Cyclists get ready for steep 'Ride the Hurricane'
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Russ Veenema
Bicyclists climb Hurricane Ridge Road during a previous Ride the Hurricane, now in its fourth year. The noncompetitive, recreational bike ride is set for next Sunday, Aug. 4.

Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Nearly 400 riders are registered already for next Sunday's Ride the Hurricane, a sinew-busting pedal up to Hurricane Ridge, which is 5,242 feet above sea level.

There's room for 300 more cyclists, and spectators can catch a free first-come, first-served shuttle to watch this year, said Russ Veenema, executive director of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the event, now in its fourth year.

Olympic National Park will close Hurricane Ridge Road to vehicle traffic, except for the shuttles, from 5 a.m. to noon, leaving it open for the cyclists to enjoy.

“What makes this ride unique is that the park clears the road for the cyclists,” said Veenema, a cyclist who knows what it can be like to ride in heavy vehicular traffic.

“That's the niche: the fact that we are able to close the road and have the famous Hurricane Ridge Road just for cyclists,” he said.

“Very few events are on roads that are free of vehicles,” he added.

Registration

Registration is $35 and can be done either in advance or the day of the ride Aug. 4.

Participants can choose between either the 24-mile round-trip ride starting from the Heart o' the Hills entrance station on Hurricane Ridge Road or the 36-mile round-trip ride that begins at the Peninsula College parking lot at 1502 W. Lauridsen Blvd.

The official start time from both locations is 7 a.m.

The recreational bicycle ride up Hurricane Ridge Road is noncompetitive, offering only bragging rights as well as Ride the Hurricane cycling caps and refreshments at the summit.

Celebratory “I made it to the top” photos also will be taken and will be available online after the ride.

Party, spectator shuttle

New this year is an informal post-ride party in the Peninsula College parking lot from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a spectator shuttle up to Heart o' the Hills entrance station and to the Hurricane Ridge summit.

The shuttle from All Points Charters & Tours will leave the Peninsula College parking lot at 7 a.m. and Heart o' the Hills at 7:20 a.m.

It will leave the Hurricane Ridge summit at 9 a.m. Other round trips will leave Peninsula College at 10 a.m., Heart o' the Hills at 10:20 a.m. and the summit for the final trip back at 11:30 a.m.

Once the park closes the road to vehicles, the road will be restricted to ride participants and shuttle spectators.

Park fee waived

The park also will waive entrance fees at the Heart o' the Hills entrance station from noon onward.

Riders starting from the Heart o' the Hills entrance station will climb more than 3,300 feet on the 12-mile uphill first leg to Hurricane Ridge.

Those starting from the registration area at Peninsula College will gain about 4,300 feet over the first 18 miles to the Ridge.

Riders need to be off the road by noon, when Hurricane Ridge Road will open to vehicle traffic.

Four aid stations along the route will provide water and restrooms.

Aid station sponsors include D.A. Davidson & Co., Kelly Johnson Windermere Realtor, Sound Bikes and Kayaks, and The Bike Garage.

Black Ball Ferry Line, which operates the MV Coho between Port Angeles and Victoria, is the presenting sponsor.

Additional major sponsorship comes from First Federal, with hospitality from Aramark Properties, water from Olympic Springs and the after-ride party from Therapeutic Associates-Port Angeles.

Registration

Online advance registration can be done through the PayPal link at www.portangeles.org/pages/RideTheHurricane.

Each registration fee will provide $5 for Olympic Discovery Trail maintenance and expansion.

All riders are required to sign a waiver, and all riders must wear a cycling helmet.

In-person registration before the event will start at 6 a.m. that morning in the Peninsula College western parking lot.

Participants can begin after registering, but the Heart o' the Hills access gate will not open until 7 a.m.

For more information, visit www.portangeles.org/pages/RideTheHurricane.

Last modified: July 27. 2013 10:47PM
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