. Bike did okay – the tape on my left drop started to unwind but I mashed it back in with the plug and it lasted until the end of the ride.
PLEASE SIGN BAGGAGE LETTER IN YOUR PACKET AND GIVE IT TO THE VOLUNTEER WHEN YOU PUT YOUR BAGGAGE ON THE TRUCK – this is a requirement for the Canadian Customs. Note that this was on Friday and that the bags didn’t cross the border until Saturday – after they had been reclaimed and dropped off again in Bellingham – with no monitoring or custody at either the drop-off or pick-up sites.
Friday drop: There are three baggage drops: The Days Inn (215 Samish Way in Bellingham), Western Washington University (Fairhaven Hall) and Best Western on E. McLeod Rd. At the start line, you will be asked at which of these three stops you want your bags to be dropped. Bags will be available from 1 p.m – 7 p.m.
Again this year there will be baggage “sherpa” service to local hotels. This service is offered for $5 per bag by the WWU Rugby Club. You can sign up and pay for this service the morning of the ride at the table next to the luggage trucks starting at 6 a.m.
Saturday pick-up: Load your gear between 6:30 and 8 a.m. (no earlier, no later) at Days Inn, Western Washington University (Fairhaven Hall) or Best Western on McLeod Rd. You must have your bags back to one of these locations before 8 a.m. or they will not be transported to the finish in Canada. At least at the Best Western peole were dropping off bags earlier than 6:30 (and no one was watching.)
Saturday drop: Baggage drop will be at the Coast Plaza Suites Hotel, 1763 Comox St. Baggage will be near the party area. Pick up your luggage between 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. After this time you must check with the hotel lobby. Not quite sure why it took until 2:00.
NEED A MASSAGE?
Friday: Sign up for a massage when you arrive at the first day finish area at the Days Inn. First-come, first-served. A 15-minute massage will be provided by Washington Sports Massage. Cost is $15.
PARTY IN VANCOUVER
Join us for the party! There will be a no-host, reception at the Coast Plaza Suites Hotel, 1 – 6 p.m. All riders will receive one ticket in their packet for a free beverage or food item, and we’ll have music again this year. Beer was $6.75 for less than a pint of inferior brew. Music was canned. We made reservations at the Coast Plaza on January 4th and a couple days before the ride they contacted us to say that they were overbooked and were moving us to the Lord Stanley Suites. CBS’s only comment was “well, it looks like they took care of you.” The replacement hotel was inferior and eight or ten block away and just an all around bad experience.
The Coast Plaza had land use signs up saying that they were in the process of converting from a hotel to rental units. Their attention to customer service has really deteriorated from what I remember during our last stay there.
A bike corral for all registered riders will be located in the hotel garage, and will be open Saturday, 1 – 7 p.m. and Sunday, 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. All bikes must be out of corral by 9:30 a.m. sharp! Keep your bike number on your bike – your bib number will be your claim check. The bike corral didn’t open until 8:00 on Sunday morning.
Loading: Bike loading will be on Sunday, Aug. 15, 8:30 – 10 a.m., and bus loading will start at 10:30 a.m. Buses will leave when full. The last bus will leave at 11 a.m. SHARP! The bus is only for riders who purchased transportation and bike tickets prior to the ride. You must load your own bike. If you can’t load your own bike, make sure to let the bike corral attendant know on Sat. Be prompt – we will not wait for you! Wish I could have found somebody to give my bus ticket to.
Location: Bike and bus loading will be in front of the Coast Plaza Suites Hotel on Comox St. Buses will not load until 10:30 AM.
Bike pick-up on Sunday: You can pick up your bike at the start line area on Sunday, between 3 – 5 p.m. This will be a manned bike corral area and you must have your bib number with you to pick up your bike. After 5 p.m., any unclaimed bicycles will be stored at the Cascade Bicycle Club office for a fee of $10 per day.
Notice: It is understood by those utilizing this service that the maximum liability of Bekins Moving and Storage Co. and Cascade Bicycle Club is sixty cents ($0.60) per pound for the actual weight of any lost or damaged article or articles. In general, riders concerned about damage, loss or theft of their bicycles should consult their insurance company for personal insurance to cover such losses.
EVENT JERSEYS AND SHIRTS
To order RSVP jerseys and shirts, please visit the Online Store. A limited number of items will also be sold at the start line in Seattle, at the Days Inn baggage pick-up in Bellingham and at the finish line in Vancouver. Buy before the ride to ensure you get what you want.
KEY ITEMS TO REMEMBER
Identification (Passport or Enhanced Driver’s License REQUIRED); Canadian cash; RSVP Transportation Tickets and Party Beverage Tickets. Fill out emergency information on the back of your bib number. Put my passport in my jersey pocket on Saturday and sweated all over it.
When crossing into Canada, no large pitted fruit or apples are permitted; bananas are okay. No firearms permitted into Canada. Personal support vehicles are not allowed to travel on roadway shoulders. CPSC- or Snell-approved helmets are required!
Along the route there will be mini-stops put on by the local communities. Please stop and thank them for their hospitality. Please ride single-file, safely and courteously. It is important that you use bicycle courtesy to help prevent any accidents. Remember to obey all traffic laws – fines for bikes are the same as those for vehicles.
Have fun and enjoy. Happy cycling!
Special thanks to our volunteers, repair crews and sponsors: