Free Group Ride
Mercer Island Adventure
You are invited to join us for a scenic/adventure tour on Mercer Island. Experience a wide variety of scenery, views, roads and trails, and beautiful neighborhoods that look like they were transplanted from Heaven. See Mercer Island in a way that few cyclists have. If you've wondered what the island offers besides the popular perimeter loop, come along and find out!
This ride is for you if you're an adventure seeker who likes new experiences and the occasional challenge. This ride is probably not for you, if you prefer long, familiar stretches of road and simple routes where you can roll along at speed. We will take our time - don't be fooled by the ride distance of "only" 26 miles, as this will likely be the longest 26 miles that you've ridden in a suburban area. There is much to see and do!
The route includes some woodland single-track trails, but they are smooth and well-groomed enough to accommodate road bikes. My road bike with 23mm tires negotiates all of them easily. There are a number of short connector trails between neighborhoods and a couple of them are challenging to ride - but also short enough that you can quickly walk them if you prefer. The ride finishes with curvy riding on East Mercer Way, an easy climb up Mercerwood Drive and thrilling dash down Gallagher Hill before the relaxed pedal back to Luther Burbank park.
Registration: Online Registration IS REQUIRED for this ride. To access it, click on the red Register Now button above. Registration is not available at the ride start unless a space is available and you have web access. Note that all riders on a tandem bicycle must be registered individually, as the captain's registration does not cover any stokers - it's a legal thing. Friendly non-human pets do not require registration, while dangerous pets are not permitted.
Ride Start and Time: We will meet at the South Lot of Luther Burbank park, near the trail start. If you feel the North Lot is a more secure place to leave your vehicle, park there and ride down to the start point. Please be ready to ride by 10:00 am when we will have a required safety briefing, rolling out immediately after. If you miss the briefing, you will not be able to ride with the group, sorry!
Completion Time: Barring any unforeseeable occurrences, we should return to the start point before 2pm.
Pace: Pace is Moderate, 14-16 mph on flat, smooth surfaces without wind, but there are many places where we will be riding slower for sight-seeing and trails. Riders should be strong enough to maintain that speed range on flats, for the ride distance. Climbing and descending is at rider's own pace with regrouping at the top of hills. Leader will climb at a level of effort which should be achievable for the average rider at this pace. However, riders significantly off the group pace should be prepared to complete the ride solo, and may wish to consider selecting a slower pace for their next ride. It is recommended that riders have the route with them in their memory cells, on a portable device with charged battery, or on a printed copy of the cue sheet.
Regrouping: We will regroup if needed, at the top of climbs, and any time riders become separated by more than the distance between turns. If you are far enough ahead of the group that you are out of sight or out of voice range, stop and wait for the group at the first hill summit or intersection you reach, whichever comes first. The route is complex and even a trail or small side street counts as an intersection.
Rest and Food Stops: Restrooms are available near the start (Luther Burbank Park), and at mile 11.4 (Island Crest park). Short snack/coffee stop, 20 min. maximum, at Starbucks in the QFC shopping center at mile 20.5.
Fenders: For the safety and comfort of your fellow riders as well as yourself, long fenders with extended flaps that reach within 4 inches of the road are appreciated if roads are damp or rain is possible. If you are spraying fellow riders and they are not enjoying it, you may be asked to ride at the back of the group.
Mechanical Issues: Riders should bring tools and have knowledge to repair flats or minor mechanical problems. Be prepared to complete the ride on your own, should your bike require a time-consuming repair. The group will stop briefly to ensure you are okay, but will not wait for repairs to be completed if they take more than a few minutes. Please have a backup plan - person to call, or transportation fare - if you are unable to ride to the finish.
Cancelation: Ride will be canceled for inclement weather as listed above, or other hazardous road or riding conditions such as snow, ice, threat of lightning or mudslides, steady strong winds, unhealthy air quality, wildfires, unavoidable flooding, riots, acts of war or earthquake damage, or elevated risk of wildlife attack (especially squirrel herds). Should conditions call for a cancelation day of ride, a cancelation notice will be posted in the comment section below at least 2 hours before the ride start. If conditions are questionable, please check this page before leaving for the start. Leader will not be at the start if the ride is canceled 2 or more hours prior to the starting time.
Route: Ride With GPS route link is below. Please print a cue sheet if you want one; printed cues are not likely to be available at the ride start due to ride leader's senior memory.
If you have any questions, you may post them in the Comments section below, or contact the ride leader. Looking forward to riding with you!
What to Know Before You Go
- Advance registration required. Cancel if unable to attend, to open space for others.
- Must be present at safety briefing to participate.
- Helmets required.