I completed the 2004 Chilly Hilly Classic this morning: 33 miles of scenic Bainbridge Island. It was both chilly and hilly, though less of the former and more of the latter than I expected.
(I borrowed this graphic from the page linked above.)
It was really well organized, as anything with 3000 attendees has to be. I took the first ferry (the 7:45 sailing) and came back on the 12:20, finishing about 11:30. Given the number of people and the terrain, it took about 3 hours. I ended up walking part of a couple of the steeper grades (on the elevation graphic, the two climbs before the midway rest stop defeated me, and I hoofed it for the middle third of the Baker Hill Rd ascent).
It was a great look at Bainbridge, though I’m sure we saw very little of it. The riding was a little hairy at times (my top speed on a downhill was 36 mph, but there were always others pedalling into it and hugging the drops for every bit of speed, some uneasy riders and a lot of unannounced passing, no “on your left”), so it wasn’t always possible to look around.
My first club/group ride and I learned a few things: enough to want to do more.
<update> The Times has a story with pictures: