If the “chilly” in the Chilly Hilly bike ride held every February on Bainbridge Island scares you away, then this might be the year to overcome it.
Forecasters predict sunny weather in the 50s on Sunday, when the Cascade Bicycle Club presents the 43rd annual, 33-mile bike ride around the island.
In spite of good weather, you’ll still have to tackle 2,675 feet of climbing.
Temperatures will drop into the upper 30s overnight, and the mercury is expected to climb into the 40s by 9 a.m. You’ll probably start striping off the layers on one of those early climbs, or by 1 p.m., when the temperatures are expected to hit 50 degrees. We’re also talking about light winds at 4 to 6 mph.
This opening bike ride of the season is often accompanied by bone-chilling temperatures, stiff wind, and rain or drizzle. Historic temperature swings on this date stretch from 64 to 25.
With clear skies predicted Sunday, the views across Puget Sound to Seattle should be remarkable.
Bicycle riders can arrive at Pyramid Brewing at 12011 First Street to buy or pick up their registration packets between 7 and 10 a.m. on Sunday. Affix your bib number and head over to the Bainbridge Island ferry, entering the terminal through the Yesler Exit, and lining up with other Cascade riders. (Make sure your bib number is visible; that’s your ferry ticket also.) Ferry times are 7:55, 8:45, 9:35 and 10:35 a.m.
If you’re starting on Bainbridge Island, pick up your registration at B.I. Cycle Shop,124 Bjune Dr SE, Winslow, between 7:30 and 10:30 a.m.
Although the ride is relatively short at 33 miles, there are several places to stop for grub along the route. Free food will be offered at Battle Point Park, roughly the midway point. Girl Scouts will be selling food at the park as well, and look for roadside cookie stops set up by young entrepreneurs along the route. The Bainbridge Island Rowing Club is selling chili and drinks at the finish.
2010 is said to have had the biggest turnout at more than 6,000 people. Remember to ride safely.
Other Bainbridge Island bike rides
If it’s still too chilly for you, there are a couple of loop rides on Bainbridge Island in the summer.
Bike for Pie, presented by Squeaky Wheels, offers a 10 and 32 mile option for bicycle riders on Aug. 9. And pie.
Then in September (no date set for 2015), the Bainbridge Island Kiwanis club offers the Summer Challenge Bike Ride, which last year featured a 100k hill climber ride, and 50k and 25k routes. And free ice cream sundaes.
If those dates don’t work for you, I included a 34.4-mile loop ride around Bainbridge Island in Best Bike Rides – Seattle. It takes in the old Port Madison town site, Frog Rock, Fort Ward and the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial. It is not flat and you have to provide your own pie and ice cream sundaes.