RAPSody 2011: Tour The Puget Sound By Bike

Take in the beauty of the Northwest while enjoying the company of other cyclists.

Seattle bicyclists looking for a challenge this summer have plenty of choices, what with all the great trails in the area. Few are as scenic — or challenging — as the Ride Around Puget Sound, or RAPSody 2011 — a 165-mile weekend ride that will take place Aug. 27-28.

Bicyclists enjoy the scenery along the RAPSody route. Photo courtesy of RAPSody 2011.

Now in its eighth year, RAPSody draws cyclists from all over the country who delight in all the Pacific Northwest has to offer. The rolling hills that add up to 9,600 feet of elevation gain provide a comprehensive workout for riders, but the intensity is worth it when you factor in the beautiful back roads and mountain views that you’ll enjoy.

Hosted by bicyclists for bicyclists, RAPSody will include roughly 400 riders this year. The event is organized by five local bike clubs, in support of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington’s (BAW) statewide advocacy and education. While known for its great food, beautiful route and good logistics, RAPSody also boasts a philanthropic aspect: all event proceeds are donated to the BAW.

RAPSody riders rest on the ferry. Photo courtesy of RAPSody 2011.

The event begins and ends at Tacoma Community College, at which there will be free overnight parking. Since riders must depart on Saturday between 6 and 8:30 a.m., they will be sent off with a morning snack. The route passes over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, through several towns — and even allows for blackberry picking.

Bicyclists will spend Saturday night at Shelton High School where they will be offered root beer floats, massages and on-site meals. On Sunday, riders will be welcomed back with ice cream and other tasty snacks at the finish line, where there will also be several restaurants on hand to nourish hungry bodies.

Seven official training rides, designed as practice runs for the event weekend, have already taken place. RAPSody 2011 will provide a truly exciting for adventurous riders trip.

RAPSody 2011 costs $95 — but don’t wait to sign up, because registration closes today.

RAPSody 2011 | Tacoma Community College, 6501 S. 19th Street | (253) 857-5658