The Camano Climb, in its seventh year, is sponsored by the Stanwood-Camano Kiwanis. The route is a 50 mile loop on Camano Island, about an hour north of Seattle. I found out about the ride from a flyer in the Cascade Bicycle Club newsletter.
With my knees hurting last week, I was a tad nervous about doing this ride. “Climb” implies hilly, which means a lot of slow pedaling, albeit in a low gear.
The Camano climb has a very community feel to it. For example:
- The food stops had primarily fruit and cookies, with a water jug and a manual pump brought in from the community center. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that terrestial foodstuffs are just as good and tasty as their alien counterparts.
- There was a bonus food stop with one of the local women’s organizations (sorry, don’t remember which) selling home-baked goods. I kind of felt guilty that they’re sitting out there and donated a buck for a brownie. If I weren’t riding, I would have really enjoyed the brownie, but empty calories wreak havoc on my system during a workout.
- I saw several Camano Island residents out walking with kids or pets or just each other and would wave, smile, make eye contact, and say hello. This is highly cool. Cyclists always seem suspect — I know my family doesn’t grok why I’d want drive an hour and a half to then go biking four hours and get back in the car again.
The ride was prettier than I expected and I didn’t exacerbate my knee problems. However, after cleaning five weeks of rainy rides off my bike(*), I noticed that several grommets in my rear tire are loose. A new rim, spokes, and while we’re at it tire will run about $150 with labor.
Top speed on a downhill (don’t look, Janet) was 47.3 mph.
42.3 miles, 2,360′ elevation gain, 3192 calories, total time about 3:20 with stops.
(*) Yes, I do bike in the rain. Normally when I’m done, I’ll hose off the crud from the bottom and the wheels.
This is a nice enough ride. It is usually rainy and the hills are rough this early in the season. The Skagit Spring Classic the following week always seems to have better weather and we’ve done the metric century which feels easier after you hardened your legs doing this ride.
I would recommend this ride. Even if it is raining in Seattle on the day of the ride, Camano is in its own banana belt and is usually much drier, and you’ll be glad you did it..
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