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  1. #1
    In Blue America
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    Question Old Vantage Highway - WA

    I heard from someone here in Seattle that a great road ride is the Old Vantage Highway (I don't know if that's the real name) that leads from Ellensburg to Vantage. I see it on the map just north of I90. I imagine this is really hilly, with thorns and tumbleweed on a crumbling, remote roadway - but I have no idea. Anyone been on this stretch of road, and what are your thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by TypeOne
    I heard from someone here in Seattle that a great road ride is the Old Vantage Highway (I don't know if that's the real name) that leads from Ellensburg to Vantage. I see it on the map just north of I90. I imagine this is really hilly, with thorns and tumbleweed on a crumbling, remote roadway - but I have no idea. Anyone been on this stretch of road, and what are your thoughts?
    First thing you should be aware of before you tackle this section of hwy is the wind. There is a reason they are building a wind farm on the hills above Kittitas. It would not be unusual at all to run into sustained 18-22 mph winds. The distance from Eburg to Vantage could probably be covered in an hour including the uphill grade out of Kittitas on a windy day. It would take more than 2 hours for a strong biker to get back. About a month ago I went from Cle Elum to Eburg and back. It took me 3 hours saddle time. I ran into three riders who went to Vantage and they reported 7 hours or more for 90 some miles. Coming out of Vantage they reported they were down to around 7mph.

    The road itself is fairly decent, its maintained by the state. There isnt much traffic on it.
    I wouldnt worry much about thorns or pinch flats, although it can be a bit bumpy. Coming out of Eburg you have an eight mile climb to the ridge east of Kittitas. The climb from both directions is pretty easy, maybe 5-6 percent or so. From there its about 15 miles or so down to the river. I try to avoid really windy rides unless I am bored and want to punish myself If the weather is nice in Seattle-no clouds, rain, cold winds out of the north then it will be nice on the ride to Vantage. The last 10 days I doubt if the wind has dropped below 10mph. Another easy ride with no traffic is Cle Elum to Ellensburg on the same Hwy 10. The distance of 48 miles is about the same, the wind is about the same also. Both sections of road are lightly traveled and you probably wont see another bike.

    The only warning about these two rides would be are you a strong enough mentally and physically to deall with 20-45 mph winds for two hours. Its usually not that bad, but it could be.

  3. #3
    Roll Out Jeremy
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    Thumbs up Good points about the wind

    I have never been on the Vantage road but I-90 is a long, long descent down to the Columbia. Depending on which way you are going some long steady climbing could go along with the wind. Makes for some interesting cycling. I may opt to use the Thorpe road instead of Hiway 10. Great riding all over that area. Keep your water bottle full. It can really get hot.
    Ollie Ollie Oxen Free
    "Don't believe everything you think"

  4. #4
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    Thorp is really windy

    Quote Originally Posted by Fordy
    I have never been on the Vantage road but I-90 is a long, long descent down to the Columbia. Depending on which way you are going some long steady climbing could go along with the wind. Makes for some interesting cycling. I may opt to use the Thorpe road instead of Hiway 10. Great riding all over that area. Keep your water bottle full. It can really get hot.
    I dont like biking on the south side of I-90, believe it or not the wind is worst there than down in the canyon, especially around Thorp. A couple of times I bailed out on the rides and got on I-90 and took the first Cle Elum exit. It beat biking around through Peoh and South Cle Elum. Anyway if you come over here some people find it helpful to bring ear plugs to block out the wind.

  5. #5
    In Blue America
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    Wind

    I grew up in Tri-Cities & went to college in Seattle so I have driven that route hundreds of times now. I can feel the wind when I'm driving, so I don't know why I didn't imagine that I would be struggling in a headwind on a ride out there!
    I am starting to think the guy who suggested this is kidding - I'll tackle hills, and I'll ride in the wind when I have to, but having to work to ride downhill in a headwind is demoralizing.
    Thanks for the words of warning.

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