Chilly Hilly FAQ
Q: Are the roads closed to vehicle traffic?
A: No, the roads are open to vehicle traffic; so, you must obey all the rules of the road. Stop at stop signs and ride no more than two abreast. Single file is usually safer and do not follow too close! Please do not ride across the center line as there are many blind hills and corners on Bainbridge Island. Be respectful of the Bainbridge residents trying to go about their Sunday.
Q: Can I get on any ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge?
A: No. Only four ferries are covered by your entrance fee. This is set by WA state ferries and also align with the route open and close times. If you start early, route support will not be open! Please check the Ride Details page for updated times.
Q: Can I start the ride early?
A: Route support is from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m and midpoint open/close times are 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. You are welcome to ride outside of these times, but you will be unsupported, and the food stop may be closed. All route support will end at 3 p.m.
Q: What time is registration open?
Registration is open from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. in Seattle and from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Bainbridge. Please respect these times and the staff/volunteers setting up registration and packet pickup. For more updates on registration times and locations see the Ride Details page.
Q: Is there a rider limit? Will the event sell out?
A: Yes, there is a 5,000 rider limit on Chilly Hilly. If you plan on registering the day of the event, check the website to be sure the event has not sold out. However, you can save money and time by pre-registering, and packets are mailed to those who pre-register sufficiently in advance (see the Registration page for specific dates).
Q: Suggested items to bring?
A: By law, helmets are required. We recommend you come layered in warm cycling apparel (especially if you are waiting in line at the ferry terminal). Check the weather and have some rain gear if rain is forecasted. Carry a patch kit, spare tubes, hand pump, and a good multi-tool. Cash for emergencies and goodies (groups taking donations for goods on route, and for the chili feed at the finish assuming you did not purchase a ticket in advance).
Q: How hilly is the ride?
A: Over the 33-mile ride you will climb a total of 2,191 feet. Most of the climbs are short but you are going up and down over most of the route. There is a shortcut, but that does not cut out the hills. The island is an old mountaintop, there are no flat rides on Bainbridge! If you want flat, we have many other great rides later in the season that are flat and fun!
Q: What if I can not make it the entire 33 miles?
A: On the route map there is a shortcut listed at mile mark 19.3, this cuts off 10 miles (23 miles total). Again, it does not cut out hills!
Q: Do I have to pay to come back on the ferry?
A: No, eastbound ferry passengers and bikes ride free. Riders do not have priority boarding on the ferries coming back from Bainbridge. It is first-come, first-serve and you can get on any return ferry you wish. Bring warm clothes in a bag or pannier so that you do not freeze!
Q: Where does my entry fee go?
A: The Chilly Hilly is a fundraiser for Cascade Bicycle Club. CBC also supports many local non-profits with proceeds from the ride like Bainbridge Youth Services, BI Rope Skippers, BI Girl Scouts, and many more use the ride as an opportunity to raise money for their organizations.
Q: Are there 'bike only' Ferries this year?
A: The bike only ferry only happens when the stars align and there is an extra boat in the water for Washington State ferry systems. This is highly unlikely to ever happen again due to many restrictions and new federal regulations. Your Chilly Hilly registration includes the ferry fee for four specified sailings only. You must have your Chilly Hilly bib number visible to board the ferry. Click here for specified sailings. Your number is based on whether you registered for a Seattle or Bainbridge start. Your Bainbridge bib will not allow you entrance to the ferry, you will need to go and pay for your own ticket.
Q: Where is the start line for the ride?
A: If you are starting on the Seattle side, the ride starts when you get off the ferry. From the Bainbridge Island side, the ride starts on Winslow Way at the end of the ferry offloading ramp. For other start line details see the Ride Details page.
Q: Do both riders on a tandem need to register for the ride?
A: Yes, for services and liability reasons both riders must each complete and sign a registration form. Your fee is per rider, not per bike. Same for kids on tag-alongs.
Q: Do I need a ferry ticket to get to Bainbridge Island?
A: If you are a Seattle side registered rider, your bib number is your ticket for the ferry times that support the ride. It is only valid for four ferries, please see Ride Details page for updates. If you have registered for Bainbridge packet pickup and you are on the Seattle side, you need to purchase your own ticket. Numbers will indicate whether your ferry fee has been included.
Q: Do I have to belong to the Cascade Bicycle Club to go on this ride?
A: No, but you receive a member discount on the entry fee if you are a member. Join during registration and you'll receive the discount immediately.
Q: Where is the best place to park on the Seattle side? How much does it cost?
A: There is plenty of street parking, pay lots and garages (don't drive in with a bike on your roof!) near packet pickup or the ferry terminal. Costs vary. City street parking is free on Sundays. Read signs carefully! Cascade Bicycle club does not pay parking tickets.
Q: Where is the best place to park on the Bainbridge Island side? How much does it cost?
A: Street parking on Bainbridge Island is free on Sunday, but time limits vary by location. Do not park on Brien Drive, as this is the location of the finish line festival. The street is permitted to be closed for the event.
Q: If I have a flat or other mechanical problems will there be someone to help me?
A: There are support cars, Outriders and other friendly riders who may be able to help you out. You should carry the basic pump/patch kit. Or if you want to learn how to fix your own flat, check out one of Cascade Bicycle Clubs Fix-a-Flat classes!
Q: Can I get a refund if I can’t use my Chilly Hilly registration?
A: Refunds are available per our event refund policy.
Q: Why is there a Cascade Bicycle Club "members only" registration period in January?
A: This is an added benefit for being a Cascade Bicycle Club member. You can become a member or renew your membership at the same time that you are registering for the event to gain access to members-only registration period.
Q: Does Cascade offer any services to help me train?
A: Cascade’s Free Group Rides program offers a variety of rides almost every day of the year. If you are looking for something to boost you towards a larger goal, such as double century rides like STP and RSVP, check out our Cascade Training Series.