The Northwest’s largest bicycle ride starts Saturday morning and authorities are warning motorists to be prepared to share roads in Pierce and Thurston counties with thousands of cyclists.
The Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic started at dawn at the University of Washington and concludes tomorrow evening in Portland. As many as 10,000 cyclists participate in the 200-mile bike ride. About 20 percent typically attempt to finish the ride in one day.
The Puyallup Police Department estimated that the fist cyclists would arrive in their jurisdiction about 6:30 a.m. The largest packs will roll through in the hours that follow. Many of the cyclists in this ride are novice riders and may be new to riding in large groups on open roads. The event is not a race.
“Make sure you give them room & use caution when passing,” the Puyallup Police Department tweeted Saturday.
The route visits Sumner, Puyallup, Spanaway, Yelm, Tenino, Centralia and spots in between. Centralia is the halfway point, where many riders will camp for the evening. The stretch on the Spanaway-McKenna Highway between Spanaway and Roy can be one of the most nerve-racking sections of the course for motorists and cyclists.
“Be careful and patient,” the Yelm Police Department tweeted Saturday morning.
To view the entire course, visit cascade.org.