Kitsap Color Classic

By | October 3, 2012

Sadly my crazy work schedule and abundant smoke East of the Cascade Mountains in Washington meant that I would be unable to participate in my all time favorite fall ride.  The Wine Country Trek is a small ride with about 250 people and goes from Yakima to Prosser through hop, apple, mint, grape and melon fields.  The sights and smells are worth the price of admission alone, but the food is what really makes this ride special.  I could have cried like Nancy Kerrigan, but instead I decided to try the Kitsap Color Classic

Loading the ferry to Kingston. 
I had heard of the Kitsap Color Classic.  It was on my local ride bucket list, so I figured that would be the perfect opportunity to try it out.  I arrived in Edmonds, WA at about 9:00 in full CYCLEBUTTCRACK regalia.  I then found the registration booth, paid my registration fee and headed to the ferry and rode the 9:40 crossing to Kingston, WA.  Registration went until 10:00, so I caught one of the last ferries.  The day of ride registration fee is only $35 which includes the ferry crossing.  As a result I did not expect much in terms of ride support.  The ride consists of three loops, the 14 mile Indianola loop, the 25 mile Hansville Loop, and the 36 mile Poulsbo/Port Gamble Loop.  The loops are partially overlapping and a bit confusing.  Various combinations of the three loops could equal up to 64 miles, though it did not work out for me that way.
Despite the possibility of fog, the weather was cool, but gorgeous as I rolled off of the ferry.  It was my intent to ride all 64 miles.  At the spur of the moment, I decided to ride the longest (Poulsbo) loop first, then the Hansville, and finally the Indianola Loop.  As it turns out I had to ride the loops in the correct order, Hansville/Poulsbo/Indianola, in order to match the official ride total of 64 miles.  Since I rode Poulsbo first, I looped all the way back into Kingston and my two loops amounted to 60+ miles.  This was really confusing!  I wish the sponsor, Cascade Bicycle Club would improve this on future KCC rides. 
At the top of the beastly
Hansville climb.   This photo
does not do it justice!
Scenery near Hansville!
Riding around Kingston, we were stuck on busy highways with an adequate shoulder, but as we got out of town were were rewarded with quiet country roads.  The ride to Poulsbo was really very nice.  It was a nice combination of rollers and flats which made the miles fly by.  At the 8 mile mark, we passed Port Gamble a historic town which was welcoming a carnival and chainsaw carving competition.  If it had not been so early, I would have stopped and hung out.  Poulsbo was my first food stop.  It was typical Cascade fare, fruit, cookies, packaged food, bagels.  The return trip to Kingston featured much more angry lumpy terrein.  From kingston, I began the Hansville Loop.  On the way out of town, I stopped at my second food stop, in an Albertsons parking lot.  Ooooh!  Ahhhhh!  Beautiful!  I liked the Poulsbo stop much more!  Cascade describes the Hansville loop as having some hills, one of them steep.  That is an interesting description.  The steep hill, required standing in my absolute granny gear to make it up.  It is a really fun beautiful loop, but you better bring your climbing legs for this adventure. 
The Kitsap Color Classic is a beautiful ride.  Due to its low cost and affiliation with Cascade Bicycle Club, it could be better organized, however I am glad I finally had the opportunity to take this ride on.  I hope to take this course on again, but maybe on my own.