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Halloween Tunnel Ride on Gravel
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Please note: During COVID-19 Phases 1.5 and 2, all Free Group Rides are limited to six total participants: the Ride Leader and five others. Registration for the ride (using the red “Register Now” button above) is REQUIRED to participate. If you decide not to ride, please unregister for this ride so that an additional spot will be made available to another.
Face coverings (for mouth and nose) are required when the group makes extended stops. Face coverings are recommended for the duration of the ride. Please bring personal hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and tissues for use at rest stops.
Ride 42 miles of gravel on the Snoqualmie Valley and Palouse to Cascades (formerly Iron Horse) trails, from Rattlesnake Lake to the Hyak trailhead and back. In celebration of Halloween, we will ride through the 2.25-mile long, pitch-dark Snoqualmie tunnel twice--once on the way out and again on the return. It also happens to be the last day we can ride through the tunnel before it is closed for the winter!
We will maintain a steady pace (12 to 14 mph on flats), adjusted for gravel and the long, gradual climb out and descent back.
Meet at Rattlesnake Ledge Trailhead at 9:40 a.m. for the pre-ride safety briefing, with a departure of 10 a.m. Please note: You can park at the start point with a Discover Pass. Or you can park without one close by, down the hill to the northwest, in the Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area lots, off of Cedar Falls Rd. SE.
What to bring: A road bike with 30mm or wider tires, or a gravel or mountain bike. A WORKING HEADLIGHT and TAIL LIGHT are MANDATORY, for the tunnel! ID; spare tube, pump, patch kit, tools, and skills to repair flats; a cell phone; and a plan should you have mechanical failures that you can't fix on the trail. Warm layers and gloves to put on for the tunnel and for the descent. Water and food to sustain you for the distance. Hand sanitizer and/or wipes and toilet paper. Please have full fenders if the conditions are wet, or you may be asked to ride at the rear of the group.
What to expect: Easy-riding gravel, with generally a 1 to 3 percent railroad-grade slope. Our goal will be to stay together or regroup frequently. The tunnel has no light; it is stunningly dark. It has potholes, and usually there are pedestrians without lights or reflective gear. Hence, the requirement for good lights. The tunnel is cold; hence, the extra layers, which we will stop to put on before entering. There are several pit toilets at decent intervals along the route. At the 21-mile turnaround point, where we will take a break, there are heated restrooms and water. Also expect: a seriously gorgeous ride, into the woods, along the edge of the mountain, over a spectacular trestle bridge, past streams, high rock faces, and waterfalls.
Note: If weather conditions meet the weather cancellation criterion listed above or if there are unforeseen hazardous riding conditions, the Ride Leader will post a ride-canceled note in the Comments section below at least two hours prior to the start and Ride Leader(s) will not be at the start location.
I hope you can join the ride! I am NOT going to ride through that spooky tunnel all by myself.
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