9th Annual

Ride Around Puget Sound Bike Ride

August 25th, 2012

August 2012
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Estimated Distance: 170 Miles
Estimated Ascent: 8000 Feet

(RAPSody Map & Cue Sheet 2010 PDF)

Enjoy the scenic back roads of five Washington counties while supporting statewide bicycle advocacy and education on the Seventh Annual Ride Around Puget Sound.

With 170 miles of rolling hills, doing RAPSody in one day is hard, two days is challenging fun. The route crosses the Tacoma Narrow Bridge, uses portions of paved trails, and provides many wonderful Northwest views.

What's Included: Scenic rest stops with great food, souvenir socks, luggage transport to free overnight camping, live music, sag support along the route, cue sheets/maps, and great community support.

Ride Proceeds: All event proceeds are donated to the Bicycle Alliance of Washington (BAW).

Day 1: 89 miles

Day 2: 81 miles

Total Miles: 170 miles

Day 1 Elevation Gain: 5,800 ft

Day 2 Elevation Gain: 3,800 ft

Approx Total Elevation Gain: 9,600 ft.

Ride around Puget Sound.

The Ride Around Puget Sound starts and ends at Tacoma Community College, where free overnight parking is provided. The route passes through Tacoma, Gig Harbor, Southworth, Port Orchard, Shelton, Olympia, Lacey, Fort Lewis, Steilacoom, University Place and lots of little towns you've never heard of but might want to go back and visit again some day.

Rider will cross the Tacoma Narrows Bridge on a separated 10-foot path and will enjoy sections of several paved bike trails. Roads are generally low-traffic, but participants do earn bragging rights for riding on I-5 for approximately mile (it's legal, safe and exhilarating, especially when you ride faster than the backed-up cars).

2009 Ride Results

More than 400 people from all over the world * enjoyed good weather, great food, and friendly company for the Ride Around Puget Sound Aug. 22-23, 2009. About 40 people completed the challenging 170 mile route in one day. Others took a bit more time to enjoy homemade cookies, calzones, yogurt, and music at the rest stops and stayed overnight in Shelton. Kids and volunteers from Save Our County's Kids (SOCK) fed us lots of carbs and the tent camping in the baseball field was plenty comfy thanks to the groundskeepers and good grass. Mason Transit helped get people to downtown Shelton for other meal and sleeping options.

Two last minute route changes in Olympia, caused by construction and the desire to have riders pass by the Bike Stand for mechanical support, resulted in some confused riders. Several people accidentally shaved 10 miles off the route and perhaps added a few looking for route markings that weren't there since they were not on the route! Our apologies for that but we meant well.

Overall, our route came in for high reviews thanks to the many Puget Sound views, quiet, tree-lined roads, and tranquil trails along the way. Riders can also brag about riding on I-5 and brief sections of Highway 101.

Ice cream and hot showers at the finish were a hit, as always. We have many riders who have returned year after year because "this is my favorite ride" and many who discover us for the first time. We hope you come back again and bring a friend.

Over $20,000 was raised for the Bicycle Alliance of Washington. That money will go a long way toward lobbying state legislators for better bike laws, working with the Washington State Department of Transportation to implement the state bike plan, fund "Safe Routes to School" grants, and educating motorists about safely sharing the road.

We are already talking about RAPSody 2010. How to make it better, how to get a few more people (not so many as to cause a line at the porta-potties, mind you), what rock band to have at the high school, and what tweaks to the almost perfect route to keep it interesting.

Mark your calendars for August 28-29, 2010 and tell a friend.

Thanks from the Five Sisters bike clubs for enjoying our ride: BIKES Club of Snohomish County, West Sound Cycling Club, Cyclists of Greater Seattle, Capital Bicycle Club, and Tacoma Wheelmen Bicycle Club.

* We can say that because we had riders from New Zealand and the Virgin Islands, as well as the usual suspects from all over Washington and Oregon.