Monday, May 10, 2021

Lake Forest Park - Index 200km Permanent

by Pascal Ledru

I spent April working remotely from Seattle. We drove from Colorado to Washington state and I took advantage of having a car to take my bike and bike gear with me. The weather turned out fantastic and I rode several permanents:

  • Lawyers, Guns and Vikings
  • Green Gold and Red
  • U Village-Carnation
  • Lake Forest Park - Index
  • Cable Car

This reminded me how useful the permanent library is. I am not looking to achieve K-Hound status, log more miles than anyone else but riding a route created by a local and knowledgeable cyclist is so valuable. In Seattle, this means exiting the city on a safe route (often riding the Burke-Gilman trail or the ferry!) connecting to roads with low traffic.

The Lake Forest Park - Index 200km starts just North of Seattle on the Burke-Gilman trail. I start from downtown at 5:15 to reach the control start about 40 minutes later. 

After about 20 minutes, the route leaves the trail to go through Bothell, then Woodinville (home of the Chateau St Michelle winery). Quickly the road leaves suburbia and the section from Woodinville to Snohomish goes through farm lands. I take a few pictures in Snohomish which was where the Cascade 1200k ended in 2018. Good memories.


From Snohomish, the route progressively climbs and leaves the farm lands to reach the Cascade. I stop in Sultan for an espresso along the way. One of my favorite things in the Northwest: all the small coffee huts along the way. The section from Gold Bar to Index is on a narrow forest road very scenic; I keep stopping to take pictures. I reach Index: it looks like the typical movie picture: a river running through the forest with the mountain in the background. 

Index General Store

Several artists are painting with their easels directly set up on the road! Control at the small convenience store; the owner is watching a Korean soap opera. I hesitate to show off my 2 words of Korean... but with Covid going on... decide not to try to be funny and exit the store.

From Index, the route goes back to Sultan then turns South to follow the Skykomish river unto the Snoqualmie valley to Carnation (apparently a SIR base). Stop at Sandy's for lunch. 

Sandy's Espresso

From Carnation, the road climbs back through the forest to very suddenly reach suburbia again in Redmond. Then, the ride ends on the bike trail from Redmond to Lake Forest.

Sultan Coffee Hut

The scenery on this ride is fabulous: it follows first the shore of Lake Washington, then goes through some farmland, then forests, then climbs in the mountain to a small village.

Seaplane Base - next to start/finish control

Did I mention too: the weather on this ride was just fantastic! Perhaps, do not trust the people who tell you it always rains in Seattle!

- Pascal