This is a scouting trip for a future meetup I am planning around the Island Center Forest in Vashon Island. The purpose of this trip is to verify that trails and trailheads listed on the map actually exist and to explore options by which the estimated 3 miles round trip through the forest could be extended to cover other island destinations, such as the bike-in-a-tree (http://www.bing.com/search?q=bike+in+a+tree&pc=MOZI&form=MOZSBR) or a view of Lake Washington.
Due to the additional distance (backtracking, trying multiple options, etc.), and the extremely sparse bus service on the island, we will use bikes to get around the island for the scouting trip, even though the actual meetup we are planning for will be all walking and bus. We will be riding on roads, but traffic on Vashon Island is usually pretty light, and drivers there are usually pretty considerate. Be forewarned, though - Vashon Island is very hilly, and we will experience our biggest climb of the day almost immediately after we get off the ferry (although the descent on the way back is a lot of fun!).
Overall, I expect the ride to be about 15 miles total on Vashon Island - 5 miles from the ferry to the town, 5 miles exploring around the town, and 5 miles riding back to the ferry. This ride will be an excellent workout and a great way to get in shape for Chilly Hilly and other, longer, rides of the 2014 season. Like all rides, a helmet and working brakes are required. We will try to stay together and will pause for regroup at the top of each hill.
We will meet at the Fauntleroy ferry dock at 11:00, with the goal of catching the 11:20 ferry to Vashon Island. If you want to save your energy and bus to the ferry, RapidRide C is an excellent option, departing downtown every 15 minutes and dropping you off right next to the ferry. We will have lunch on the island, so bringing food with you is probably a good idea. The plan is to spend around 2 hours on the island, including lunch, which should put is back in West Seattle sometime between 2 and 3 in the afternoon.
This trip is weather-dependent, and will be postponed if rain is likely. Please check the website the morning of the trip to make sure we are still on. I will make a final decision whether we are going or not no later than 9 AM.