Monday, April 20, 2015

RUSA Permanent #2684 -- Gilderoy Lockhart Populaire

You want hills? Have some hills.

Well... at least "hills", by Yakima standards, organized into a relatively easy-to-navigate route -- it's certainly no De Ronde. I could add another thousand or so feet with zigs and zags here and there, but reading cue sheets is never the best part of bike riding.

Starting once again on West Nob Hill, your ride starts going straight west out Summitview, then onto Cowiche Mill Rd to the first info control at mile 13. It's a somewhat major road closer to Yakima, but always has a nice shoulder and gets quieter and prettier as you leave town.

From there, dart back down to the little town of Naches, and grab some mini-mart fare if you're in need. The way out of town brings by far the worst climb of the day -- starting in the middle of mile 22, you'll run into a couple of switchbacks up the hillside at about 8-10% grade. Nasty stuff, but less than a mile in total length.

After a little descent with beautiful high desert views, you resume climbing at a much more mild pace, heading up North Wenas Rd (the same stretch of road used for the more fun way to Ellensburg). Instead of attacking some gravel and crossing the boundary into Kittitas County, though, you just take a U-turn after an info control and enjoy nearly 20 miles of gradual descent towards Selah.

You'll finish up on some back roads to the west of Selah, which add a few final small climbs before taking you back south of the Naches River over Powerhouse Rd. From there, it's all city roads and a little MUP to wrap up your adventure.

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