September 15, 2018

Bike Event

Price: $60 per person

bj-bike-lighthouseWe have secured for you a resort-class course on San Juan Island. Numerous high-end outfitters, such as Trek Tours and Backroads Tours, come to San Juan Island to take advantage of this National Park-quality island that includes, well, a National Park. From our course you will experience the small town of Friday Harbor, vistas of scenic rolling hills, pastoral valleys, the Salish Sea, the other islands of the San Juan Archipelago, and Vancouver Island in Canada.  The view constantly changes as you pass through San Juan Island’s disparate micro-climates and terrain. Bring a large memory card for your camera because this course is a target-rich environment for photographs.

The Course

Orcas Whale CourseThe longer courses consist of the shortest course with side excursions added: a shorter one north to Roche Harbor, and a longer one south to American Camp. An advantage of this layout is that cyclists can decide whether to take these excursions as they reach them. The longer excursion to American Camp is most of the way through the short course, allowing cyclists to see how they feel before committing. However, both excursions are worth the trip for those cyclists able to reach them.

The three courses are listed below. Click on a course to learn more about it.

Name Distance Elevation Gain Max Grade Avg Grade
Orca Whale 50 miles 3455 ft 12.6% 0.1%
Minke Whale 35 miles 2456 ft 7.8% 0.2%
King Salmon 26 miles 1787 ft 7.3% 0.1%

Points of Interest

There are several points of interest along the course that will attract your attention:

  • Hotel de HaroRoche Harbor — This world-class resort marina on the north end of San Juan Island combines upscale elegance with an historic, antique feeling. Originally the location of a lime quarry and processing business, the area still contains restored artifacts of that industry including a restored lime kiln and, a short hike away, the remains of a quarry. In 1956, Roche Harbor was developed as a resort including the historic Haro Hotel, the modern Quarryman’s Lodge, three restaurants, a small grocery store, and other businesses. Many enjoy viewing the marina, which is often filled with high-end yachts.
  • English CampEnglish Camp and American Camp — San Juan Island is home of its very own National Park, split into two locations called English Camp and American Camp. This National Park commemorates the Pig War, a bloodless standoff between the United States and Great Britain that began when an American settler shot and killed a pig owned by an Irishman working for the Hudson Bay Company, a Canadian trading group. A British garrison occupied what is now English Camp near the north end of San Juan Island,  while American soldiers occupied what is now American Camp on the south end of the San Juan Island. The standoff ended in 1872 when a commission formed by arbitrator Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany decided the matter in favor of the United States, splitting what is now the San Juan Islands from the Canadian Channel Islands. Both locations now are part of a National Park, with some buildings and other features. The climate, vegetation, and terrain of these two parks stand in sharp contrast to each other.
  • Lime Kiln LighthouseLime Kiln State Park — Snuggled on the west coast of San Juan Island is Lime Kiln State Park. This picturesque park overlooks Haro Straight in a location favored by the Southern Resident Orcas that the Salish Sea plays host to during the Spring, Summer, and Fall. If you are lucky, you might see them! Across Haro Straight can be seen Vancouver Island in Canada. The park also features the Lime Kiln Lighthouse. Numerous trails take you along a rocky shoreline peppered with Madrone trees. The park is a great picnic spot. A park ranger will be on-hand to answer your questions.

Much of San Juan Island consists of rolling hills. Our course should be considered moderate in difficulty. Fortunately, most of the vistas and points of interest are within reach of shorter courses that we have designed for those wishing for easier going. These two shorter courses take off 1000 feet and 1500 feet of elevation gain when compared to the full course, and the maximum grade is less. Yet, they provide the cyclist with a similar sampling of the island’s vistas.

Logistics and Support

All courses start and end at the Fairgrounds in Friday Harbor where there is available camping and parking and where participants will check-in. The ride starts at approximately 9:00 AM so that participants may arrive by ferry to participate. The exact start time will be announced once the ferry schedule for Fall is known. Transportation will be provided from the ferry landing to the Fairgrounds for those that need it so that driving onto the ferry will not be necessary. The ride will end in time for those who wish to return home the same day to catch a ferry back to the mainland.

To help you along the way, we have SAG stops for fluids and snacks plus additional water and toilet locations marked on your course map. A roving support vehicle for assistance with minor mechanical assistance will be available.

More Information

Tickets are $60 per person and are on sale now. Admission will be limited, and we expect to sell out.

Friday Harbor Bike-n-Brew is also including an evening microbrew-tasting event for those wishing to stay the weekend. See more information on the Brew Event.

For those wishing to camp, Friday Harbor Bike-n-Brew will be offering limited camping space at the Fairgrounds. There will be fewer camping spaces than Bike Event spaces, so consider reserving a camping space early. See more information on Camping.

San Juan County Public Works publishes an excellent Cyclist’s Guide to San Juan Island. Download it here (PDF, 5MB).

All proceeds from Friday Harbor Bike-n-Brew go to the San Juan Island Lion’s Foundation. Please consider sponsoring the event and supporting this worthwhile charity.

   © 2018 The San Juan Island Lions Foundation. All rights reserved.