Frequently Asked Questions
What time is lost packet pickup open? Lost packet pickup is open from 7 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. in Seattle and from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Bainbridge. Registration is not available at the start lines. You must register in advance online.
Do I have to belong to the Cascade Bicycle Club to go on this ride? No, but you receive a member discount on the entry fee if you are a member. Join during registration and you'll receive the discount immediately.
Can I ride an e-bike on the Chilly Hilly? Yes. The Chilly Hilly uses public roads and does not utilize multi-use trails. Note that charging stations are not available on the route. If you are riding to and from the event, you might pack a backup battery. Mechanics may not have specialized tools or parts to address issues on all models of e-bikes. We suggest that you bring spare innertubes that fit your tires.
Do both riders on a tandem need to register for the ride? Yes, for services and liability reasons both riders must each complete and sign a registration form. Your fee is per rider, not per bike. Same for kids on tag-alongs.
Is there a rider limit? Will the event sell out? Yes, there is a 2,500 rider limit on Chilly Hilly. For 2024, registration is available online. Online registration will close when the event sells out, so register early.
Where does my entry fee go? The Chilly Hilly is a fundraiser for Cascade Bicycle Club. Cascade also supports many local non-profits with proceeds from the ride like Bainbridge Island Rope Skippers and many more use the ride as an opportunity to raise money for their organizations.
Can I get a refund if I can’t use my Chilly Hilly registration? Refunds are only available per our event refund policy.
Can I get on any ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge? No. Only three ferries are covered by your entrance fee. This is set by WA state ferries and also aligns with the route open and close times. If you start early, route support will not be open and the mid-point foodstop will not be open by the time you reach it.
Do I need a ferry ticket to get to Bainbridge Island? If you are a Seattle side registered rider, your bib number is your ticket for the ferry times that support the ride. If you have registered for Bainbridge packet pickup and you are on the Seattle side, you need to purchase your own ticket. Numbers will indicate whether your ferry fee has been included.
Do I have to pay to come back on the ferry? No, eastbound ferry passengers and bikes ride free. Riders do not have priority boarding on the ferries coming back from Bainbridge. It is first-come, first-serve and you can get on any return ferry you wish. Bring warm clothes in a bag or pannier so that you do not freeze!
I've never used the WSDOT ferry system before. Where can I find more information on Colman Dock and WSDOT ferries? WSDOT Ferries has guides for first-time riders, riders with disabilities, and more.
What's the state of the Seattle waterfront project? Please check Waterfront Seattle for the latest news on construction in front of Colman dock and what that means for cars, bikes, and pedestrians.
Are there 'bike only' ferries this year? The bike only ferry only happens when the stars align and there is an extra boat in the water for Washington State Ferry systems. This is highly unlikely to ever happen again due to many restrictions and new federal regulations, as well as ongoing fleet maintenance.
Where does the route itself begin? If you are starting on the Seattle side, the ride starts when you get off the ferry. From the Bainbridge Island side, the route starts on Winslow Way at the end of the ferry offloading ramp. However, there are start line tents and services in two separate locations: near the Colman Dock toll booths on the Seattle side and at the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center. If you're starting on Bainbridge Island, you'll just need to bike several blocks from our packet pickup tent at the community center to the offloading ramp.
Can I start the ride early? Route support is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m and midpoint service times are 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. You are welcome to ride outside of these times, but you will be unsupported, and the food stop may be closed. All route support will end at 3 p.m.
How hilly is the ride? Over the 33-mile ride you will climb a total of 2,191 feet. Most of the climbs are short but you are going up and down over most of the route. There is a shortcut, but that does not cut out the hills. The island is an old mountaintop; there are no flat rides on Bainbridge! If you want flat, we have many other great rides later in the season that are flat and fun!
What if I can not make it the entire 33 miles? On the route map there is a shortcut listed at mile mark 19.3, this cuts off 10 miles (23 miles total). Again, it does not cut out hills!
If I have a flat or other mechanical problems will there be someone to help me? There are support cars, Outriders and other friendly riders who may be able to help you out. You should carry the basic pump/patch kit. Or if you want to learn how to fix your own flat, check out one of Cascade Bicycle Clubs Fix-a-Flat classes!
Are the roads closed to vehicle traffic? No, the roads are open to vehicle traffic; so, you must obey all the rules of the road. Stop at stop signs and ride no more than two abreast. Single file is usually safer and do not follow too close! Please do not ride across the center line as there are many blind hills and corners on Bainbridge Island. Be respectful of the Bainbridge residents trying to go about their Sunday.
Where is the best place to park on the Seattle side? How much does it cost? There is plenty of street parking, pay lots and garages (don't drive in with a bike on your roof!) near packet pickup or the ferry terminal. Costs vary. City street parking is free on Sundays. Read signs carefully! Cascade Bicycle club does not pay parking tickets.
Where is the best place to park on the Bainbridge Island side? How much does it cost? Street parking on Bainbridge Island is free on Sunday, but time limits vary by location. Do not park on Brien Drive, as this is the location of the finish line festival. The street is permitted to be closed for the event.
Does Cascade offer any services to help me train? Cascade's Free Group Rides program offers a variety of rides almost every day of the year. If you are looking for something to boost you towards a larger goal, such as double century rides like STP and RSVP, check out our Cascade Training Series.
Suggested items to bring? Helmets are required, both by law and by Cascade Bicycle Club, and is part of the Code of Conduct that all registrants must agree to in order to participate in this event. Bring layers, gloves, something to keep the rain out of your eyes, and plenty of water and eletrolytes. Carry a patch kit, spare tubes, hand pump, and a good multi-tool. Cash for emergencies and goodies (groups taking donations for goods on route, and for the chili feed at the finish assuming you did not purchase a ticket in advance). Want a change of dry clothes for after the ride? Don't forget to use the bag truck. It's simple - drop off your one (single) bag at the truck located along the ferry ramp on Bainbridge Island at the start of the ride, and then pick it up directly at the finish line!