Sunday, March 6, 2011

Desert Rivers Region 400km - May 21, 2011

Ride: Desert River 400km
Organizer: Paul Whitney - post questions to this blog
Ride Date: Saturday May 21, 2011.
Start time: 6:00am, Registration - 5:30-5:55am. Sunrise/set 5:24/8:23
Start/End Location: Albertson's Parking lot; Leslie&Gage - in Richland, WA. 690 Gage Boulevard, Richland, WA.
Finish by: 9:00am May 22
Registration: Pre-register here.
Entry fee: $15 (+ $5 for non-RUSA members). Checks should be payable to "Paul Whitney".
Medals: Available directly from the RUSA online store.
Route Sheet: Final is here.

We will be using last year's route - with the modification that the start/end is the Albertson's parking lot. Here's the link for last year's. Stay tuned for the pre-drive report of the route.

Some night riding is almost inevitable for 400k's in the continental US. Accordingly, be sure and have:
  • A front and read light attached to the bike
  • A reflective vest/sash
  • Reflective ankle bands

The route extends the 200km route and continues exploring desert rivers. We take the same route out from Richland to Toppenish. From Toppenish, the route parallels the main highway on Track road, sidestepping back onto the main road before Track Rd veers right. There's a gradual climb on the south side of Yakima to Wiley City. Note: the Wiley Market has no restrooms - but, there are options before in Union Gap and after in Yakima and Selah. After Wiley City - the ride cuts across to Summitt Road, and over to the bike path system to cross to Selah. From Selah the ride goes through the Yakima River Valley up to Ellensburg - the control and turn-around point in Ellensburg is the Safeway. Then it's back through the canyon, into Selah, the bike-path, and controls on Nob Hill Blvd. From there we circumnavigate Moxee, and head down to Zillah - to take advantage of the services along the Interstate. We head through Zillah to the Yakima Valley Hwy - which changes names while passing through Sunnyside (more services), Grandview (more services), but essentially is a direct route to the Prosser control (more services). From Prosser, we essentially backtrack to Richland - w/ a good intermediate stop, if needed, in Benton City (you can't miss it:).

The longest stretches w/o easy access to services are through the Canyon between Selah and Ellensburg - this amounts ~50km.

Ride Finish: The finish will is staffed - Cathy will greet you, take your card, and offer you a Sonic Burger. All in the same great location as the ride start.

Most of the route segments are available on 'Bike Route Toaster', in order:
Richland to Prosser:
Prosser to Toppenish:
Toppenish to Wiley City:
Wiley City to EBurg: - note that this link puts one on the main road, as opposed to the bike path (see the route sheet).
EBurg to Yakima:
There's a bike path to be used from Selah to Yakima - instructions on the route sheet.
Yakima to Zillah:
Zillah to Prosser:
Prosser to Richland:

The route starts in Richland and heads West along the Yakima river valley. Here is a view of the 'out' to Ellensburg portion of the ride:

View Larger Map

And here is a view of the 'back' part of the ride:

View Larger Map

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