Sunday had glorious weather for the annual Kitsap Color Classic (map, cue), the “Oh my, the cycling season’s over already?” ride. The ride has three loops, Hansville (red, 25 miles), Poulsbo (yellow, 36 miles), and Indianola (green, 14 miles). I did the Hansville and Indianola loops plus a few side roads, making this a 43 mile trip with about 2,800′ of elevation gain.
|KCC map, colorized with
I woke up on time, but as a sure sign that it’s fall, I easily talked myself into going back to sleep for another hour and catching the next ferry. Of course, I misjudged how long it would take to get to Edmonds, park, and pick up my number. The ferry departure whistle sounded as I was picking up my packet. I chatted with the event staff then found a coffee shop.
If I was going to do all three loops, I’d start with the Indianola (green) loop.
It’s not that long and ends at the Kitsap Bank food stop, where I could tank up
before starting the next loop. Unfortunately, with the mass exodus from the ferry
— a couple hundred bikes followed by two lanes of cars — I easily missed the
little green left-turn arrow leading to
“NE W Kingston Rd.”
Since I have done the Poulsbo section before, I started with the Hansville
of the Kitsap Peninsula. It’s a shallow, but long climb. At point 1,
there’s no shoulder, which is why the route diverts onto “Old Hansville Road.”
A few rollers and a rapid descent later is Hansville Repair, the first stop.
I pulled in only long enough to fill my water bottles. The section on the north
has a couple of steep, but short hills. Somehow I manage to pass a few people
while going uphill. A couple of others are walking their bikes. I said hello and keep pedaling.
Near point 2, the official route turns southward. I thought the northwest segment
might be interesting to explore. Twin Spits road, the little part
that juts west, has a beach view, but the remaining segment, Foulweather Bluff Road,
is just an interesting name. The road is primarily access to people’s homes.
In other words, no view. I rode back onto the main route, Hood Canal Dr. NE,
passing a cyclist who apparently had the same idea I did in exploring the ‘spit.
Further southward, near point 3, is a little side-jut on NE Cliffside Rd. I was wondering why, and continued straight. There’s a short segment of potholed, dirt road. Near a culvert was an abandoned dishwasher. Oh, the hazards of suburban cycling!
I topped off everything at the Kitsap Bank stop, then headed south to do the Indianola loop counter-clockwise. There’s no shoulder and the road’s even busier. At point 4, I diverted west along W. Kingston Road so I could pick up the “official” route. West Kingston is very wide and has a designated bike lane on each side. This would be a much better road for the ride.
I joined the course at point 5, heading south to Indianola. South Kingston makes a steep descent in the last minute, then you end up along the waterfront, proverbial “downtown Indianola.” There’s a nice jetty for residents only, though they cut us some slack for the day.
Some other riders were confused where to go. They (men) blew off my attempt to help, so I went my way. (Perhaps my highlighted route map and moving map GPS weren’t totally obvious clues that I knew where to go.) Anyway, the climb back up Great Cliff Rd was … breathtaking. Biking Cougar Mountain helped put it in perspective, though.
The late start crimped my urge to do the beautiful Port Gamble segment this year. Instead of going back to the Kitsap Bank and following the busy Highway 104, I took W. Kingston back to the ferry. It’s a much nicer road.
The Kitsap Color Classic is a nice end-of-season ride, and a reminder of why this is such a great area to bicycle. Stops were adequately stocked with snacks and munchies. The abundance of home construction and improvement also meant there were literally dozens of Honey Bucket-equivalents scattered along the island.
Thanks for reading this far. If you have any suggestions for the ride calendar application or would like to contribute your ride reports
and reviews, please let me know.