Mix and match
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
In Whatcom and Skagit counties, bicyclists have plenty of routes to choose from when it comes to where they pump their pedals. Following are a few events that showcase the scenic bounty of our region from atop two-wheeled conveyances. Choose one, or mix and match your scenic adventures.
Adroit athletes will need to rise before the sun to get to the parking lot at Boundary Bay Brewery by 6:30am on Sun., Aug. 25 for the Mt. Baker Bicycle Club’s annual Chuckanut Classic. The hardy souls choosing the 100-mile route on the club’s signature ride will head out at 7:30am, followed by the metric century riders (a 62-mile distance), and those opting for the 38- and 25-mile rides. Among the sights to be seen on various routes will be the San Juan Islands, various bays and inlets, Mt. Baker, Chuckanut and Blanchard mountains, the Canadian Cascades, Birch Bay, and beyond. If you’d like to get the kids involved, sign up for a 10-mile guided family ride starting at 10:30am, and spend a couple of leisurely hours taking in the local sights. With several planned stops along the way—and a few surprises—expect a thumbs-up from the whole crew. Fees are $10-$70; proceeds benefit Our TreeHouse. More info: http://www.mtbakerbikeclub.org
People interested in Skagit Bicycle Club’s 12th annual Classic Bike Show later that morning will have time for coffee and croissants before the action gets started at 11am in Old Town Anacortes, but those who want to get a ride in first can show up at 10am at the site on Commercial Avenue for an easy meander around the city’s environs. Since the event takes place during the Anacortes Open Street Festival, those perusing the classic bikes sourced from local and special guest collectors—as well as R + E cycles and Erickson Custom Bicycles—can bike, stroll, skate, run or walk throughout the thoroughfare without worrying about vehicular traffic. More info: http://www.skagitbicycleclub.org
Two Sundays later, the recently revived Mt. Baker Hill Climb will see riders ascending approximately 23 miles as they pedal from Chair 9 in Glacier to the top of Artist Point. “We invite racers to experience the agony and the ecstasy,” Whatcom Events organizers say of those who dare to take on the steep elevation and serious switchbacks during the Sun., Sept. 8 event. With three categories to choose from—social, recreational and competitive—don’t feel like you have to be in a hurry to get to the top. In fact, slower riders will likely be better able to appreciate the spectacular views. Fees are $80-$90; a portion of the proceeds will benefit Shifting Gears. More info: http://www.bakerhillclimb.com
Uncovering a valuable resource
How in the heck does the water Bellingham residents use for drinking, soaking their plants, doing laundry or taking a shower make the trek from Lake Whatcom to their taps?
This mystery will be one of many those interested in finding out more about the state of Whatcom County’s resources…
Cheap thrills in Bucket Holes
For 25 years—ever since my trail crew buddy Deacon Shumway and his rock-jock neighbor Uncle Don started dragging me along on their laborious feats of high-angle derring-do all over the North Cascades—I’ve listened to them discuss, ballyhoo and wax philosophical about an enticing stretch…
Paddling the upper Skagit
Eighty-four miles of fabulous scenery await the adventurous paddler on the Skagit River. From Newhalem to the bay there are as many as a dozen places where you can park off the highway to launch.
Three bodies of water make up the Skagit. The river rises in Canada and meets the Baker River…