For many Bainbridge Islanders and Pacific Northwesterners, cycling isn’t just a wonderful way to exercise and enjoy our beautiful PNW scenery, it’s a way of life and an environmentally friendly source of transportation—regardless of the weather.
It was 1972, and a few riders from the Bainbridge Bicycle Club decided it would be fun to challenge our chilly late winter weather with a bike race and tour around Bainbridge Island. The route they outlined ran repeatedly from sea level up to 300 feet and back again, totaling 2,700 feet of elevation change, thus the hilly part. In its humble beginnings, it was called Chilly Hilly 100, because the route was comprised of four 25-mile laps around the island, over the years the route was altered a bit, to the 33 miles we have today. It started small with a few dozen riders, and by 1975, when the Cascade Bicycle Club took over organizing the event, it had grown just a bit to seventy-five riders, however, by the 1980s participation was on the rise, and by the 1990s, participation had reached over 5,000 riders, earning the title of “One of Four Classic Rides” by Bicycling Magazine and becoming one of the most famous bike tours in the nation. Riders over the years have endured rain, snow, sleet, and once in a while, sunny and warm weather. They come from far and wide, travelling from more than twenty U.S. States and Canada.
Join Cascade.org and Bainbridge Island for the 48th Annual Chilly Hilly 33-mile (2,173 feet of climbing) bike ride around scenic Bainbridge Island. The route begins with an early morning ferry ride from Seattle, or you can join directly on Bainbridge Island.
The event takes place on Sunday, February 23, 2020 at 8:00 a.m., with two starting points. If you’re coming from Seattle, the start line is located at the Pyramid Alehouse (1201 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134) and includes a picturesque ferry ride across Puget Sound (official ferry times: 7:55, 8:55, and 9:35 a.m.) or you can begin on Bainbridge Island at B.I. Cycle Shop (124 Bjune Dr. SE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110).
Chilly Hilly registration fees raise funds to assist in making Washington a great place for bike riders of all ages, some of the programs include Let’s Go, the Major Taylor Project and Cascade.org’s statewide advocacy. In addition, the registration fees assist Cascade.org in giving back to the communities and organizations that thrive here.
Pack a bag with fresh, dry clothes so you can hang out after the ride and enjoy the post-event festivities! A bag drop will be available at the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal, and all bags will be driven to the finish line outside the Senior Center on Brien Drive.
Chili Feed: Bainbridge Island community group will be hosting a chili feed at the Bainbridge Island Senior Community Center. Chili is available at an additional cost and not sponsored by Cascade Bicycle Club. 100% of proceeds go to the organizing local Bainbridge non-profit or club. This year you can buy your bowl in advance online until February 14! No cash needed at the finish and Cascade will cover $1 per bowl if you buy ahead of time. Chili is $8 day-of ride, cash only. Vegetarian options are available.
Crush Kids’ Cancer (CKC): CKC cycling team is in its 10th year of supporting groundbreaking research at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Drop by after Chilly Hilly to get some amazing Theo hot chocolate, to learn more, join the team, or just say hi!
Bainbridge Brewing: Bainbridge Brewing will again be offering participating riders $1 off each pint of our brewery’s beer purchased that day. Just show up and present your 2020 ride bib. Each discounted dollar will be donated back to the Cascade Bicycle Club. Both brewery locations will be participating this year. They will be open at 11:00 a.m. for people 21 and over, and are located at 500 Winslow Way E, near the ferry terminal. Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are also available. In addition, they’re Brewery & Taproom, located at 9415 Coppertop Loop (just off Sportsman Club Road in Coppertop Park) is open to all ages.
A number of lunch venues are also available along Winslow Way.
Coppertop Park is also home to That’s A Some Pizza, Fletcher Bay Winery, Bainbridge Organic Distillers, Storyville Coffee, and Island Rock Gym.
*Images and route map provided by Cascade Bicycle Club