Carnation Gravel Grind

If you are new, please read our newcomer information.

Date and Time: 
Sunday, February 26, 2017 - 9:00am
Start Location: 
Nick Loutsis Park
32316 Entwistle St
Carnation, WA 98014
Contact Information: 
Thomas A Sumter
47.00 miles
Elevation Gain: 
3,100 feet
Weather Cancels?: 
Ride Description: 

Leave the cars and the crowds behind! Come ride in the Snoqualmie Tree Farm east of Carnation and see wildlife instead. In case you haven't heard, gravel cycling is the best thing...ever! If you have a gravel bike or a cross bike or a light hardtail you think would be comfortable for 50 miles, I encourage you to join in on the adventure. This ride is being led by a member of Cascade's High Performance Cycling Team (HPC).

If you are new to gravel grinding there are a few things to know. First, make sure you have at least two tubes, a multi-tool and enough air with you. Bring an extra layer. Conditions can change and its better to bring a jacket and not need it than need a jacket and not have one. Bring food (there isn't a Starbucks along the route). Make sure your bike is up to the task: you will need at least 32mm tires for this ride (I use 40's), low gearing (some grades are over 15%), and good brakes. Make sure your fitness is up for a 5 hour+ ride. Only about 10% of this ride is on pavement. Be advised you may not be in cell coverage during parts of the ride. And, make sure you are up for a really fun day in the forest. That's all the tough stuff. If you have questions please feel free to ask.

A word about the pace. Gravel rides like this can accommodate a wide range of abilities providing one has the base fitness for the length and amount of climbing in the route. Dont worry, we wont actually be doing 16-18mph on the flats (like there are any of those). I usually post my gravel rides one pace below where I would for a road ride. This means you should be able to ride a 50 mile hilly route at a vigorous effort or better. If you like to ride at a more comfortable pace you are still welcome to join us, but you should be prepared to self navigate. This is not difficult with a GPS device which is strongly reccommended regardless. We will regroup at major turns. Cue sheets are not provided.

Parts of this route require a pass from Campbell Global. Day passes can be purchased for $8 at the link below.


Do consider leading some gravel rides for us Low Performance Cyclists who still enjoy climbing up mountain passes. I'll probably be trying this route soon (and thanks for posting it) but doubt I could hang with your pace.

Wayne Grytting

Wayne, don't worry if you are off the main group's pace. You probably won't be the only one, other riders like to hang back too. Feel free to show up and ride at a pace that is comfortable for you. As long as you have the route on a GPS device, you won't have a problem. I hate choosing a road pace for a gravel ride, since the two are TOTALLY different. Choose too high and people are scared off, too low and I don't get the training benefit. I wanted to post this as "self paced" but brass said, no. I don't lke the compromise, but it was the only way I could get this on the calendar. 

Ok, that's not really so. The forecast idicates we may get some snow overnight and it will likely be raining at the start. The good news is that it should taper off quickly. If snow impeedes our progress, I know the area very well and we'll adjust accordingly. I am hardy, and not scared off by rain or snow -- it just means my wool socks get more use.

Check back here in the morning for an official weather call. I will post a cancelation by 7:00 AM. 

Nick Loutsis Park
32316 Entwistle St
Carnation, WA 98014
Ride Leader(s)