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South Cle Elum-Thorp Loop, Counter-clockwise <42>
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The Thursday forecast for the Cle Elum area shows temperatures ranging from the low 40s in the morning to the low 60s by afternoon, and (badda-bing!) a 2 mph west-southwest breeze. These are good enough conditions for an east-west counter-clockwise loop on part of the old Manastash Metric Century route. We'll start in South Cle Elum and go east to the Thorp Fruit Mall on roads paralleling I-90. After a rest stop at the Fruit Mall convenience store, we'll ride west through Thorp to State Route 10 and on back to Cle Elum. A Washington State Parks Discover Pass is required for parking at the Palouse to Cascades (formerly Iron Horse Trail) State Park trailhead.
NOTE two important caveats, please: 1) This ride is contingent on Thursday's wind speed remaining very low. If by early Thursday morning the wind forecast reverts to the usual Kittitas County 5 mph and up westerlies I will cancel. Although our Ellensburg-based ride leaders scoff at any headwind less than 20 mph, as an effete and elderly west-sider I have much lower standards. I have slogged back to Cle Elum from Thorp into a west wind and feel no need to do that again. And 2) I am slow on climbs, including rising false flats. When the road pitches upward, riders are free to climb at their own pace. I will be along eventually.
There is a State Park pit toilet but no water at the start. Water and restrooms are at the Thorp Fruit Mall convenience store/Mile 21 (kindly buy something if you use the facilities). A RideWithGPS route map and cue sheet are at the Link, below. If you need a cue sheet, please print one. Electric-assist bikes welcome.
If you're going across Snoqualmie Pass, Google Maps says it's 84 miles from downtown Seattle to South Cle Elum, and travel time will depend on traffic conditions. Please plan your trip to be ready to ride 10 minutes before start time so we can do the safety briefing and get on the road. Bring ID; spare tube, tools, pump, patch kit, and skills to fix flats; water and electrolytes; and a phone and a plan for rescue if your bike fails.
Please RSVP by clicking on the red "Register Now" button under the ride title above. I will print the ride waiver at 6 AM on ride day. It's not a problem if you decide after that time to ride but you'll need to sign in at the start.
The listed phone will not be answered on the morning of the ride and its voicemail will not be checked. If weather conditions meet the showers cancel or the higher westerly winds criteria, I will post a ride-cancelled note in Comments, below, by 5:45 AM and not go to the start. Please check here before leaving home.
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