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Hurricane Ridge Ride
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Since I am now 70 years OLD, I am no longer motivated to train for this ride so this may be the last year I train to try to get a time under 2:30. In the future, tLw, I will most likely be only taking my trike up (at a LOT slower, leisurely pace). I will not be advertizing my next ride any more but if you are interested you can E-mail me about this, assuming you have my E-mail address. I usually do my ride in August but the most important criterion is the weather forecast. When I did my last ride in August of 2017 I also hiked Hurricane Hill and left a photo of my deceased daughter, Lisa at the summit. She had always wanted to do the ride with me. A few photos of this ride are viewable here My next ride will be my 31th ride to the top (4 with my trike) and my 26th year of doing this. Since I am now 70, if I can do this ride so can you.
I take the Coho ferry to Port Angeles and cycle on a paved road from sea level to nearly 1 mile up (5242 feet exactly, just a few feet short of a mile) over an 18 mile (or 29 KM) uphill stretch of beautiful scenery. This distance is from the lower Visitor Center which itself is about 3.5 KM from the Coho ferry dock. The hill grade (slope) may be viewed here.
, who is over 75 years young started this annual tradition.
Bob has completed this ride at least 26 times.
On the 24th of August 2010 I took a trike ride with Brian Collier. My trike and contents weighed 66 lbs and I weighed 158 lbs for a total of 224 lbs which I took to the top. I did not do a ride in 2008 due to the road being closed to cyclists. The section of road from the toll booth to the top vistor's center has been repaved and is a lot smoother now. Unfortunately the very narrow shoulder has not been widened although there are more pull outs and paved rest areas now.
When at the top and on a clear day, a very short hike allows one to see Victoria and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The view is spectacular. It is highly recommended that you take this trip only on a mainly sunny day. It is no fun walking around in the clouds and/or rain at the top.
The Coho ferry leaves Victoria at 6:10 AM and arrives back at Victoria at 2:45 PM or 6:55 PM depending on whether we catch the 12:45 or 5:15 PM sailing back from Port Angeles. The ONE way cost is $18.50 US per person and $6.50 US for the bike (as of 2016-07-10). Canadian cash, US cash, Visa, Mastercard, or traveler's cheque are accepted.
If you are from the U.S. and would like to come along, we leave the lower Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center about 8:30 AM. You could also meet us at the Black Ball Ferry terminal at 8:00 AM and cycle with us from there.
You may cycle at your own pace or cycle with a group but we all meet at the top. Traditionally we have all travelled down together between about 3 and 3:30 PM.
This is a great one day bike trip and a formidable personal challenge. To see how this hill compares with others in B.C. and Alberta check out this table of Mountain Passes. All finishers of this hill are HIGH achievers!
In order to get into the U.S. a Passport is now required. A BC drivers licence and your birth certificate and/or Canadian Citizenship document are NO longer good enough.
From the Coho Ferry Terminal, turn left onto Railroad Ave. About 1/2 a block down, turn right (heading south) onto Laurel St. Two blocks further, turn left (heading east) down 1st Street. About 5 blocks down 1st Street, turn right (heading south) down Race St. This road will take you to the "Olympic National Park Visitor Center" (on your right). From Race St. turn right up the "Heart of the Hills Parkway" and you only have 18 miles (about 29 kilometers) left to go.
My Recommendations for First Time Cyclists:
Pace yourself. Stop at all view points and have a snack. Take at least 2 liters of sports drink along. If it is a cool day (60 F or less) take leg warmers and arm warmers. Take tire irons and one tube (just in case you get a flat). If you think this ride is too tough check out this.
Please keep these points in mind:
My first ride up on a heavy mountain bike with both bike bags took me over 3 hours. So pacing is very important. You have from 8:30 am (when most people leave the lower Visitor Center) to 3:30 PM to make it. That leaves 1 hour to cycle down (easy for anyone to make that time) and that takes us to 4:30 pm and leaves 1/2 hour in case you get a flat (to 5:00 pm) and still have 15 minutes to spare till the 5:15 pm ferry leaves for Victoria. I know a 72 year old who made it up in 4 hours and one woman who had done no training and had a heavy mountain bike with loaded bags who took just over 5 hours. A bike racer does it in 1 1/2 hours or less (from the Lower Visitor Center). The fastest bike racer time I am aware of is 1:15.