Climbing and suffering in the Issaquah Alps (September 9th, 2023)
We're pleased to be able to offer Sufferin' Summits in 2023! The following are a few notes for your solo or personal group ride:
Steep climbs mean steep descents. Please ride safely and note there are stops at the bottom of many of the descents. Starting early is a really good idea if it's hot; the climbs in the second half are nearly all in the sun. Based on current information, the bathrooms at Tibbets Valley Park and Lewis Creek Park are open, but this could be incorrect. The gas station convenience store at mile 35 is open, and there is a supermarket in the same complex. A "print it yourself" ride number is available to all participants to download. Please take pictures of your ride and share them. #SufferinSummits2022 would be an appropriate tag. The GPS routes are correct, but some GPS computer try to be helpful where the route crosses itself and cut out some segments. The following are individual segments that might make this better: 1 2 3 4 5 6:
There is a "bonus" route that adds on the ever-popular "Montreaux with Zoo Cutoff" to the route back to the starting point, for a 1000' (ish) bonus. Use this instead of segment 6
Sufferin' Summits is a very challenging ride with over 8000' of climbing on a short 56 mile course. It strings together four 1000'+ climbs in the "Issaquah Alps" - Grand Ridge, Squak Mountain, Zoo Hill, and Summit - and adds in the steepest shorter climbs around. There are shorter versions of the route for those who wish an easier but still challenging ride.
This ride will reward you with some of the best views in the area, but you will need to pay for them; 15% gradients are common on this ride and there are pitches that exceed 20%. You will need to be comfortable going up and down steep hills, following cue sheets, and riding independently. Those who want more information should read the overview of the route here.
We will not be providing paper cue sheets for the ride, but you will be able to find them on the Facebook page for the ride. You can also download navigation files from the RideWithGPS links, but note that the route crosses itself in a few places and that may confuse some GPS units.
Safety - This ride features steep and sometimes curvy descents and less-than-perfect pavement; please keep that in mind when descending.
Weather - The decision to ride or cancel will be made from the starting location. If the ride is officially canceled, the route will still be available for those hearty souls that wish to train in any condition.
Parking - We meet in the skatepark lot of Tibbets Valley Park. There is additional parking in the parking garage across the street or near the ball fields.
Food and water - This ride is self-supported and there are three opportunities along the route for water, food and bathrooms:
Mile 15 passes by Tibbets field, which has restrooms and a water-bottle filler near the backstop.
Mile 28 has a bathroom and water stop
Mile 35 passes by a convenience store/gas station and a grocery store.
Where: Tibbets Valley Park, skatepark lot (1300 Newport Way, Issaquah, WA 98027)
Numbers: Three routes: 16, 32, and 56 miles featuring 2070', 4539', and 8266' of up.
Duration: 2-6 hours depending on route and pace
Pace: Whatever you like, but slower than you expect.
Ride Goal: Complete your route at your pace. No regrouping, no sweeps.
Ride FB Page: Sufferin' Summits Facebook Page.
Ride Website: Sufferin' Summits Web Page.
Ride Leader: Eric Gunnerson
The Quarter - 15.5 miles, 2,070' View route and cue sheet at Ride With GPS
The Half - 31.8 miles, 4539' View route and cue sheet at Ride With GPS
The Full - 56.2 miles, 8266' View route and cue sheet at Ride With GPS
Club Ride Requirements
Sufferin' Summits is an RCC Club ride. You must be an RCC Member to take part in Course d'Equipe. RCC Membership allows us to keep insurance costs at a minimum and lower the overall cost for the event. If you're not yet an RCC Member - it's easy to sign up today for the price of two tubes: click here to join RCC. The Ride Director will verify all riders at the course start.