Yellow Flowers Signal Start of Ride Events
Daffodils are cheering up many still-dormant landscapes, and they also remind me that the season of cycling events is starting.
It’s kicked off each year with the Daffodil Classic, a nice ride through the foothills east of Tacoma, presented by the Tacoma Wheelmen’s Bicycle Club.
This year, it’s Sunday, April 13. The ride, now in its 39th year, starts at Orting Middle School. There are routes from 1 to 60 miles long.
If you’ve never ridden the Foothills Trail or the countryside around Orting, this is a good time to try it. On a sunny day, you’ll see Mt. Rainier not too far in the distance. You’ll pass a marshy area south of town where REI has sponsored a rest stop, from which you can do a little bird watching. You’ll ride by a couple of creeks and rivers, including the Carbon River, which rushes off the flanks of the big mountain every spring with meltwater from the Carbon Glacier.
And you’ll meet a bunch of nice people. The TWBC is by far the oldest bike club in the state (hence the historic but politically incorrect name). It’s populated by a bunch of folks who just like to go on recreational rides. If you live in the area, you should be a member. If not, put on the jersey from your own club and head down there to show the flag.
Until April 11, the Daffodil Classic registration fee is only $35, which includes the famous strawberry shortcake at the finish line. And kids under 17 ride free with an adult, so it’s a great family event.
Other events coming
It’s not too early to register for other upcoming events. I find that early registration is a great motivator to get in some training rides. Here are two more great events:
April 19 – Tulip Pedal, LaConner. Hit the other big flower-themed ride in the flat farmland of the Skagit Valley. Routes from 20 to 60 miles.
April 26 – Tour de Lopez. Ride the friendly, rural island, part of the San Juans. Routes from 5 to 31 miles.
Find an amazing list of rides in the Bicycle Paper’s Tour Guide.