Hello one and all! Join us Saturday afternoon, April 4 for our ride on the eastern half of the Foothills Trail, downtown Orting to South Prairie and back. This ride is focused on beginners, so if you’ve never gone on an organized bike ride but would like to try one - this one’s for you!
Overall ride description: we’ll ride a very gently climbing 8 miles on the car-free, paved bike trail from Orting to South Prairie, where we’ll stop for coffee, snacks and conversation before cruising back. Estimated ride time each direction 30-60 minutes; about 30 minutes-plus stopped at Trailside Coffee (if you feel like sitting around and chatting for a while I won't be in any rush). No-drop aka no-one-gets-left-behind policy; ride leader will ride sweep ie last both directions.
Who may participate: any TMS member, or friend of same, with a bike and helmet. For liability reasons no minors or pets allowed.
Date and time: Saturday, April 6; be unloaded at the Orting Park Bandstand, ready to ride at 2:00pm sharp. Suggested you show up by 1:45pm so you have time to sign in, then unload and get ready. We won’t wait if you’re late, so please be on time! It’s nice to arrive early, get ready, sign in with the ride leader, chat with your new friends.
The ride: Starting from Orting City Park Bandstand (across the street from front door of Orting Bakery) we'll ride a pretty flat 3 miles past spectacular Carbon River views. A very gentle climb for the last 5 miles takes us to the tiny burg of South Prairie, where we'll stop for refreshments at Trailside Coffee (literally "trailside", their very nice gazebo is about 10 feet off the trail, on the left). After sitting and chatting for a while we'll enjoy a gentle downhill cruise back to the Carbon River, three more flat miles to ride's end at the city park.
Optional post-ride extra mileage: If our ride wasn't enough for you - after you get back to Orting City Park, and ride's end, you can go off-ride (on your own, no support etc), keep riding NW on the Foothills Trail, another 3 miles to Meeker or 7 miles to the western trailhead at East Puyallup. Our ride is about 16 miles; you can get a total of 22 (Meeker) or 30 (E. Puyallup), or just cruise back and forth for a few days...
What you’ll need: A bicycle that works; a helmet (mandatory!); weather appropriate clothing; money for snacks, a desire to have fun! Highly recommended: a spare tube that fits your tire, a small bike-mounted bag to carry things. Strongly suggested you buy a +/- $20 floor pump, with a pressure gauge, from Fred Meyers or such. This will allow you to inflate your tires at home when necessary; check tire pressures and inflate before rides.
Want to learn more? We're having a Beginning Bike Rider's Class at the ride start location, 1:00pm. If you haven't done a lot of biking you can learn some useful things. Please sign up on the separate TMS listing, above.
Pre-Ride Prep: Please please PLEASE take your bike for a couple hundred yards' “test ride” at least a few days before the bike ride. If you discover your tires are flat, your gears or brakes don’t work, etc etc you can get these problems solved, either by yourself or at a bike shop. Ride leader will not have time to repair bikes on ride morning. Showing up for a ride with a bike that “suddenly” doesn’t work is no fun.
Rain: Heavy rain cancels ride. Light rain – fog – mist – “just another Northwest Spring Day” does not cancel. If conditions are questionable ride leader will, by 8:00am ride morning, post an appropriate Go-No Go note on this page.
Ride start: Ride starts and finishes at the Orting City Park Bandstand. If you Google Map "Orting Bakery" (212 Washington Avenue North, Orting) and "Trailside Cyclery (207 Van Scoyoc Ave SW, Orting) zoom in real close so you see both on the map - the bandstand is the square building in the park, between these two. There's a gravel parking road near the bandstand, along Van Scoyoc and next to the park. Ride leader's silver 1992 Subaru wagon will be parked there, with a black stick holding up the tailgate, unless it's super crowded and we need to park elsewhere.
Bathrooms and water: NO bathrooms or water fountains along the entire ride. Bottled water for sale at Trailside Coffee.There's a brick bathroom building in Orting Park, about 1 block NE of ride start. Be prepared before the ride begins; after drinking coffee in South Prairie you'll have just enough time to zip back to Orting...
Ride leader: Jim Harvey, email [masked]; phone[masked]-6758. There’s no such thing as a stupid question if you don’t know the answer; if you have any questions, any at all, please contact Jim - the sooner the better.
We hope to see you out there – you’ll have fun!