Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Desert River 300km Pre-Drive

Over the Snake River

The ride sets out from Richland, and in short order you're cycling by the Columbia River, and then over the river on the Cable Bridge. The next short stretch is a desultory tour of Pasco. It ends and you cross the snake river and into Burbank. The scenery starts to pick up again after the control, and then there's a long stretch w/ limited services from Burbank to Prescott and then Waitsburg.

It's easy (in a car) to miss the Bolles turn off of the highway to Waitsburg. Catch the turn to get off the highway, and then a right-turn into downtown Waitsburg. Enjoy the town. Stop at the store to get your card signed, and continue South.

Right out of town is the right turn onto Middle Waitsburg Drive. A local cyclist encountered on the pre-drive gave it a thumbs-up - a great ride "if you like hills". It's hilly enough. And then you're in Walla Walla. A sequence of right turns places you at the outstanding Pioneer Park for an information control, restrooms etc. Leave the park the way you entered (construction on the south side) and take Alder to 9th. Hang a left. There's services all over the town - and in Milton-Freewater just to the South.

It's a decent stretch from Milton-Freewater to Pendleton. If it's windy you'll be exposed there, so ride in groups. Good looking shoulders on the road. It's a sharp descent into Pendleton. If you follow the Hwy 30 signs you'll work your way through town just fine. It'll take you by the place of the Roundup, and plenty of place to stop and eat/refill-bottles. This highway takes you into the Pendleton/Reith/Echo canyon. Then Stanton, Hermiston, Umatilla.

Cross the Columbia and prepare to Climb about 1200 rolling vertical feet. When you crest, you'll see the lights of the tri-cities. It's a dark descent from the top of Clodfelter into town. Once you've crossed over the bridge over the interstate, start braking to shed speed quickly - the left turn onto Leslie is easy to miss. After the turn onto Leslie - coast down that hill to the stop sign by the Shell Station. Don't stop there - you're ~2 miles from the end. Cross the intersection. You'll then have a stretch of packed gravel or fresh pavement before getting one last coasting opportunity into the finish.

Assorted pictures are here.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Paul

    I know it is late, but I just put my ride report together for the Tri-Cities 300k. It's a little longish due its being my first 300k, but I posted it today on my blog:

    Thanks again!