Here’s the forecast for this Sunday’s Chilly Hill Bicycle Classic presented by the Cascade Bicycle Club:
The Chilly Hilly can be sunny like this…
[As of 7 p.m. Friday] Mostly cloudy and chilly with chance of snow and precipitation. High temps of 42; might be snow on the ground in early morning.
High temperature of 43, low of 36, chance of precipitation in the late afternoon, and 2,675 feet of elevation change.
The 2,675 feet of elevation change for the 33-mile loop ride around Bainbridge Island is the only factor that’s isn’t open to interpretation.
Accuweather.com reports that the 42 degrees Fahrenheit will feel like 37 degrees, and the 36 degrees will feel like 28 degrees. Add in the wind chill factor of screaming down one of the many steep hills on the ride, and consider that you’ll want to dress accordingly.
… or wet like this…
Online registration for the bike ride, which includes a ferry ride to the Winslow terminal from Seattle, cuts off at 9 a.m. Friday. After then, you’ll have to register at the start on Alaskan Way across from the Colman Ferry Terminal. (Cyclists from the west side of the Puget Sound can get a reduced rate registration at the B.I. Cycle Shop, 124 Bjune Drive, SE., Winslow.)
Day-of-ride registration runs from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Coleman dock, and 7:30 to 10:30 in Winslow.
Be on the lookout for
Whatever the temperature and precipitation, the hills are a constant challenge, year in and year out. Heading downhill, watch for other cyclists passing on your left — and right — who are trying to gain speed for the upcoming climb.
Then be aware that many cyclists will bail out on the climbs, and walk to the top. They don’t always go to the side of the road before they dismount. Also, pay attention to the ride referees who will be posted at the occasional sharp turn at the base of a hill.
… but it’s always crowded like this.
Cascade says the ride bib number is your ticket onto the ferries leaving Colman at 7:55, 8:45, 9:35, and 10:35. There will be lines and limited number of cyclists who can board. Be prepared to wait. The most crowded ferry is the one that leaves at 7:55.
As with all eastbound ferry rides, the return trip is free for bicyclists. Check the ferry schedule to aim for a good time to return.
Remember that chili, baked goods and hot drinks will be served at the finish line in Winslow. New this year is a free food stop at Island Center Hall on Fletcher Bay Road at approximately mile 17.6. The Bainbridge Island Rope Skippers Club (you’ll see the kids jumping rope) will sponsor a fund-raiser lunch at Battle Point Park, mile 15.4.