Alternative route for Flying Wheels

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: 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.

Great route suggestion!

I also recommend a tour around one of the lakes near the course:  Ames, Joy, and Margaret.  Seems a shame to be out that way and not check them out.

Respect the tandems and be nice to the locals in the valley.  They love bikes and are always honking and shouting encouragement from their cars.  Ride safe.