Susan - Much of this route is pavement or packed dirt and gravel. On a couple of the descents it would be a bit sketchy but otherwise OK. I did it with 44 mm WTB Byway tires designed for mixed surfaces and they were ideal for this route with the heavy load I was carrying. I would ride the route on the same tires again, even with a lighter load.
That looks like a fun ride! In the photos, the gravel looks pretty reasonable. Do you think 32 mm tires would be wide enough?
Mark - I do have a favorite gravel route to share. I covered this route on two separate bikepacking trips in September and October, and I'd like to do the loop as an overnight bikepacking trip next year. Day one will be the section from Quilcene to Sequim ~50 miles, 6,200 feet. Day two will be easy return to Quilcene - 28 miles, 1,800 feet. I did the 50 mile route with a full set of camping gear and it was a beast (bike plus gear = 70lbs+). I'd like to do it again with just a light overnight kit, and spend the night in Sequim. There are camping options but they are either primitive or noisy or both. The route goes through Olympic National Forest on some lovely and remote forest service roads, and is paved most of the way up the first summit, so extra food and water etc are essential. Let me know if you're interested in planning this as a COGS tour, or in participating.
For those wanting more experience with gravel, Gus Jansson and I just did a 60 mile ride on mixed roads (paved and unpaved), going from Woodinville to Sultan and back. Lots of gravel, most of it quite rideable. Here's Gus's RideWithGPS track, complete with pictures:
Gus and I used our randonneur bikes with 42mm tires. I would think 35mm tires would be fine, 32mm would be the minimum.
The ride was 6 hours of cycling and 2 hours of stops--some elegant, like the coffee stop at the winery just outside Woodinville, some inconvenient, like the stop to change a flat that occurred just as we were transitioning from gravel back to pavement south of Sultan.
The ride is just the middle section of a longer ride reported on Jan Heine's website, where Heine and friends cycled from Seattle to Sultan to Lake Spada and returned in one day, 140 miles round trip:
That is very impressive cycling indeed.
If you just want to pick up a little gravel riding with some challenging but short climbs, you could ride the portion of the Tolt Pipeline Trail that heads East from Duvall.
Does anyone else have a favorite gravel or mixed gravel/paved ride they could share?
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