If you're doing Flying Wheels next weekend, you may be interested in this safer and easier route to East Lake Samm Pkwy from the top of the Plateau: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=6317785. Rather than turn left on 228th, you continue straight and use the bike lane (the simple turns that you see on the map are very easy to follow - the bike lane guides you through them). When you get to 212th, turn right. It becomes Louis Thompson and joins ELSP.
- Has much lower motor vehicle traffic, at lower speeds.
- Some easy upsie-downsies, rather than a long hill at the end of your day
- Easy to follow, even if it is off the main route
- Avoids the very narrow shoulder on 43rd with high speed traffic on your left. Some of you would take the lane and just bomb down the hill - but not all of you. If you are coming down 43rd and want to pass someone on that narrow shoulder, look very carefully before going into the all-traffic lane. Motorists come down that hill like gang-busters.
- 212th has some upsies-downsies may be harder for some people than the long climb on ELSP.
- It's shorter - the century route is 96 miles as it is (not a true century), and this alternative cuts out another couple of miles - may be an advantage to others.
- 212th has an inconsistent shoulder, and you will be in the regular traffic lane for a portion of the route. I think that this is no problem because so few cars use 212th. However, I recognize that some people are uncomfortable being in a all-vehicle lane, and you do need to look ahead to see if your shoulder is going away.
- Not the official route for a few miles
We have used this by-pass now for years on Flying Wheels. Since we ride to the ride, we don't miss losing a couple of miles on the official route - we gain them back hoisting our mighty bulk on the tandem up Bel-Red Road going home. While my husband likes bombing down 43rd, for me personally, using this by-pass is so much less stressful. Obviously, YMMV.