In the Rearview
By Jennifer Schofield
Photo at right: A bevy of road riders hit the course. Photo by Matt Paul, courtesy of Bicycle Adventures
The Bicycle Adventures caravan started over Snoqualmie Pass bright and early on the morning of Friday, June 27, to start setup for the Suncadia Cycling Festival. Each of us were surprised by the traffic that the DOT’s rolling slowdowns caused; it was just enough of a panic to really get my pre-event nerves amped up. Thankfully, that would be the biggest worry of the weekend.
All Bicycle Adventures staff and equipment made it in plenty of time to set up, and before long we were ready to welcome our first participants to festival grounds at the Historic Nelson Dairy Farm in Cle Elum, Wash. Tents erected and bike racks in position, Suncadia’s kitchens set out nutritious snacks and beverages for our riders, and Roslyn’s Northwest Bicycle Improvement Co. was on hand to assist with repairs.
About half of Friday’s riders pre-registered and we were happy to welcome several day-of signups, many from neighboring Roslyn. The number of kids we had sign up for the mountain bike route through Roslyn’s Urban Forest were an unexpected treat. The mountain bike course was challenging, with some serious climbs that were not for the faint of heart. A small percentage of riders opted for the more challenging second lap, but regardless of the difficulty riders chose, each and every one came back beaming to the festival grounds.
A little weather blew in Saturday morning to see off our road riders. The easterly wind made for a quick trip southeast to Ellensburg, Wash., and then it stuck around creating an extra good challenge for the pedal back to the farm. But, the views were great, and we all met cool new like-minded folks who love cycling. Victory photos and stories were swapped while cooling down.
Sunday morning, Mother Nature greeted us with a little attitude. Our riders responded in kind, tackling a grueling climb a mere 5 miles into the 45-mile route. The off-road portion truly satisfied in a way that only off-road can, free of cars and full of big views and fresh air. But, then the wind battered the pavement section back into Cle Elum. Misery loves company, and thankfully the riders were all out in good company.
And then – suddenly it seemed –it was time to pack up the party and go home. For us, that was back on the rainy more populous side of the Cascades. We are already looking forward to next year, and are full of grand ideas to make next year’s Suncadia Cycling Festival not just bigger and better, but the best bike fest in 2015. Come ride with us June 26-28, 2015.
Jennifer Schofield is the Event Director of Suncadia Cycling Festival and a Regional Team Leader and Tour Guide at Bicycle Adventures. For more information about Bicycle Adventures, go to: www.bicycleadventures.com