We pre-rode the new 35-mile route and stopped in Port Gamble and Poulsbo to taste the treats and enjoy the seashore sights.
Register for the Kitsap Color Classic on Sept. 24 and choose from a short, medium, and long route--all fully supported to highlight the scenery and culture of the Kitsap Peninsula.
We met in Kingston at the start of the Kitsap Color Classic (KCC) to ride the new 35-mile route and enjoy the sights, sounds, and pastries, of Washington state's beautiful Kitsap Peninsula. Joining me was Allison Pringle, the Cascade events producer organizing the 29th edition of the KCC on Sept. 24.
Pringle rode her new REI Co-op e1.1 electric bike, which she uses to commute from her home in Poulsbo. We started at the Port of Kingston's Kiwanis Park, where riders will start and finish one of the KCC's three routes--25, 35, or 53 miles. Kingston is a lovely waterfront town with abundant eateries and waterfront views.
Our next destination was Port Gamble Bay and the historic town of Port Gamble, which is about 10 miles into the 35-mile route. With its tree-lined streets, country store and turn-of-the-century clapboard houses, Port Gamble is charming beyond measure. Pringle, below, points to the location of the new Port Gamble rest stop near the historic Buena Vista Cemetery.
Port Gamble has multiple places to grab a snack, including Butcher & Baker Provisions, where Pringle chatted with friendly staff and ogled the baked goods.
Mmmm, I want one of those. And one of those. And one of those.
Port Gamble General Store and Cafe is another great place to stop for a treat or ice cream cone. We love their flower bike, which the proprietor showed off while chatting with Pringle.
We rode out of Port Gamble headed for Poulsbo, stopping to visit and thank Infinity Cyclery for doing mechanical aid during KCC.
Infinity Cyclery has seen a huge boost in business thanks to the development of a mountain biking trail network in the Port Gamble Forest Heritage Park. The trail network shows the economic development value of trail creation to sustain local jobs and provide healthy recreation for locals.
"It's huge (3,500 acres) with all types of trails for beginners, cross-country trails, all the way up to double black diamond jumps," says Infinity owner Bryan Wells. "Although we are a mountain bike heavy shop, we service all kinds of bikes. We are excited to support the Kitsap Color Classic."
Stop by Infinity and buy a tube, tool, or other supplies to show your appreciation.
We gave Wells a high-five and headed for downtown Poulsbo, where riders will stop for lunch along the waterfront in Austin Kvelstad Pavilion.
Pringle joined Cascade following a long career in nonprofit work. A former triathlete, she lives in Poulsbo with her husband and children--making her the ideal tour guide. We pedaled through downtown and stopped at Sluys' Poulsbo Bakery. KCC riders will enjoy Sluys' donuts (among other treats) at the Poulsbo lunch stop.
Norwegian and Scandinavian immigrants founded Poulsbo in the 1880s following the signing of the Elliot Bay Treaty that resulted in the forced relocation of the local Suquamish people to the Port Madison Indian Reservation. Want to learn more? Visit the Suquamish Museum or Suquamish Village located between Poulsbo and Kingston.
Today, Poulsbo is a popular tourist destination thanks to its beautiful waterfront location, Scandinavian shops, and Viking themed art.
Marina Market has one of the largest selections of European black licorice in Washington state, along with a huge selection of pickled herrings and other Scandinavian foods.
We pedaled out of Poulsbo and enjoyed the views of boats on the water, then headed for the finish line in Kingston.
"We've added some exciting changes to the Kitsap Color Classic this year, including a new rest stop and new finish line festival, and we've eliminated some highway riding," Pringle says. Also new: riders can pre-order a veggie or meat pie from Kingston's Saucy Sailor for a finish line treat.
"We hope you can join us on Sunday, September 24," Pringle says. "It's going to be the best Kitsap Color Classic ever."
See maps of the three KCC routes and sign up for the Kitsap Color Classic before registration closes on Sept. 21. See you there!
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