Only early birds bag these 2013 bike tours
Bicyclists can relax until spring before planning most of their 2013 cycling season. But the following popular spring and summer rides sell out so quickly, you have to be planning and making your application now.
Chilly Hilly – Feb. 24, billed as the region’s first cycling event of the season. The 40th annual event starts with an early morning Ferry Ride from Seattle before unleashing cyclists on a 33-mile route around Bainbridge Island that bags 2,675 feet of cumulative elevation. Organized by the Cascade Bicycle Club, cascade.org.
RATPOD – Ride Around The Pioneers in One Day, June 29, a one-day 130-mile ride from Dillon, Mont., through the Big Hole Valley of southwestern Montana, along wilderness areas and above the Big Hole River, to benefit Camp Mak-A-Dream. Online registration opens March 5 at 8 a.m. MST until the cap of 650 riders is reached; ratpod.org.
STP – Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, June 13-14, the largest multiday bicycle event in the Northwest, has riders pedaling 200 miles from Seattle to Portland in one or two days. Registration opened Jan. 8 for Cascade Bicycle Club members; it opens Feb. 5 for nonmembers. The 10,000-rider limit was reached Feb. 21 last year; cascade.org.
RAW – Ride Around Washington, Aug. 3-10, will target central Washington in a popular supported event that moves to a different route in the state each year. The tour will start at Curlew Lake, follow the Kettle River, Okanogan and Columbia River orchards and wine country, along Lake Chelan, through Leavenworth, over Blewett Pass to Yakima Valley ending at Maryhill State Park. Registration opened Jan. 8 for Cascade Bicycle Club members; it opens Feb. 5 for nonmembers. Limited to 250 riders; cascade.org.
STOKR – Scenic Tour of the Kootenai River, May 11-12, has ride-length options ranging from 37 to 98 miles each day along the Kootenai River and Lake Koocanusa out of Libby, Mont., to benefit Habitat for Humanity. Registration open Feb. 14-28 for the lottery drawing to select 400 riders; libbymt.com/events.
Cycle Oregon – Sept. 7-14, billed as “the best bike ride in America,” the ultra-supported tour moves to a different route each year supported by local communities. A spin-off weekend event is set for July 12-14. The 2013 routes will be announced Feb. 5 and registration will open Feb. 6. Fills quickly; cycleoregon.com.