Route

The Route
The Clock
Choosing Your Start Time

THE ROUTE

Cascade 1200 has an all new (and longer!) route for 2016.   The approved route (details below) is 1290 km.

The Cascade 1200 will feature a group-oriented style of 1200 km riding. We will share common overnight stops each night and start more or less together each morning.   Accommodations at the designated overnight stops and drop bag transport between those stops will be provided as part of the entry fee. This riding style will encourage a collegial 1200 km experience and will allow riders of different speeds to enjoy each other’s company for more of the ride than might otherwise occur. The daily stages will take advantage of the long northern solstitial days to provide lots of daylight riding.

CUE SHEET (revised 6/10/16) is here. Each day is on a separate tab. (Please note that there are some hidden rows that have the open/close times for the Permanent versions of this course. Take care when printing your own copy to keep these rows hidden so as not to cause confusion.) Cue sheets will be distributed at registration.

Start/finish:  Mt. Vernon, WA

Day 1 will be relatively long day at 444km. We will overnight at the Cowlitz River Lodge in the town of Packwood Washington (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packwood,_Washington.)

Day 1 RideWithGPS https://ridewithgps.com/routes/11940769

Day two we will leave Packwood and immediately start climbing White Pass.  After circling Rimrock Lake, we will work our way through the Yakima valley and head north east to Moses Lake Washington (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moses_Lake,_Washington), 334km from Packwood.

Day 2 RideWithGPS https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13565117

Day three is the biggest climbing day with over 11,000 feet to gain including two major passes in the second half of the day. The course will head north through Soap Lake to Grand Coulee (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Coulee_Dam), with a stop along the way at Dry Falls. Take a minute to cross the parking lot to the overlook. The route then heads northwest through the Colville Reservation over Disautel Pass, through Omak, over Loup Loup Pass, through Twisp, Winthrop and finally to our final overnight stay in Mazama (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazama,_Washington)

Day 3 RideWithGPS https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13566499

Day four will take you over Washington and Rainy Passes in North Cascades National Park and finally home to Mt Vernon. Pack your cold weather gear as youmay find snow and very chilly temps at the top of the passes.

Day 4 RideWithGPS https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13566556

While we have taken every precaution to provide accurate GPS files, as always, the CUE SHEET is the official source for route information.

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THE CLOCK

An interesting feature of this year’s Cascade 1200 is the clock.    We are running STRAIGHT TIME, meaning that the time available is evenly distributed across the entire distance.   Most domestic 1200 events run with a fast clock for the first half (40 hours for the first 600K) and leave 50 hours to complete the second 600.

In contrast, the 2016 Cascade clock is calculated as follows:

13.33kph minimum speed for night start.*

14.29kph minimum speed for the morning start.**

This calculation means that riders will build a bigger time bank earlier in the ride, and may find that they get more sleep the first night without the typical time pressure from the fast clock.    Riders should remember, however, that the clock will not slow down later in the ride, and be sure to account for that as you make your ride plans.

(*13.33 = 1200km/90 hours, a la the 90 hour PBP minimum pace)

(**14.29 = 1200km/84 hours, a la the 84 hour PBP minimum pace)

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CHOOSING YOUR START TIME

We are STRONGLY recommending that most riders take the 10pm night start on Friday.   Why?  Many reasons:

  • Longer allowable time limit (96:42 vs 90:12) for 1290km.
  • Where you will be in darkness vs. daylight. The course was designed to highlight the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.   We gave careful consideration to where riders would be when, and what they would see in daylight, particularly on the first long 444km day.    By taking the night start you will be riding the least interesting 100K of day one in the dark at the start of the ride.   Even more importantly, you will ride the LAST 100K of the first day mostly if not all in the daylight.    It’s a beautiful stretch of road and should be experienced in the daylight.
  • Control closing times. By taking the night start, you’ll find that you do all of your sleeping when it’s dark out, and most if not all of your riding (except the first night) in the daylight.    Night start overnight controls close at 7:18 am in Packwood, 8:22 am in Moses Lake and 7:51 in Mazama.    Arrive at each control in the evening, sleep when it’s dark, leave after dawn.
  • The timing of interim controls. Not all of our interim control locations have 24 hour services.    On Day One, a slower rider who chooses the morning start might miss the last available services in Elbe at 292km.  We’ve set up an after hours info control question there, but caution that missing services in that location for a slower rider would produce a fairly long service-less stretch between 220 & 345km.     Day 2 is similarly affected by the lack of 24 hour services.   We will have afterhours SIR volunteers at Mattawa (if needed) and at Potholes, but supporting these locations is a less burdensome on volunteers if all but the fastest riders are on the night start schedule.

We are recommending the morning start only for those riders who can reliably ride a hilly 450 km in 20 hours or less, due to the aforementioned reasons.